THE Gazette has chosen the three winners of its Business Accelerators competition.
After two days of judging at our offices on Borough Road, mentors Chris Petty - founder of Stockton-based Cornerstone Business Solutions, Dean of Teesside University business school Alastair Thomson and Mike Matthews, the managing director of Stockton manufacturer Nifco UK, chose the three young businesses who they wanted to support.
Callum Miller launched Turbo Connect in 2009 in Stockton, refurbishing and remanufacturing turbos for all makes of cars.
He was made redundant in 2008 and decided to start his own business with just £1,200.
“It was small scale to start with - very small scale,” says Callum.
“I did all my own research, bought units to strip and train myself, sourced consumables, tools and equipment, even started market research and projected cash flows.”
Derek Foxcroft runs CAT-UK (Carbon Abatement Technologies) from Cargo Fleet, where he was the first business tenant.
He has spent the last four years developing a fuel-saving device, the Eco-CAT, designed to help firms cut costs and emissions. It can be bolted onto cars, boats and trains, can cut CO² emissions by an estimated 25% and slash fuel bills by around 20%.
Fudge Fancies was only set up by Michael Goodchild in Eston in 2010.
He swapped his job as a plasterer to set up a business making confectionery from his home, inspired by childhood memories of watching his grandmother making fudge.
Michael sells his products through selected retailers and his website and even supplied fudge to Endemol for their Big Brother programmes.
Gazette Business Editor Mike Hughes, who helped the judges reach their decision, said today: “The whole competition has been a real eye-opener. We all knew there was talent and innovation out there and it was a genuinely hard task to pick three winners, but these three are really strong prospects and the mentors are all looking forward to getting involved in helping them plan for the future.”
The winners each get free mentoring from our judges and an extensive advertising package from the Gazette.
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