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Finalists revealed in quest for innovation champions 

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The finalists in a programme to find Nottinghamshire's leading business pioneers have been announced.

After months of submission ten local businesses have been shortlisted to go head-to-head for the chance to win a support package worth £15,000.

All the shortlisted firms will now receive one-to-one coaching and guidance, opening up new commercial opportunities and boosting each business's chances of success.

The Pioneer 10 programme, has been managed by Oxford Innovation, and hosted across the three Nottinghamshire Innovation Centres, Mansfield i-Centre, Newark Beacon and Worksop Turbine.

The shortlisted finalists and their companies are:

  • Os Morgan – Kraft Werks
  • Teri England – Red Fox ID
  • Irma Gilbert – Co Fabrico Ltd
  • Rebecca Aldridge – Balance: Wealth Planning Limited
  • Tim Calnan – CS Design Software
  • Paul Belshaw – Smartersoft
  • Steve Harrison – The Coaching Company
  • John Morley – i-Sourcer
  • Kiyth G Fotitt – Newark Hoverflights UK
  • Billie-Anne Warriner – Fosse Cashflow Solutions

In addition to the contest to find the 10 pioneers, the programme has also supported more than 130 businesses in the county since launching in May through a 100 per cent funded, free growth-coaching programme including workshops, online tools and support.

David Smith, Business Growth Director at Oxford Innovation, said: "The Pioneer 10 community has supported, fostered and encouraged growth through a comprehensive programme of support. All designed at furthering innovation and commercial success across Nottinghamshire.

"As part of the process, we asked for people to apply to become pioneers. The ten ideas with the most potential have now been selected to receive highly valuable one-to-one support from our experienced experts.

"We are looking forward to supporting and rewarding businesses that are innovating within their industries, and now have the tough task of selecting the top two."

After further evaluation, two of the 10 pioneers will be selected by a panel of judges for a long term, high value, high impact business support package.

This year, choosing the final two is down to; Paul Stuart, Head of Enterprise at East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Steve Upcraft, Nottingham University's lead on SME engagement. Julie Reader-Sullivan, of Newark & Sherwood District Council, Mark Mirfin, Managing Director of Love Your Skin, and Femi Ogunshakin, Director of Loftus Stowe Ltd also make up the judging panel..

The £15,000 support packages include one year of business coaching and office space from Oxford Innovation; a year's membership with East Midlands Chamber of Commerce; a digital marketing package; legal guidance.; a social media consultation with professional digital headshots; a HR start-up package, and much more.

The two winning businesses will be announced at the grand finale event on Mansfield i-Centre on Wednesday, March 1.

For more information about Pioneer 10 Notts and to register for the grand final, visit: www.pioneer10-notts.com.