Winners announced for BIPC Jumpstart grant programme

March 3, 2022

Four Cambridgeshire businesses awarded funding and prize package by pitch day judges

The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has today confirmed the winners of the BIPC Jumpstart programme, further to a live final pitching event at their regional centre in Cambridge Central Library on Monday 28 February 2021.

Eight shortlisted businesses were invited to pitch to a panel of business leader judges, with four winners each awarded £5k of funding and additional prizes to support their business growth.

The BIPC Jumpstart winners are:

  • Annika Bennett, Acben Music – Cambridge
  • Amy Corney, Acorn Flower Farm – Ramsey
  • Lisa Kent, REUSE2GO – Cambridge
  • Rebekah Watson, Rebekah Daven Photography – Wyton

The winning businesses are situated within Cambridgeshire and each works in a distinct sector – from education to farming, sustainable logistics and photography.

As the creator of Acben Music, Cambridge’s Annika Bennett is set to launch a unique online education platform for instrument tuition; with her grant enabling her to develop a prototype of the site.

As the driving force behind Acorn Flower Farm in Ramsey, Amy Corney has cultivated a cut flower farm that sells seasonal and sustainable flowers and foliage directly to customers and florists. With a grant now confirmed, Amy can purchase and install a commercial polytunnel on her farm.

Cambridge based REUSE2GO, led by Lisa Kent and co-Founder Luisa is a digital “return and reuse” logistics system for takeaway food and drink containers; with grant support now in place for software development, legal, and operational costs.

The lifestyle portrait photography business Rebekah Daven Photography owned and operated by Rebekah Watson specialises in equestrian images showcasing the relationship between a horse and its rider. Start-up equipment, marketing, and insurances are all now ensured thanks to the BIPC Jumpstart grant.

Also pitching on the day, and confirmed as runners up were:

  • Phil Carter, Bluewindow Training Ltd – Ely
  • Verity Lott, Healthy Marketing Consultancy Service – Peterborough
  • Christopher Ord, SWIM – Hampton, Peterborough
  • Emma Peters, GLO – St Neots

Four pitch judges scored each shortlisted applicant on the merit of their pitch, before confirming the final 2022 BIPC Jumpstart grant recipients.

The BIPC Jumpstart pitch judges were:

  • Julie Deane CBE – Founder and Chief Executive of The Cambridge Satchel Company
  • Vic Annells – Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce
  • Danielle Bridge – Founder and Chief Executive of ABC Life Support
  • Alex Hughes – Founder of Shift Momentum and Shifties

Speaking on behalf of the BIPC Jumpstart pitch judges to summarise the day, Julie Deane CBE – Founder and Chief Executive of The Cambridge Satchel Company said: “It was an absolute honour for my fellow judges and I to meet such an array of businesses at the beginning of their start up journey. Each business owner delivered their pitch with real passion; and the commitment and determination to succeed was clear to see.

“In any awards programme, it is always so very hard to choose the final winners. For Amy, Annika, Lisa, and Rebekah we are confident of the impact that the BIPC Jumpstart grant and wider prize package will provide to them. Whilst not all applicants were able to gain the full package of support, the free business support tools available from BIPC Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are open and available to everyone, and we encourage local start-ups and existing small businesses to fully engage with the opportunities on offer.”

A large number of BIPC Jumpstart applications were initially received, collectively requesting over £200,000 worth of grant support. The final shortlist of eight businesses was chosen by three BIPC Jumpstart consultants, based on strict scoring criteria. These consultants – Councillor Lis Every (East Cambridgeshire), Tom Hennessey (Chief Executive of Opportunity Peterborough) and local restaurateur Andy Maul (Bygones in Wisbech) – then worked with each business in the run up to the live event, to ensure they were pitch ready.

To apply, business owners were asked to highlight how a grant allocation (of up to a maximum of £5000) would make a difference to their business and submit within an application form and separate business plan. Eligibility criteria also required that businesses had to participate in three or more BIPC business support activities, and be registered within Cambridgeshire & Peterborough on or after 14 January 2021, or within two months of receiving the grant. A total prize pot of £30k was originally allocated for the programme.

The BIPC Jumpstart programme was developed by The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, part of Cambridgeshire Libraries. The programme was launched in November 2021 – offering grants, resources and support designed to help start-up businesses get set and grow. A total £20k of grants has now been awarded as a key benefit of the programme; as well as further prizes and business support packages for the winners. More about the programme is available to view at, with an array of pre-event promotions showcased on social media using the hashtag #BIPCjumpstart.

The Business & IP Centre Cambridgeshire & Peterborough provides free and low-cost business support and advice to start-up business owners, entrepreneurs, and inventors. From five BIPC libraries across the area – Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, Peterborough and Wisbech – its in-house experts and incredible resources support pre-start and start-up businesses every day. The Centre is part of the British Library’s highly successful network of library-based BIPCs across England, and is delivered through Cambridgeshire County Council & Peterborough City Council.