Challenge Partners

Our Challenge partners help support contestants with professional advice and guidance throughout the competition

"If you are student with an idea, it doesn't matter how daft you think it is, get in touch with FZ and get some support to do the Business Challenge. That's what I did, and nearly a year later I'm on the cusp of having a product on the market!"

Tom Pavelle, Challenge winner

Formation Zone Business Challenge Partners


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Santander Universities

Our support to Plymouth dates back to 2011 when we signed our first agreement with the university. Today our commitment with students, staff and researchers on campus stands stronger than ever and we are proud to continue funding scholarships, travel grants, internships and enterprise initiatives such as the Formation Zone challenge.


Ashfords is a leading UK law firm delivering high quality legal and professional services to businesses and individuals throughout the UK and abroad. Tom Phipps (Partner) and Giles Lane (Solicitor) are part of Ashfords’ IP/Commercial Team, specialising in in advising clients on intellectual property and commercial contract matters.

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AE Group

The AE Group works with clients across the globe to produce the highest quality media and prize winning brand management.

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Bright Solicitors

Bright Solicitors is an award winning law firm with offices in both Plymouth & Ivybridge that advises on both personal and business legal issues,. Our business clients range from start-up to small and medium sized companies. We combine market leading legal expertise with a friendly and open approach to offer the help and advice business owners and decision makers need.

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Business Edge

Managed by Colin Robson and John Montell, Business Edge South West provide high quality advice regarding government departmental grant funding, capital raising, financial reporting, accounting and taxation issues, preparation of business plans and setting key performance indicators.

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We believe that marketing communication is not an art form. It is an investment. As an investment, it must deliver on meeting or exceeding our client’s business goals. In a cluttered world where it’s a battle for engagement, we fuel demand by connecting consumers to our clients’ brands through clever market insights and cross channel creative ideas.

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Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre

The Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre is a business acceleration facility that welcomes knowledge based businesses within sectors that support health and/or wellbeing. It is a state of the art three storey building with a fourth lower conference area and a total net rentable floor space of approximately 2,200m² to include production/manufacturing units and a further 500m² of meeting room/conference space.

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At NatWest we know how exciting it is to run your own business. Of course its challenging too. There will be times when small businesses need extra support and that’s where NatWest Boost can help. This free service is about giving small businesses all the training, tools and advice needed to grow.

Our local Business Growth Enablers are at the heart of Boost and they can provide great business insights on a huge range of topics. Our local Business Growth Enabler is Lynn Ross, mobile 07785525660.

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N.J. Akers & Co

N J Akers & Co provides a complete intellectual property service, including all aspects of the law relating to patents, trade marks, designs & copyright. We are qualified to represent clients before the United Kingdom Patent Office, the European Patent Office and the Community Trade Mark Office (OHIM). The firm also has an established network of associate law firms around the world through which a complete international intellectual property portfolio can be established, defended and enforced.

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PKF Francis Clark

PKF-Francis Clark is all about people; experts who work with you to achieve your goals and objectives. As the largest independent firm of accountants in the region, we have the expertise and the experience you need. We advise family businesses, corporate businesses, professional practices, private clients and not for profit organisations, from our eight offices positioned throughout the South and South West of England.

Our team are well-versed across a multitude of industries, including property, education, solicitors, agriculture and charities. Among many strands, we specialise in international tax advice and family business planning.  Similarly, if it’s payroll, corporate tax planning, business recovery, or valuation services you’re looking for, then get in touch with us today.


Plymouth PatLib

Plymouth PatLib Centre provides information and signposting to the public on the main elements of Intellectual Property, namely patents, copyright, trademarks and designs. We offer free 1:1 appointments at Central Library and support clients of the One Stop Ideas Shop sessions which take place at Plymouth University.

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Plymouth Social Enterprise Network

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network (PSEN) is a member-led network of social enterprises in Plymouth. PSEN facilitates regular learning and networking events for members and was instrumental in achieving Plymouth’s status as the first UK social enterprise city. There are around 150 social enterprises in Plymouth, employing a collective 7000 people and bringing in £500 million to the local economy.There are around 150 social enterprises in Plymouth, employing a collective 7000 people and bringing in £500 million to the local economy.

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Pool Innovation Centre

Pool Innovation Centre (PIC) was the first of three innovation centres built in Cornwall in 2010. It provides quality workspace and business support to start up and existing businesses with ambition and potential for growth. The management of these Innovation Centres is delivered by Plymouth University on behalf of Cornwall Council.

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Stephens Scown

Stephens Scown is a top 200 national law firm.  Our clients are impressive ranging from high street brands and international firms to large landed estates.  In an independent legal survey we come top for client satisfaction – 99% would recommend our services. We are one of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies To Work For.

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Thompson Jenner LLP

Thompson Jenner LLP is one of Devon’s leading independent chartered accountants, business advisers and tax consultants. Our specialist teams of accountants and tax advisers have been successfully delivering expert guidance, help and support to entrepreneurs and new business start-ups across the region for over sixty years.

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Tremough Innovation Centre

Tremough Innovation Centre supports businesses with an aspiration for growth from the eco, enviro, media and creative sectors.  Located adjacent to the combined university campus in Penryn the building welcomes both established businesses looking for support to accelerate growth and new entrepreneurs looking for advice and guidance to shape sustainable development.

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Independent insurance brokers providing specific and personal advice to individual businesses about their business risks. We provide guidance in the design of insurance programmes to address your insurable risks and can access a wide range of insurers to quote and provide the right cover for you.

Based in Plymouth we are one of the largest firms in our sector in the South West. We have won national recognition as “Independent regional broker of the year” and have achieved CII Chartered status as well as “Investors in People” accreditation.”


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