Bootcamper Justin Wins Another Award!

2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp graduate Justin Heasman, MD of SketchWork Productions has won another award! Justin did the visual effects on independent film ‘Burn‘ which won an Honorable Narrative Award in the Los Angeles Movie Awards, which is an on-line virtual festival to celebrate independent film makers and writers from around the world.

Justin announced on his website “After all the hard work on the visual effects for “Burn” – it finally paid off when the film won the Honorable Narrative Award at the Los Angeles Movies Award earlier in the week. The film has been entered into a few more festivals throughout the US, so hopefully we’ll win some more awards in the coming months. Burn has been released as 4 webisodes and is a suspense driven film following friends and lovers through a physical and emotionally collapsing world.”

Burn Poster - by SketchWork ProductionsIn his interview for, Justin explained how he worked on the project entirely by himself and said it took around six to eight weeks to finish all the effects for the film. “The hardest shot was one towards the end which saw a van drive out into the desert under a scorched and stormy sky with about 100 meteors hurtling towards the earth. It was a lovely summer’s day when they filmed it in Nevada so the sky needed replacing with swirling winds, dust storms and thunder flashes. And then I had to create all the meteors in 3D and incorporate them into the scene. It can be very difficult to make it look real as you’ve got to think about things like the shadows that they cast. It was a very complex shot. It was only about 15 seconds worth of footage, but it took a good week to get that one shot.”

Since graduating from the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, Justin has produced a number of corporate films for clients such as Cornwall College and Nissan,  as well as keeping busy with the effects work on a range of independent films. We are glad to hear Justin isn’t resting on his laurels though – he is about to start producing and presenting a fortnightly website series that will show all you need to know about special effects techniques.

To see the latest news on what SketchWork Productions has been up to, visit their website.

Bootcamper Nick Wins Microsoft IE8 Life Academy Competition!

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 Life Academy is a competition to celebrate the Internet’s wealth of possibilities and let entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 25 explore their potential and win £10,000 to make their idea happen. And that’s exactly what one of our Entrepreneurs Bootcamp graduates has just done!

Nick Palfrey, MD of Plymouth-based MooFu Ltd, has developed the Learning Environment Virtual Reality On-Line Simulator (or LEVROS for short!).  From the education-based work that MooFu undertakes, Nick knew that whilst the Government has set out a campaign to build Schools For The Future, they were not being successful in properly engaging students in the design process. So he developed an idea for schools and colleges to use simulator/video games to develop learning spaces. Using games methodology and software will enable 3D models of proposed schools to be explored by students, teachers and parents with amendments made and sent back to the architects. What’s more the software runs on Internet Explorer 8!

Using his contacts gained through the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, Nick has made friends with some of the world’s leading experts and has begun prototyping the idea. And impressing the IE8 Life Academy judges with both his initial pitch and his calmness under the glare of the judging spotlight won him the Creativity Explorer prize, which will enable him to promote the idea further and secure further development funds.

Well Done Nick – the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is really proud of you!

17/05/10 Countdown to 2010 ‘Mini’ Entrepreneurs Bootcamp Begins!

Here at Bootcamp HQ we are getting excited as we are only a week away from our first mini Entrepreneurs Bootcamp! Next Monday at University College Marjon in Plymouth, several brave would-be entrepreneurs will be attempting to take on the might of the full 5-Day immersion event – but in just 2 1/2 days!

If you want to get a flavour of what they will be up against, have a peek into the Bootcamp archives in this blog.  Look out for their stories post-Bootcamp – if they survive!

Upstarts Club 6th May 6-9pm on Twitter too!

The next Upstarts Club™ on 6th May will have a twist! As part of the ‘real life’ hosted networking event (where would-be entrepreneurs meet up with experienced business people who are delighted to share their highs (and lows!) of how they got to their levels of success), organiser and architects of the Upstarts Club™ Sue Windley is hoping to create a virtual community of support as well.  “As someone who has discovered the benefits of linking with other business people through Twitter and LinkedIn, I want to demonstrate what a great resource social media can be to start-up and would-be entrepreneurs. The focus of the Upstarts Club™ is to share real-life knowledge that can make a practical difference to a business idea, and the obvious next route is to go on-line. So as well as the meet-up at Marjon, I will be opening up the ‘virtual floor’ for sharing ideas and experiences.”

Between 6.00 and 9.00pm (UK time) on Thursday 6th May, to take part in the Upstarts Club™ virtually,  simply use the hashtag #UpstartsClub to get linked up to a brilliant on-line business resource for business ‘newbies’ to learn from the real-life experiences of established entrepreneurs.

In addition, if you are thinking of starting up a new business, you can hook into the more interactive ideas, hints and tips of entrepreneurship by joining the virtual Upstarts Club™ groups on FaceBook and LinkedIn. Alternatively you can find out more about the people behind the Upstarts Club™ on the PPG website.

Next Upstarts Club™ – Plymouth – Thursday May 6th 2010

We are delighted to announce that the next Upstarts Club™ will be hosted by Marjon on Thursday May 6th 2010.

