Would you benefit from having a mentor to help you grow and scale your business? Once approved for startup funding you will be offered the opportunity to be matched with an experienced mentor to help you over the next 12 months absolutely free. Did you know that you can apply for as little as £500 in startup funding to receive the benefits a mentor can provide! 

Click the button below to learn more!


Patrick Wimble

Patrick Wimble is a proven commercial leader in the hospitality sector with over 25 years’ multi-industry and multi-geographical experience. His experience includes revenue management, sales, marketing, distribution functions and hotel operations. He has led and coached high performing teams across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His core skills include:

• Coaching and mentoring teams and individuals.
• Creating organisational change management programmes.
• Developing and implementing hotel, area and regional commercial strategies.
• New hotel opening positioning and strategies.
• Developing and delivering commercial training programmes.

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Ali is an award winning international business leader with a speciality in driving sales and marketing turnaround, transformation and accelerated profits growth.  Ali has a 20-year track record in ensuring that business delivers return on investment. Her resolutely commercial and consumer focus has seen her solve challenging commercial issues at top-flight companies in highly competitive sectors, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Whitbread, Royal Mail and Hilton.  Her current role is Chief Commercial Officer at Fitness First, one of the world’s leading health and fitness brands.

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kate strong

Kate Strong is a serial entrepreneur and after graduating from a French university with a Double Masters in Engineering, she moved to Sydney, Australia where she created a multi-award winning wine bar, guesthouse & 65-seater restaurant. She sold up and travelled through Asia setting up micro-businesses in remote locations for villagers to be self-sufficient. She’s also not shy of personal achievements, being 2014 World Champion in triathlon and being the first female in the world to cycle non-stop for 24 hours on a static bike! She’s also a TEDx speaker and speaks across Europe covering positive mindset, health and business topics.

Kate is currently a Success Coach creating & coaching companies that want to disrupt the marketplace and positively contribute to society.

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Hi, I’m Giles Cooper! I’m an energetic and enthusiastic Entrepreneur that loves challenges; constantly striving to better myself and encourage others. I maximise my potential to its fullest every moment of every day and will share my inspiration, aspirations and motivation with you.

Within a 7 year period, I built and lost everything twice. Consequently, I learned valuable lessons that give me a unique insight into building and growing a business and is how I created and developed the entrepreneurial spirit that has led me to where I am today.
If you know you’ve got it in you to succeed but need that extra push and motivation, let’s work together to change your life!

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andrew walker

Working in software since graduating in 1989, Andrew is now on his fourth startup and has experienced the lows and highs of starting and growing software companies. His last startup, Clicktools was bootstrapped from 3 to over 50 people and was partly acquired by SurveyMonkey before being fully acquired by Callidus. Now, as well as mentoring with Virgin Startups, Andrew is working on ikooloo, a mobile first software solution to help SMEs understand and grow their business. 


James morby

I Guess I always knew that I'd work for myself. From a young age I dreamed and believed that I'd better myself.

I worked in the corporate world for a few years before frustration set in and I quit my job and embarked on an entrepreneurial life of excitement, risk and great rewards. I am involved in numerous businesses in the UK and Asia and have recently launched a new business in digital fashion. I love helping start-ups and my main focus is in fashion.

I feel incredibly lucky despite a debilitating illness and I love everyday and the challenges it brings.

My beliefs in business have modified slightly over the years however I still believe first and foremost in investing in what you believe in - whether that's time or money. Go for it all guns blazing and don't be scared of failure! Have a plan and stick to it employing people in each position who are better at that job than you and you won't go far wrong.

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debbie sadd

Debbie Sadd is a Principal Academic in the Department of Events and Leisure within the Faculty of Management at Bournemouth University, where she lectures Strategy & Leadership, Change Management, Strategic Planning and Marketing on both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. 

Other activities include being part of the ESRC funded Sports Tourism initiative (STORMING) to undertake research into Sports Tourism opportunities and challenges, and the F.A.M.E. framework of event evaluation (HEIF Funded) and the FestiM project using social media to measure event reach

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Russ Taplin

Russ has 30 years of experience in the UK Financial Services Market, working with organisations such as Barclays and more recently LV= where he supported the Managing Director of the Life and Pensions business over a period of significant success and industry change - in this role he was the trusted eyes, ears and counsel of the MD for nearly half a decade.

Russ has successfully run various business and product areas, including a credit card business, specialist Retirement product management, as well as project managing one of Europe’s largest database projects at that time (although Russ now has a laptop that’s bigger!) Over this time, he has lead in all sizes and types of teams. 

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Graham Smedley

Over 40 years of successful involvement with businesses in differing sectors all experiencing rapid change, growth and challenge. This includes a number of venture capital supported start-ups where I have been retained as either CFO or CEO. It would be stimulating to help young entrepreneurs to achieve their goals by offering them the benefit of my unbiased knowledge and experience

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Jason Saywood

I support (inter-)nationally operating companies, trade organizations with their business development and marketing strategies, enabling them to expand into new industries, sectors and countries.

Jason worked for a full service advertising agency in The UK, specializing in  travel sector. As Advertising Manager at TTG (Travel Trade Gazette) part of United News and Media Group. Jason was in charge of sales and an international network of 50 sales representatives with a budget of GBP 9 million, developing new titles and supplements, supporting offices and tradeshows around the world.

Since 2016 Jason has been a Mentor for The World Startup Factory and working on international marketing projects for Beko consultancy in the Hague.


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I am an experienced and enthusiastic individual who is highly results driven. I have proven skills in business development, digital design, customer service, retail, sales, team working and project management. These skills coupled with an in-depth knowledge of interior design, as well as a passion for excellence and professional loyalty. I have worked from a young age in all sectors and currently, work at director level positions in high turnover companies. 80% of the clients I work with are start-up companies and SME's so I am well experienced to advise new entrepreneurs.


Would you like to become a mentor?

If you believe that you are the right person to guide future business leaders, we encourage you to become a mentor and have a go!

Simply send us your details below and we will get back to you!


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* A £500 loan with repayments spread over 5 years at 6% costs £10 per month *