Sussex Business Times - Issue 403 2016

Page 27

Entrepreneurial Spark

is delighted to be supporting Opportunity Knocks to showcase the entrepreneurial talent in Brighton and the south east. It’s exciting to see pioneering events like this emerge when the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem partners come together.” During the day-long event, representatives organised and carried out a Dragon’s Den-style pitching masterclass as a way of preparing promising members of the audience for the perfect pitch – a very beneficial element to hopeful entrepreneurs. Award-winning Acumen Business Law’s Penina Shepherd, who has previously been crowned ‘Entrepreneur of the Year for the South by the British Chamber of Commerce’, shared an inspirational speech based on ‘Thriving on your Passion’, which is also the subject of her new book: The Freedom Revolution. During her talk with the audience, she spoke about her background, introducing the term “entreprewhore” to describe her journey of climbing the corporate ladder rather than her dreams. She also informed people that money should not be the motivation, but if you follow your passion, you’re more likely to succeed financially. During her speech, Penina listed her seven top tips for a successful startup: • Pursue your passion and you will thrive • Give something to the community • Overestimate yourself • Take full responsibility • Have a positive mindset and attitude • Be extraordinary • Never give up As well as Penina’s valuable insight, Opportunity Knocks introduced Mark Koska, who is the founder of LifeSaver and the K1 Auto-Disable Syringe, which

the World Health Organisation credited for saving over 10 million lives since 2001. During his appearance at Opportunity Knocks, Marc told the audience of 200 promising entrepreneurs to ‘focus on the problem before the solution.’ Marc invented the K1 Auto-Disable Syringe as a way of targeting the fatal re-use of injection equipment, which has proved to be the world’s 9th biggest cause of Hepatitis every year. His view is that, by advising entrepreneurs to fully understand the problem before worrying about the solution, you are provided with a lot of confidence as you grow your own business.

Overall, Opportunity Knocks was a very successful event, with hundreds of hopeful and determined entrepreneurs taking in the advice and inspiration handed to them. Entrepreneurial Spark Awards On Wednesday 20th July, at the home of Brighton’s Entrepreneurial Spark in Preston Road, an evening of celebration ensued with the Entrepreneurial Spark Awards. Headed into the room where the prizes would be handed out, there was a fantastically vibrant and excited atmosphere fueled by the anticipation of the grand total of £30,000 up for grabs. As readers will know, Sussex Business Times has had a close relationship with the Entrepreneurial Spark program, attending many an event in Preston Road and over the year we have gotten to know some of the growing start ups – and the ‘chiclets’ themselves – fairly well. These awards are designed to recognise the individuals within the program, their achievements throughout their 18 months within it, the challenges they’ve overcome, their personal development as well as the development and success of their business. Some came into the program with simply an idea, some with more of an already established business plan or a company already up and running, so the program – and this room – was filled with a huge variety of inspiration and entrepreneurial talent. 27