The Upstarts Club™ is open to would-be, new and experienced entrepreneurs who want the chance to chat informally about developing new businesses.  For the ‘newbies’ you have the chance to learn from the real-life experiences of our established entrepreneurs – and those of us who have “been there and done that” we always enjoy getting to hear new ideas!

The Upstarts Club™ is a hosted networking event which means attendees get introduced to the contacts they need and learn quickly from the tips and ideas on offer.  Unlike most networks, the Upstarts Club™ concentrates on sharing knowledge by introducing novices and start ups to established business people and business support specialists who can make a practical difference to a business idea.

Thanks to our hosts Marjon, the Upstarts Club™ is free of charge to attend but we do need to know you’re coming, so we can make sure the catering has enough to go round (yes, we’ll even feed and water you too!).  You can book your place by contacting either Sue Windley (PPG’s Marketing Director and Founder of the Upstarts Club™) or Nicky Primavesi (President of Marjon’s Student Union).

In addition, if you are thinking of starting up a new business, you can hook into the more interactive  ideas, hints and tips of entrepreneurship by joining the virtual Upstarts Club™ groups on FaceBook and LinkedIn.  Alternatively you can find out more about the people behind the Upstarts Club™ on the PPG website.

15/12/2009: Introducing the Upstarts Club™

The Upstarts Club™ is a practical approach to developing the knowledge and skills of new and would-be entrepreneurs by introducing them to established entrepreneurs and business people as part of a hosted peer-to-peer network.

Membership of the Upstarts Club™ is automatic for every participant of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ and Bootcamp in a Box®, but is also open to anyone with a business idea who wants to know how to take the next steps to turn it into a commercial reality by picking the brains of established and successful business people who are willing to share their experience.

Typically taking place on a quarterly basis, the Upstarts Club™ can be delivered in two parts:

– An afternoon seminar focusing on key areas of getting a new business off the ground where the subject areas are delivered on demand by attendees (eg marketing, finance, management etc).  These workshops can be open to students, new business start ups, employees looking for innovative approaches to gaining competitive advantage etc.  Typical audience size will be 40 – 50 attendees.

– A hosted evening networking event with invited established entrepreneurs to be available to chat informally with workshop attendees and other new business start-ups.  As a hosted networking event, attendees can be introduced to the contacts they need so that they get the information they want from the practical hints and tips of successful entrepreneurs to professional advice and guidance of business support specialists.

The Upstarts Club™ is usually sponsored by an organisation (to cover the seminar delivery and venue costs) which enables attendees to participate free of charge (with an additional option, if funds permit, of having a presentation by a high profile business speaker).  Unlike most networks, the Upstarts Club™ concentrates on sharing knowledge by introducing novices and start ups to established business people who can make a practical difference to a business idea.

These pages will feature articles and ideas from a variety of sources aimed to help novice entrepreneurs.  In addition, if you are thinking of starting up a new business, you can hook into the more interactive  ideas, hints and tips of entrepreneurship by joining the virtual Upstarts Club™ groups on FaceBook and LinkedIn.

Alternatively you can find out more about the people behind the Upstarts Club™ on the PPG website.

18/11/09 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ “12th Man” Wins Employer of the Year Award


We are delighted to announce that Security Management South West Ltd last night won a Heart FM Pride of Plymouth Award as Employer of the Year.  Held each year, the Pride of Plymouth awards highlight outstanding businesses and individuals from the Plymouth community who have “…gone above and beyond the call of duty”.

Each nominee is voted for by Heart FM’s listeners and the final three in each category got to attend Heart’s Pride of Plymouth Gala Evening yesterday evening at The New Continental Hotel. The evening was hosted by Heart Breakfast’s Maxine & Hamish and according to the radio stations’s website “It was a touching and emotional night as we heard the reasons behind each of the winners nominations and at times there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!”

Security Management South West were nominated for the Employer of the Year category which is sponsored by Job Centre Plus, who said “We have been looking for an outstanding business who has helped to get unemployed people working, from varying backgrounds.  This employer will be recognised as a valued business who has helped towards developing the local community.”

According to Job Centre Plus, what probably got so many people to vote for them made Ken York and Jay Morrish, Directors of Security Management South West the winners was: “We would like to nominate Ken York and Jay Morrish at Security Management South West (SMSW) for the care and attention they have shown long term job seekers in Plymouth and Devon.  SMSW have built relationships with public and volunteer organisations to make their vision of providing lasting and supportive employment to jobseekers with serious barriers to work including incapacity, lone parents, poverty, learning difficulties and drug and alcohol misuse.

This excellent work has so far gone unrewarded while Ken and Jay have continued to support their employees with a rewarding career, employment potential and training.”

Hear, hear! We agree!  And Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ is especially proud of Ken and Jay.  We first met Ken when he applied to come on the 2007 Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™.   He had some great business ideas but we didn’t have a 12th sponsor to enable him to attend the 5-Day Bootcamp, so the Bootcamp’s host company Pragmatic Performance Group provided mentoring support to SMSW as the Bootcamp’s “12th man”!  These guys know just how to balance the business needs with ensuring their staff are looked after, so they are worthy winners of this Employer of the Year award.

Sue Windley

Co-Designer of the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp