Turn business dreams into a reality with Startup! Stamford competition

Startup! Stamford founder Martin Fox with 2014/15 winner Cameron Jarvis. Photo: MSMP-05-10-15-am002 EMN-150510-161731001
Startup! Stamford founder Martin Fox with 2014/15 winner Cameron Jarvis. Photo: MSMP-05-10-15-am002 EMN-150510-161731001
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An entrepreneur who is ready to launch his first business has urged others to make their dreams come true by entering a startup competition.

Cameron Jarvis won the first Startup! Stamford contest earlier this year, and is now days away from opening the first of two businesses.

Startup! Stamford final at New College Stamford, April 2015. Finalist Cameron Jarvis. Photo: Lee Hellwing. EMN-150428-110744001

Startup! Stamford final at New College Stamford, April 2015. Finalist Cameron Jarvis. Photo: Lee Hellwing. EMN-150428-110744001

The first, Sparqz Stamford, is a computer repair service for individuals and small businesses, while the second, Sparqz, will offer bespoke gaming computers.

Cameron dreamed of setting up his own business for almost a decade, but it was the guidance and advice from mentors he received during the competition that really gave him the chance to progress.

He said: “As a result of going through the process of the competition and being assigned a mentor, it helped develop the idea into more of a reality. Prior to the presentation having a full business plan in place put me in a strong position to take it to the next level.

“Having won the competition the experience has been fantastic from having meetings with some great business people within the community and with their guidance we have had discussions on what the best start for the business would be.

“I’d recommend anyone with an idea to enter as there was an immediate benefit from when I entered last year.”

Panel impressed in startup final.

Sparqz Stamford will launch later this month and a website, www.sparqzstamford.co.uk, is already up and running.

The business has three unique selling points. Cameron offers fixed prices with no hidden charges or inspection fees. Secondly, if he can’t carry out a repair within 24 hours he will loan a piece of refurbished equipment until the customer’s own computer is fixed. And thirdly his business, in Browlow Street, has plenty of customer parking.

The second business, Sparqz, will launch later in the year.

Cameron said: “This is been something I have wanted to do for nearly 10 years.

“I’m feeling confident and excited now. A couple of weeks ago I would have said I was very nervous.”

The competition has the backing of Stamford and Bourne MP Nick Boles (Con), who said: “Cameron has shown great energy and ambition in setting up his business. He deserves the support of Stamford residents and businesses for their computer needs.”

Startup! Stamford founder and marketing expert Martin Fox was delighted to see Cameron’s hard work paying off. Both Martin and Cameron are currently touring schools and colleges in the area encouraging young people to enter this year’s competition.

Martin said: “I’m very confident that we are going to get a fair number of entries. It’s growing.”

The format of the competition will be largely similar to last year. Entrants will have to submit a basic business idea. Those who go through to the business plan stage will get the support of a mentor from the local business community.

Finalists will then be given the chance to refine their idea further before a Dragons’ Den-style final, where they will present their business idea to a panel of judges.

The only change is that the competition is now open to those aged 16 to 23, rather than 17 to 21. Entrants can come from within a 12-mile radius of Stamford. Visit www.stamford.youth-startup.org.uk or e-mail martin.fox@bulletin.co.uk.