The first eight members of the GAIN20 have been revealed. Identified by an expert panel led by Plymouth University’s GAIN team as some of the most exciting and innovative entrepreneurs in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, they will have access to a unique mix of opportunities and support over 12 months.
The inaugural members of the exclusive network range from entrepreneurs behind Halto and the Peninsula Honey Company to established firms like Singer Instruments and Sentinel Healthcare.
The businesses were found through a Crowdfunding campaign, as well as the first Plymouth SOUP event and direct approaches to GAIN following publicity last year.
As part of their remit to deliver business growth in the South West, Plymouth University’s GAIN team is working with partners across the region to identify and bring together the 20 businesses. The aim of the network is to boost enterprise and innovation while working with Plymouth University’s students, and tapping into its research opportunities and world-class facilities.
Corporate Projects Manager for Plymouth University, Richard Adams, said:
“We’re scouring the region for the most exciting, dynamic entrepreneurs. We’ve had a fantastic response from a diverse range of businesses – from startups to long-standing firms – and are delighted to announce the first eight members of the network. All these members have been chosen because they are different from each other in terms of their areas of excellence, business journey and size. These are the creative minds that can genuinely innovate, the game-changers. The network will ultimately have 20 members, so we are very interested in hearing from other businesses. The GAIN20 is the first network of its kind and is a unique opportunity for South West businesses to tap into a wealth of expertise, support and facilities.”
GAIN20 members will have exclusive access to networking groups and events, Plymouth University facilities, equipment and knowledge and peer-to-peer support from the other members. They will be introduced to a community of established, passionate pathfinder businesses who have achieved sustained growth through innovation or diversification. Members will also have the opportunity to promote themselves through blogs, diaries and articles published on www.gaininbusiness.com.
As part of GAIN20, innovative South West-based businesses and projects that crowdfund with Crowdfunder, the UK's #1 crowdfunding platform, can access match funding, if they meet GAIN's criteria. The two projects that have attracted GAIN funding so far are Truvision, and Halto.
Crowdfunder's MD, Phil Geraghty, said:
"Crowdfunder is delighted to be offering crowdfunding projects in the South West the opportunity to be selected as one of the GAIN20, and access up to £3,000 of match funding for their project. Plymouth University and GAIN are key partners for Crowdfunder and this is a great example of how we can work together to support businesses and start ups to turn their ideas into reality."
Francis Clark is one of the GAIN20 pathfinder businesses, whose role is to provide answers to the questions the members cannot source among themselves. Partner Martin Atkins said:
“Francis Clark is committed to helping the region’s businesses achieve their potential. Being involved in the GAIN20 is a great way for us to support ambitious companies of all sectors and sizes to innovate and grow.”
GAIN20 member Roland Gude of Sentinel Healthcare said:
“We are delighted to be accepted for the GAIN20 because we want to be able to work in partnership with other organisations like Plymouth University that are not typically part of the NHS market. There are some fabulous opportunities for businesses to support the NHS in its transition which we believe will make a fundamental difference to the way we deliver health and social care. If we are proactive and respond to the changing landscape we can help to protect the fragile nature of the NHS. We feel that the help, support and mentoring that would be afforded by the GAIN20 would help us to achieve these aims.”
Somerset entrepreneur Sally Marks, creator of the UK’s first children’s reward board with a combined app – the TOTSUP® Big Red Bus – said:
"I am delighted to have been selected to join the GAIN20 network and very proud to be part of such an innovative initiative. The support and expertise this network will offer will be hugely beneficial as I grow and expand TOTSUP® and I am very excited about the opportunities this will bring."