[UK] A brewery, bespoke furniture company and rural Wi-Fi firm joined makers of cooking sauces, fitness trackers and a sustainable seaweed harvesting business at this year’s first Fast Track to Growth event in Devon.
More than 50 companies came together for the Growth Day event at Deer Park Hotel near Honiton, for a series of free growth-focused workshops and 1-1 sessions with business experts.
Organised by Astley Media and backed by Devon County Council, the annual programme will see 15 companies shortlisted go on to take part in an intensive business support programme, before a final pitch event in April. The winner receives £20,000 worth of further business support to help them develop and implement their growth plan.
Companies taking part include Martha and Hepsie homeware based in Barnstaple, Beyond Sauce from Exeter, Virginias Vintage Hire at Honiton, recent BBC Dragon’s Den contestants LoveKeepCreate, from Plymouth, Rudds Wellies of Salcombe, the Classic Pod Company from Sidmouth, Lifesaver Technology, based at Tiverton, Clothing Your Way from Torquay and Serenity Nutrition in Totnes.
Andrew Neligan, of FT2G partner Neligan Financial, said: “It was inspiring to see and meet so many diverse companies and committed business owners from across Devon. What they all had in common was the desire to create and grow their passions into sustainable businesses.”
David Culshaw, of FT2G partner Stephens Scown LLP, added: “There is a lot of uncertainty around just now, but seeing the energy of the Fast Track to Growth members proves there is a lot to feel positive about. For Devon to continue to thrive we need to encourage and support these businesses. That is why Fast Track to Growth is so important.”
Every company who entered Fast Track to Growth received access to the Growth Day event, held on Valentine’s Day. They find out if they have been shortlisted for the intensive support programme on Thursday February 23.
Business experts from Astley Media, Barclays, Cosmic, DataWise Intelligence, Neligan Financial, Perfect Pigtails HR, PFK Francis Clark, Sampson Hall, Stephens Scown LLP and SETSquared Exeter support the programme.
Julie Hawker, CEO of FT2G partner Cosmic, said: “Providing support for growing businesses to fully utilise digital technologies is core to any successful strategy for the years ahead. Fast Track to Growth with its excellent partnership approach is giving these business a major advantage.”
Dan Pritchard, Managing Director of Astley Media, which organises the programme, added: “What’s encouraging is the mix of businesses we are now working with through Fast Track to Growth.
“We have E-commerce and technology, healthcare, fashion, legal firms, manufacturing, specialist crafts and many more, ranging from social enterprises to globally-focused organisations. Not only does it demonstrate the vitality of Devon’s emerging businesses but it hints at the future economic landscape we might be moving towards.”
View original article at: Seaweed picking to film set props – the businesses on the fast track to growth