CLOSING DATE 3rd August 2014
Business Boost Awards is the premiere competition in Newcastle-under-Lyme, which aims to help businesses achieve their future potential and growth. Through participation, businesses are encouraged to develop entrepreneurship and strategic thinking to help drive their business forward. The unique CASH AWARDS are presented to businesses that are able to demonstrate drive and ambition based on sound business planning.
As Director of Innovation at the Business Innovation Centre I often read articles and papers on the subject of Innovation and like to relay some useful messages that come my way.
No more so than the following article – Innovation Requires Patience – which has really good sound advice for potential entrepreneurs . It was written by John Maddox who is a serial entrepreneur, public speaker, tech startup investor and currently Managing Director of DevDigital.
Innovation requires patience.
I know that seems counter-intuitive to driven entrepreneurs, but hang on, there is logic behind this statement.
The vast majority of people just don’t have the ability to see future possibilities until they exist and are being used by their peers. This may seem like a degrading statement, but it’s not.
Some people have the ability to see the future possibilities others don’t. Just as often, those who have entrepreneurial vision are totally incapable of turning the dream into a reality.
Accepting this truth as an innovator will give you the patience needed to make sure your vision becomes reality.
Patience With Family & Friends
When you have an innovative idea, especially one that directly impacts your life, frustration quickly grows when you can’t convince others of its validity. Those around you not being able to understand how this could change their lives seems outrageous.
When you allow this frustration to impact how you treat those close to you, they will begin to question your abilities. The people who are most likely to help you take risks can quickly become those most opposed to your dream. Not because it’s a bad idea, but because who you are as a person is more important to them than your “crazy” business idea.
Remember that all the hours you spend contemplating and planning your idea isn’t what they are doing. Be patient. Write down your idea. Think of analogies that will have relevancy to them. Not only will this help you prepare to counter objections, it also helps get you ready for customers and potential investors.
Patience Convincing Investors
On the investor side, they are already successful. The need to take risk isn’t something they have to do. It’s something they choose to do. More importantly they want to take risk, but only with the right people. 99% of investors will tell you that the person is more vital to success of their investment capital than the idea.
Since they are getting pitched hundreds of ideas, this means they have so much to filter through. On top of that, most of them have multiple companies, incredible responsibilities and decisions to be made on a daily basis.
So in terms of patience, never expect everyone to see the potential in your idea. You have a 1 in 50 chance of getting a yes from an angel investor, and 1 in 300 chance from a VC. Many startup founders give up after being turned down the first time. Don’t give up the first time.
Just like it’s hard to convince your friends and family, it takes time to connect with the right investors, identify objections and develop ways to counter them. Not just through words but expanded business logic, customer acquisition strategies, and proof of concept.
So Why Be Patient?
As you try over and over again to convince friends, family, bosses, or potential investors of your genius, remember that people just can’t see what is in your brain. Everything about entrepreneurship requires the courage to take risk. Since very few are ready to make that leap of faith, the ability to see beyond the here and now becomes even more limited.
Changing the status quo requires being able to paint so vivid a picture, your target customers and potential investors will be able to see the future created if they adopt your new product or service. Think of painting this picture just like an artist would. While the vision is there, it takes time, patience and expertise to create something of true value.
Since there is no way to escape this truth, it is much more efficient to just accept it and leverage to your advantage. When the inevitable panic sets in that someone else is going to beat you to the punch, just remember they are facing the exact same challenges as you.
WHEN : Thursday 10th July 2014 10.00 to 16.00
WHERE : Beacon International, Anson Court, Staffs Tech Park, ST18 0GB
WHAT IS IT : The BIC in conjunction with Dove Consulting have developed a one-day workshop to consider the above and give delegates the skills and tools they need to become good “leaders”.
Research carried out by the Business Innovation Centre on the Best Companies Publications published by the Sunday Times, showed that companies demonstrating sustainability by featuring in the top 50 for three consecutive years had a robust culture of innovation and very strong leadership qualities. They also showed good career paths and an innovative approach to employee “well being”.
The BIC in conjunction with Dove Consulting have developed a one-day workshop to consider the above and give delegates the skills and tools they need to become good “leaders”. Dove Consulting have a wide national and international experience in running these types of workshops and together we have developed a workshop which will explore Change Management within the innovation process, explore the use of leadership within the innovation environment and introduce the key competencies for effective leadership.
