The FreshMinds team won the London regional final of the Bank of Scotland Corporate Entrepreneur Challenge. Its prize: an interest-free investment package of up to £5m. While the exact amount is calculated in accordance with an assessment of the company's assets, FreshMinds reckons it's placed to receive at least £3m - a tidy package for any growing business. Especially at the moment, when capital isn't exactly falling from the skies.
The winning company was co-founded by Caroline Plumb, who appeared in MT's annual ‘35 Women Under 35' list in 2005, at the age of only 26. It shows you don't have to be a den-dwelling Dragon to be able to spot the business successes of the future. Indeed, it's reassuring to see that the BBC 2 show isn't the only source of funding being put forward to back self-starters. That ambitious people don't have to haul themselves through the ruthless mangle of national television to grow their business can only be a good thing.
Nick Wheeler, one of the judges and founder of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, said: ‘ We were looking for a true entrepreneur - and the entrepreneurial skills of FreshMinds made the difference in the end.' The vanquished finalists were Gü Chocolate Puds, Country House Weddings, online fundraising site Justgiving, and Quintessentially, the luxury lifestyle group.
FreshMinds, which impressed the panel with its continuous growth since forming in 2000, plans to invest the money in its latest venture - FreshNetworks, a digital marketing agency based around online communities. Blog it now.