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Entrepreneurial Spark is the brainchild of a Saltire Foundation Fellow, Jim Duffy, a serial entrepreneur and a man impassioned to give back to Scotland…

His vision is pretty straightforward but with every entrepreneur also aggressively ambitious;

To create a business start-up renaissance in and from Scotland – through the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours.

To do so Jim has, to date created two ‘Hatcheries’ in 2o12 as he calls them – high growth business accelerators to fast track start-ups with phenomenal growth potential.

The model is simple. An entrepreneur offers free space and facilities to E-Spark, the local Councils provide modest funding and Jim and his team then hothouse innovative entrepreneurs to create high growth businesses…

To date we have a West Coast Hatchery where we in West Coast Capital have provided support and a Glasgow Hatchery led by our good friend Sir Willie Haughey of City Refrigeration. But as we go to print this nascent model is about to spread to Edinburgh, Inverness, Dundee and we hope Aberdeen creating a network of high growth activity across Scotland.

But Jim doesn’t hold his breath, he has also created an enviable partnership with the US’s leading entrepreneurial educational establishment, Babson College and is creating local partnerships with schools, colleges and Universities to enable the next generation of entrepreneurs for Scotland.

Others too have recognised the power of E-Spark with the Royal Bank of Scotland sponsoring – and it has to be said hands mentoring ‘chicklets’ – the facilities with £375,000 of support. E-Spark also stimulated our economic agencies and, let by Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney MSP created a £1m Scottish Edge Fund where high growth start-up’s compete for much needed investment funds…

All told it’s an impressive story – to find out more about E-Spark go to www.entrepreneurial-spark.com

Storkup

Storkup, an online social shopping community aimed at mothers and established by Ayrshire entrepreneurs Fiona McDonald and Claire Gillespie, has received a six-figure injection from Bauer Media Group.

The money will support the launch of the service, which enables users to build a list of products that catch their eye as they browse the internet.

Ms McDonald said: “We are extremely proud and excited to be receiving such a significant investment from a company as respected as Bauer Media Group”.

Metrics

Jim and his team at Entrepreneurial Spark are certainly not short of ambition, aiming high:

To create a business start-up renaissance in and from Scotland – though the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and behaviours…

Well so far they have not come up short, two Hatcheries are already underway and as we go to print the Edinburgh Hatchery has been confirmed for Spring 2013 with entrepreneur in residence, Ann Gloag, an entrepreneurial and philanthropic dynamo in her own right – confirmed to lead the way there with Edinburgh City Council and Napier University… Next up Aberdeen, Inverness or Dundee?

To give a small sense of what this us all about here are a few of the metrics for the Glasgow and Ayrshire Hatcheries:

Glasgow Hatchery – Opened November 2011

Metrics Measured

  • No of chiclets in Hatchery – 50
  • Total number of people – 82
  • No of chiclets flown the coop (off building businesses) – 32
  • No of chiclets working with mentors – 47
  • No of chiclets with global reach – 16
  • No of patents/ trademarks – 15
  • No of licences/ franchises – 14

West Coast Hatchery – Opened June 2012

Metrics Measured

  • No of chiclets in Hatchery – 48
  • Total number of people – 69
  • No of chiclets flown the coop (off building businesses) – 3
  • No of chiclets working with mentors – 47
  • No of chiclets with global reach – 11
  • No of chiclets generating revenue – 30
  • No of patents/ trademarks – 4
  • No of licences/ franchises – 2

An amazing start to what will be an incredible journey for Scotland