Our graduates 'Spark a Conversation'

December 09

Guests at last week’s Liverpool Chamber Annual dinner, were treated to a surprise extra course as they listened to pitches from three of our talented Spark Up graduates.

Alissa Koopal from Izzy Melody, Amie Russell and Carl Brown from Russell and Brown’s Vintage Hair and Andrew Milne from Triketastic each took to the stage to explain in just two minutes, what their business is all about and how it will help the city region.

They were pitching for the chance to win £5,000 worth of funding courtesy of NatWest Bank. I was also delighted to announce on the evening that all three of them would share an extra prize of a week’s worth of complimentary advertising on the big screens at Forever 21 and Clayton Square.

In true X Factor style guests where then able to vote for their favourite using their mobiles. We even had our own Cheryl, Simon, Louis and Scary (you can decide who was who!) in the form of our guest panellists Lorna Davidson from The Mothership, Cllr Gary Millar, Paul Telfer from Natwest and Paul Stowers from UKTI, who very kindly gave their time to be on our panel for the evening.

With over 400 people there on the night it was no mean feat and every single one of them delivered an excellent pitch. They demonstrated skill, bravery and ability in proving their credentials as worthy finalists and excellent business prospects.

It was a close vote but Triketastic was eventually crowned as the winner. Andy was teary-eyed when his name was announced, which shows just how important this type of support is for businesses like his. But it wasn’t until after the dinner that I really found out how important winning was to him and his business.

Not only does Andy hope that the money will be used to buy equipment to build and develop further trikes, but that it will also be used to pay an engineer to work with Andy – an engineer who had found out just that morning that he had been made redundant. All this is proof that the Spark Up model works and proof that it does have the potential to increase turnover and create new jobs, to support our city economy.

Izzy Melody is another success story and Alissa spoke with the Liverpool Echo on the night about her experience of Spark Up and how it has helped open the doors to increased investment opportunities for her and how she is now on course to developing further products in the Izzy Melody range.

All in all it was a fantastic evening and the perfect way to end what has been a successful first year for the Spark Up programme. It definitely sparked a conversation and hopefully it has inspired applications and support for next year’s programme




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RT @bangthedrumES: @SparkUpNow would this benefit any current Sparkies? t.co/5SXg4HjARn
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RT @LpoolChamber: Celebrate a night to remember. Tickets for our Annual Dinner 2016 are now on sale. t.co/vX8HL04Dhl #ThinkCreateDo…
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RT @LpoolChamber: Celebrate your business success by entering for our Strive Award as part of our Annual Dinner Awards: t.co/80Mj4k…
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RT @LpoolChamber: Do you know a young person who has made an extraordinary contribution to the success of your organisation? t.co/5…
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RT @LpoolChamber: Have you reached for new markets this year? We want you to nominate your business for our Reach Award: t.co/JvQzL…
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RT @LauraBerry86: The epitome of style well done @TheMensFinest - great to see one of our entrepreneurs smashing it @SparkUpNow t.c…
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RT @ClearlinkHR: Well @SparkUpNow at one stage I thought I may never get here... have only advertised TWO BRAND NEW JOBS today! t.c…
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RT @laad_autism: At the @AnnaKennedy1 #AKOAutismHero awards, none of this would have been possible without the fantastic @JennyStewart & al…
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RT @laad_autism: At the @AnnaKennedy1 #AKOAutismHero awards, none of this would have been possible without the fantastic @JennyStewart & al…
@SparkUpNow