- Motivating Change through Innovation
- The Role of the Leader
- Leadership Strengths & Weaknesses
- Leadership of Innovation Difficulties
- Personal Leadership Styles
- Key Steps to Leading Innovation
- Notes & Personal action plans
We also consider the attitudes and behaviours of well known leaders – how do they differ, what are their peculiar attributes?
The Small Business Grant programme has been set up to encourage companies to develop their businesses and to create sustainable employment.
This has been commissioned by the Stoke-on Trent and Staffordshire Enterprise Partnership and is funded by the Regional Growth Fund.
For more information please contact:
Staffordshire and Black Country
Business Innovation Centre
Unit 10 Sutherland Institute
Stoke on Trent
Tel: 01782 333798
WHEN : Thursday 12th June 2014 14.00 to 17.00
WHERE : Sutherland Institute, Longton, Stoke on Trent, ST3 4HY
WHAT IS IT : Half Day Event to give you the skills to take your idea from Concept to Prototype Stage. Includes talks from two entrepreneurs who have successfully taken their ideas from concept right through to Market – Come and learn from the Experts!
Includes talks from two entrepreneurs who have successfully taken their ideas from concept right through to Market
Come and learn from the Experts!
- Can your Innovation be Protected?
- Is there a Market for your Idea?
- Concept Design & Development
- Prototype Development
- What funding is currently available to you
- What to do whilst you Prove the Concept
- Is is worthwhile proceeding?
- Is it feasible to make it?
- What are your options in making a prototype? Includes tour of prototyping facilities
Deb Leary OBE, FRSA Forensic Pathways Limited/ClarityIntel – Forensic Stepping Plates and beyond
Richard Olphin Cabbunk Limited – What Worked for me!
Continuing to support local businesses BIC Chief Executive Geoff Riley is now a Member of the Board of Directors at Stafford Enterprise.
Stafford Enterprise helps people setting up in business within the Stafford Borough and provides help and support for young business up to 12 months old.
A recent report suggests that there may possibly be a hostile takeover bid from the American company Pfizer of up to $100bn for the Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca which is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the UK.
AstraZeneca reported pre-tax losses of $715m during the first quarter of this year compared with a $1.8bn profit for the same period in 2012.
Both companies have very valuable patents for very well known products such as Viagra, Nexium and Crestor. But patents last for just 20 years and these valuable ones will soon run out and open the doors for other companies to copy them legally.
It is therefore interesting to read that one of the main reasons for the potential takeover bid may be the fact that AstraZeneca unlike Pfizer has a long pipeline of new products following investment in R&D.
As an organisation the BIC always encourages companies to have a healthy pipeline for new products as there could be many external reasons beyond a company’s control affecting the success of its existing products and it is good Innovation strategy to have new products waiting on the back burner.
The BIC has good advice and various funding streams to help companies with their new product development pipeline.
WHEN : Wednesday 7th May 2014 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
TIME : Beacon International Centre, Stafford, ST18 0GB
WHAT IS IT :This workshop delivered by the Intellectual Property Office aims to give participants a good overview of intellectual property and how it impacts on small and medium sized businesses!
Delegates will be presented with a series of scenarios in which intellectual property is crucial to a business to help them to identify what assets they have within their business and how to protect them:
- Trade Marks
- Registered Designs
WHEN : Wednesday 7th May 2014 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
TIME : Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford, ST16 2LT
WHAT IS IT : Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership invites you to discover the financial support available within the area. This FREE event will inform, raise awareness and overcome misconceptions of the models and sources of funds available to small and medium sized businesses.
- Small Business Grants
- High Growth Investment
- Equity & Venture Capital
- Non-Bank Lending
- inc. finance, invoice, discounting / factoring
CONGRATULATIONS TO KNIGHTS FOR WINNING OUR INNOVATION AWARD
Over the last 18 months Knights invested heavily in new IT systems resulting in a paperless office which has lead to greater efficiency and better productivity. Investor and former Dragon’s Den star James Caan was so impressed that he recently announced financial backing for the Newcastle law firm.
They were subsequently announced as winners of the Innovation Award at the Sentinel Business Awards and their Chief Executive Officer David Beech is seen here being presented with his plaque by the BIC’s Chairman Andrew Briggs
The BIC would also like to Congratulate all other winners and runner ups as this years Awards
Everything about Knights is different to the traditional law firm. We are run like a business – with management decisions made quickly in the interests of the business as a whole. We have introduced a number of new methods in order to prepare for the future.
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