Business Quest And Cygnet Fund 2010 Winners Announced

11 March 2010

Christopher Redshaw and Peter Gadsby

Revolver Revolver's Christopher Redshaw is named Business Quest 2010 winner by businessman and entrepreneur Peter Gadsby.

I was extremely impressed with the level of commitment from the competitors and with the Business Quest presentations. I hope they will all go on to create thriving East Midlands' businesses.

Businessman and University of Derby Honorary Peter Gadsby.

Business Quest and Cygnet Fund award winners

Peter Gadsby (centre) with (l to r) Cygnet Fund award winners Stuart Boyd, Roxanne Coghill and James Sims; and Business Quest award winners Christopher Redshaw, Andrew Dunn and Dan Lamoon.

The winners of the first annual Business Quest and Cygnet Fund competitions have been announced - scooping more than £20,000 in total in business aid to grow their enterprises.

Peter Gadsby - Derbyshire businessman, University of Derby Honorary and former Derby County FC chairman - and the University launched the two contests in December (2009).

Business Quest was aimed at Derby students and graduates who'd attended University programmes encouraging entrepreneurship - such as SPEED, Enterprise Inc or Start Up and Go - and who were already trading. Cygnet Fund applicants were current or former participants on those courses who had not yet begun trading.

Both contests' winners were announced last night (March 10), at a ceremony at Derby's Pride Park Stadium.

Business Quest was won by Christopher Redshaw, of creative design and media company Revolver Revolver. He will receive £20,000 in business support from Peter Gadsby.

Christopher, who is based at University-run Derby business centre Banks Mill Studios, said: "I honestly didn't think I'd win. I thought Peter would go for a more unusual business concept.

"My first move will be to organise my marketing materials and look at drawing up employment contracts."

Business Quest finalist Dan Lamoon - who runs visual arts and culture magazine From Dusk 2 Dawn - received a 'Highly Commended'; as did Stuart Boyd, whose business Subism promotes modern street art, runs live events and has a range of specialist 'Sub Ink' paints and pens. Peter has also promised them further business help.

Cygnet Fund was won by Roxanne Coghill, who received £2,000 to further develop her business idea of supplying specialist martial arts equipment for women. She is on the University's BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Graphic Design) degree course and practices martial arts Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu.

Roxanne, 22, of Northwood, Middlesex said: "It's great that other people also have confidence in my business idea.

"My next step will be to purchase from suppliers I've had on hold and launch my business in August."

'Highly Commended' Cygnet Fund finalists were Andrew Dunn, developer of a device to improve motorists' braking and save on fuel, and James Sims, who wants to launch a chain of environmentally friendly garages specialising in Volkswagen repairs and servicing.

Last night's announcements followed three months' hard work by applicants and organisers.

Following the competitions' December launch, seven trading companies were shortlisted for Business Quest. They also included a mobile Tai Chi class service and an artist who specialises in making life-size pot flowers.

The eight shortlisted business ideas for Cygnet Fund also included a hi-tech forensic detection service for mobile phones and computers, and a ceramics artist.

Business Quest finalists were introduced to leading contacts of Peter's in the East Midlands, who acted as business mentors. They included Cooper Parry LLP business advisers, Marketing Derby, design company Origination, Sally Montague Hair Group, professional training expert Matt Elliott and Waterways World Magazines of Burton-on-Trent.

Following a full day of business pitches yesterday (March 10) by Business Quest finalists to a panel of experts, headed by Peter, the winner was announced last night at Pride Park Stadium.

It is hoped the Cygnet Fund winner and her fellow finalists will return as the heads of trading companies to compete in next year's Business Quest 2011.

Peter Gadsby said: "There was a great deal of interest in both competitions and I was extremely impressed with the level of commitment from the competitors and with the Business Quest presentations. I hope they will all go on to create thriving East Midlands' businesses.

"It was obvious that they had all benefited from talking to the mentors we set up for them. In that respect, there were no losers.

"I chose Revolver Revolver as the first Business Quest winner because the important thing for me was that a successful business could be helped to move onto the next level, with our help. Chris has been in business for a while and he needs to employ people so he can concentrate on developing the business, which is what the funding will help with."

Fiona Church - Dean of the University's Faculty of Business, Computing and Law - added: "It's been a very exciting few months for all the businesses involved in these two contests and I'm sure they got a lot out of it. They have all worked very hard.

"It is exciting to think that their business ideas will now come to fruition and potentially create jobs and income within the city.

"My congratulations go to the two winners. With such a flying start in the first year of this new annual fixture in the region's business calendar, I expect the field to be even stronger in 2011."

*For more information about Business Quest and the Cygnet Fund see University of Derby website www.derby.ac.uk/businessquest.

For further media information please contact University Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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