Meet the app developers, electric vehicle charge point installers, and creative card makers among the first cohort to complete Startup Peterborough bootcamp programme

August 27, 2021

The first cohort of entrepreneurs have completed Startup Peterborough, a 12 week bootcamp programme run by Opportunity Peterborough.

Over 30 entrepreneurs signed up to take part in the programme which was supported by lead partners Peterborough Workspace, The Business & IP Centre, Flexspace, CityFibre, XL Displays, and Anglia Capital Group, and supporter, The Local View.

The bootcamp programme covers essential information for new business owners including business planning, cashflow, market intelligence, intellectual property, import and export, sustainability and circular economy, as well as legal compliance, business structure, and marketing, PR, and social media.

Two of the cohort have gone on to apply for angel investment from Anglia Capital Group, with several of the cohort putting forward their business plans for a chance to win one of the following prizes:
• Discounted office space at Flexspace
• One-to-one mentoring after the programme
• Complementary advertising on The Local View

The prizes will be awarded after a second cohort completes the programme. This is due to begin on 14 September and complete by December. The cohort is being recruited right now and startups can join free of charge at: www.startuppeterborough.org.

Tom Hennessy, Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough, said: “Startup Peterborough aims to equip entrepreneurs with the tools, guidance and advice they need to successfully establish and grow their business. To see some of our cohort putting their businesses forward for angel investment is extremely rewarding and a promising sign of potential.

“Starting a business is extremely tough but through the bootcamp programme, we’ve created another support network for our entrepreneurs. As the city’s economic development company, Opportunity Peterborough will also provide ongoing support to help them grow.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to our lead partners who have made it possible for us to run this programme, and to the local expert speakers who have given our cohort invaluable advice to ensure they have a robust business.”

To sign up free of charge for the next bootcamp series due to start on 14 September, visit: www.startuppeterborough.org.

Meet some of the entrepreneurs and their new businesses!
• Tim Cross, Eventifyit
• Matt Tinkler, Impra Charge
• Amanda Cross, Amanda’s Cards
• Oliver Mellor, Anglian Lifts

1. Among the businesses is Eventifyit, an events app set up by Tim Cross, “Eventifyit came into being due to my frustrations of always missing local events because we didn’t know about them! We were spending so much time looking on social media and other sites, trying to find local events which are not miles away. I felt there must be a better way to solve this issue, and Eventifyit was created. I want the app to help people find all types of events happening in their local communities they didn’t know about before, even though they are right on their doorstep. I also want to encourage people to try new activities, join new groups, and play an active part in their local communities.

“The information that Startup Peterborough has given me to create my business plan has been invaluable. I am now aware of more potential pitfalls, and have had lots of advice and tips to develop my idea and plans for Eventifyit. I’ve also picked up great advice to promote my business which is one of the biggest hurdles. The team has been really helpful!”

2. Impra Charge was set up by Matt Tinkler who has always had a drive to be his own boss. The company install electric vehicle charge points. “I have always felt a drive and passion in organising teams to confront challenges. The electric vehicle industry will soon become more mainstream and is already taking a leap now. We are looking to grow our avenue of providing vehicle charge points to homes and also later on renewable solutions such as solar energy and heat pumps/ immersion elements for heating.

“Startup Peterborough has helped a great deal so far, it has allowed me to look at the early steps we took without guidance and double check our decisions to what the right way to open a business would be. It has also given a different approach to ideas and looking at other businesses in different stages to us, this gives a great chance for reflection and learning off others whilst helping people as well.

“There were a few times I have felt like giving up, but it has been worth all of the effort. I only need to look at our reviews from customers to see we are doing something right.”

3. Off the back of her success at card fairs before the pandemic, and returning business during lockdowns, Amanda Cross decided to take her hobby into a business and set up Amanda’s Cards, “I wanted to offer beautiful handcrafted and illustrated cards to consumers. It lets me use all of my creativity and I’ve started showcasing my illustrations too – I have only started drawing again in the first lockdown after many years.

“The boot camp sessions have been extremely informative. Setting up a company has many different challenges but everyone on the team has been so supportive! I am so pleased that I was given the opportunity to attend. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of or has started a new business to book onto these sessions.”

4. Keen to take on a new challenge, Oliver Mellor went into business with Phil Rice to establish Anglian Lifts. “I had been looking for an industry to invest in and found an opportunity to create something unique with Phil and his excellent team. The concept of selling and servicing stairlifts is nothing new but what Phil and I bring are years of operational experience combined with a strategic vision to create a company which delivers excellent customer value, brilliant customer service and provides opportunities for employees to grow.

“The Peterborough start-up eco-system has been very welcoming and extremely helpful. Anglian Lifts were able to get up and running quickly thanks to the quick response and thoughtfulness of the Peterborough team.

“Establishing ourselves quickly and finding customers has been the biggest challenge but we’ve bootstrapped our digital and physical marketing to get our name out there and win our first few customers. We’re confident that now we have a few happy customers our reputation will spread via word of mouth and our website will start to rank higher as more content gets added.”

You can read more about some of the first cohort at www.startuppeterborough.org

Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce