Open Innovation takeover in Dorset
One of our most popular programmes, Open Accelerator, has looked rather different this year within the current pandemic.
Despite the changes, the creativity and passion for people to start their own business is very much the same!
With thanks to the European Regional Development Fund, we were able to offer this years accelerator free of charge, taking one of the biggest barriers for starting a new business out of the way.
Our objective by the end of the programme, is to have provided our new entrepreneurs: A clear vision with long-term objectives in place; Business modelling and return on investment; Market research and customer demands; Marketing strategies; Keeping solvent and/or accessing funding/investment.
So who are these new entrepreneurs we speak of? Well…
Mariela Casanova – Daily Mind
Mariela Casanova, owner of Daily Mind, is a Latin woman living in the United Kingdom. A proud, successful woman dedicated to offer our new generation the best start in life.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, she graduated with her Marketing degree in 2005; she flew to Europe to complete her studies in Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Master’s in Integral Communication (MIC).
In 2017, she became a proud mother and worked for the NHS in a 24 hours Mental Health Facility for Children and Young People in the Children Unit at the Local Hospital. These meaningful, life-changing experiences led her to work on an ambitious and essential project: to support a joyous childhood and prevent mental health issues through mindful resources.
The idea was born: Work for the well-being of children and families, planting the seeds of well-being from an early age, a necessity in any society.
Daily Mind’s Resources aim to facilitate a child’s development to a full scope, including those life skills that will encourage resilience and mentally robustness to succeed over their life span.
In December 2019, Mariela opened the doors of Daily Mind to our society: parents, families, schools and other organizations that support and work with children.
Know more in the following channels
Social Media @dailyminduk
Cecile Trijssenaar – English Classic Storytime
Cecile grew up surrounded by books, and was never lonely. She used to take one off the shelf and just start reading it. Cecile loved her Mum and our favourite thing was to read stories together. Cuddled on the couch with her, the fire burning, she would quote Shakespeare “A sad tale’s best for winter. I have one of spirits and goblins”…and she would be gone, lost in a world of imagination fuelled by the dynamic words of the author and the gentle lilting voice of her mother.
Cecile told us that her life has always been in stories – recording them, creating them, rewriting them. From past experience of studying film at college and went on to a career in television news and independent documentary making – earning an international award for Battle’s Poison Cloud. And for the past 15 years has helped in the rewriting of the story of orphans by finding them forever families.
Stories are entertaining, educational and empowering. Firing your creativity, teaching you right from wrong and guiding you in relationships and situations.
And Cecile’s mission is to share this same experience. So, she has created English Classic Story Time, a visual library of the most powerful stories ever written, delivered by talented storytellers.
Jon Jenkins – Hindsight App
Jon Jenkins has spent 20+ years working in the accountancy environment. Having qualified at the age of 25 he has gone on to hold positions from Purchase Ledger Clerk through to Finance Director. He has gained experience from working with over 400 companies from start-ups to PLCs and electricians through to commercial airline painters. The one thing that has always fascinated Jon is the ability or inability of those companies to understand their numbers and the overreliance they have on information from the accountant sometimes just once a year.
With all the new technology available to accountants and business owners not having enough time is no longer an excuse for providing inadequate support and advice to the millions of small business owners out there. As such Jon has embarked on building an online tool called Hindsight to provide accountants with automatic business insights and alerts, they need enabling them to support those business owners daily. No more excuses, no more hiding between year-end accounts. With the data that is available now there is no reason why you should not be presenting problems and solutions today. Businesses are for life not just year-end.
Tracey Howes – Blue Mind Social
Blue Mind Social exists to inspire, motivate and train entrepreneurs and teams to manage their social media in-house. Founder, Tracey Howes has 20 years of marketing experience in the hospitality and luxury sectors, including 10 years of managing and teaching social media marketing. Blue Mind Social is Tracey’s third business which she launched during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tracey endeavours to help business owners and teams transform their company’s social media to increase awareness, customer engagement and sales. With clear instruction, an understanding of the technology, and a strategic plan, Tracey works closely with her clients, enabling them to make an impact and attract customers who will trust and buy from them.
Tracey says, “Understanding how to use social media is more important now than ever before as more businesses embrace e-commerce and operate exclusively in the online space. Our world has changed dramatically forcing business to evolve quickly. Clients want to know how to build relationships with potential customers online, generate sales and feel confident about themselves and their business when engaging with others. I’ve helped many clients develop their online presence, attract ideal customers and generate thousands of pounds in sales revenue. Social media offers the most competitive pricing out of all online advertising, so why not embrace it and transform your business.”
Judith Adda – Let’s help our NHS
As a voluntary Governor since 2011, Judith attends at Hospital, Surgery & Health Board meetings. Through connections and discussions of peers and like-minded individuals, it has given her food for thought on a new web-based business aimed at supporting the NHS by focusing on –
1) Helping people to easily and simply help themselves to better health by offering fast health advice & trusted expertise to quickly & effectively treat themselves, either short-term or by helping them long-term to change their lifestyles with better nutrition and exercise advice’.
2) ‘Helping Doctors to prioritise patients faster, to identify the more serious health cases that require their immediate medical attention’.
It will be an umbrella health information website covering every aspect of health, from head to toe, physical and mental, so that people can access trusted information to treat themselves immediately.
Carolyn Freeman – Cybercology
Carolyn Freeman used to be in marketing and spent 15 years in corporate marketing. The thing that she really loved about marketing, was understanding consumer behaviour. Because of this passion, she decided to leave marketing completely and retrain as a psychologist. One of the things that really interested her in studying psychology was technology and how human behaviour changes, how social norms change, how we engage with technology but now and for the future, that will again change our behaviour.
Through the course, and chatting with other people studying cyber psychology, one of the things that was coming up in conversation was a place where all their findings could be disseminated to the public. As it’s such a new area of psychology, the only articles that are being shared are through academic media, which the general public doesn’t read.
The frustration with academics is the lack of balanced view on technology and how it works just isn’t out there. This inspired Carolyn, with her marketing background, and having some elements of copywriting in the process, this is something she felt she can do. Launch a website that takes the academic insights which are so brilliant, and bring them into the public domain. So that the general public, can have access to this information, and get a perspective on the positive and negatives to make informed decisions.
*More of our participants stories are soon to be added to our website, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled on our socials.