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!

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

Day 1: Bootcampers vs Tigers!

On their first day of immersion in the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, the Bootcampers explored what it means to be a good leader, especially when life conspires to make things difficult for the entrepreneur! We were privilidged to have the chance to meet and chat with Ben Mee, owner of the Dartmoor Zoological Park. You may remember Ben’s Zoo on the BBC that showed his story of how as a writer with no previous experience in zoology, he spent his family’s life savings to re-open DZP in July 2007.

Ben’s story is inspirational for new and would-be entrepreneurs in demonstrating how sheer determination to succeed will enable you to beat the odds and still win. As well as taking the Bootcampers through the highs and lows of his ‘adventures’, Ben then took us all on a personal guided tour of the zoo to show us just how far the zoo has developed since it first re-opened. He even introduced the Bootcampers to the Tigers – a unique experience of getting that close to a tiger is something the Bootcampers won’t forget in a hurry! At least it will give them the confidence to deal with Dragons in the future!

25/03/2009 EB News Archive


25 March 2009 by Matt Fleming, Business Editor, Plymouth Herald

Plymouth’s 2nd Entrepreneurs Bootcamp™ begins on Monday 30 March 2009. The challenge – which aims to give the participants five years’ worth of business experience in as many days – will take place throughout next week. The first event was held in March 2007 and the challenge this year aims to build on its success.

The 2007 Bootcamp saw 11 business wannabes taking part in mental and physical challenges including exercises with the Royal Marines. They also got the chance to meet finance experts and pick the business brains of people such as puzzle entrepreneur Danny Bamping. All the participants have now moved forward with their business ideas to either expand their companies or actually start trading.

Co-designer Sue Windley, of Pragmatic Performance Group Ltd, said this year’s Bootcamp would be divided into three parts: the five-day immersion event which would take place next week, then monthly workshop meetings where various activities would happen as a follow-up for one year, as well as mentoring meetings each month with each Bootcamper to keep their business ideas on track. The exact details of what await the Bootcampers – who were recruited through a Dragons’ Den-style competition – are being kept as a secret for the first part of the challenge, taking place next week.

The participants are a mixture of new entrepreneurs who have been successful in winning sponsorship by local organisations and recently established business people who are paying their own way through the experience.  “We’re particularly excited about this year’s challenge,” said Sue. “Everybody’s talking about the recession and we want to challenge people to start up a business during it. The Bootcamp accelerates the start-up of the participants’ businesses and will build on what we achieved in 2007.”

18/11/2008 EB News Archive


18th November 2008: A ‘TASTER’ for the 2009 Entrepreneurs’ Bootcamp took place today at the i-Space at Marjon as part of National Enterprise Week events in Plymouth.

The 2007 Bootcamp was hailed as a great success due to the number of participants who went on to set up and grow their own businesses – and organisers plan to replicate this success with the 2nd Bootcamp in March 2009.

To give would-be entrepreneurs an idea of what they will face, a ‘taster’ session was help today at Marjon’s i-Space (one of the sponsors and home of the 2009 Bootcamp) when the five-day event was squeezed into just two hours!

According to Bootcamp co-designer Sue Windley, the taster featured ‘a little bit of everything that the 2007 bootcampers faced.  This taster aimed to give potential entrants the full flavour of what difference five days can make to the success of a business idea, and what they need to do to survive one of the most gruelling new business development programmes around’.

So several volunteers found themselves trying to figure out a triangular puzzle; build tall structures out of newspaper and work out how to save a business from disaster – all in just 2 hours!  Split into teams, the participants found out what it felt like to be put under pressure, with one commenting: “Although I knew it was only for fun, I couldn’t believe just how competitive it got, especially when our allotted time was counting down!”

The 2009 bootcampers will be selected by sponsors through competitions hosted by The Herald and Marjon in February, so the taster will also be the first chance for participants to find out what qualities the sponsors are looking for in them.