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Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship creative spark Georgia project case study

In the first year of the research project the start-up business Sapo was a major success story, producing homemade, natural and child-friendly soaps in the shape of animals. Sapo benefited from the project's Start-Up Incubator, increasing its production and sales, and went onto become an international winner in the creative category of the Big Idea Challenge 2019. In addition to gaining prize money, Sapo received expert mentoring and an invitation to the Startup Sprint led by London Accelerator.

The second year of the project saw even greater successes. Many companies took part in a Business Clinic, designed to offer new businesses one-on-one guidance from a business expert, and a Start-Up Bootcamp hosted by BTU to help new businesses formulate a business plan. Notable companies that used these opportunities to develop included Phubber (a digital marketplace for buying and selling clothes), Villam App and Hardware (a digital solution for farm and cattle disease management), Unikeys (an app for the hospitality sector) and Elven Technologies (a business that creates technologically advanced personal protection suits).

Thanks to the project's support, Phubber are now exploring international business opportunities, Villam App and Hardware received an invitation to pitch for funding at the Global Startup Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Summit and Elven Technologies won the Georgia IDEAFEST Competition and earned £1,000 prize money to develop their business idea further and turn their prototype into a final product. Perhaps most impressively of all, Unikeys won a 'digital demo day' and were rewarded with a chance to meet potential investors through the prestigious Georgia Innovation and Technology Agency.

Authors Dr Lebene Soga