Challenge Partners

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

Santander Universities

The Formation Zone Business Challenge is sponsored by Santander Universities, who provide the funds for our prize packages and are on hand to support our businesses during the competition. Their support is an integral part of making the Challenge a success.

The University of Plymouth enjoys a longstanding partnership with Santander Universities. Santander Universities Scholarships are worth more than £50,000 per year and, alongside sponsorship of competitions like the Business Challenge, enhance the Plymouth student experience, employability and internationalisation.


Formation Zone Business Challenge Partners


Ashfords is a national provider of legal, regulatory and professional services.

We deliver responsive and commercial advice to our clients across the full spectrum range of industry sectors. We make it our business to understand our clients’ needs and objectives from the start, and we work with clients to ensure that our approach reflects their requirements and aims.

AE Group logo

AE Group

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

Bright Solicitors logo

Bright Solicitors

Bright Solicitors are a Plymouth based commercial law firm with a business strapline of ‘modern legal thinking’ to support and advise their clients. Providing an excellent customer service to start-up businesses as well as to more established ones is paramount plus providing legal advice in easy to understand language and not full of legal jargon.

Cornwall Innovation logo

Cornwall Innovation

Cornwall Innovation Centres are focused on supporting all growth, knowledge and innovation-led businesses and in particular those from the media, creative, eco, environmental, and health and wellbeing sectors. Support is offered to businesses at all stages of their journey from incubation through to mature enterprises looking to innovate and grow.

Fuel logo


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.

NatWest logo


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.

PKF Francis Clark logo

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.

PSEN logo

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.


Stephens Scown logo

Stephens Scown

West country-based Stephens Scown LLP is an award-winning legal firm with offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell. It has over 270 staff, including more than 50 partners, and is one of the largest law firms in Devon and Cornwall, offering a broad range of expert business and personal legal services, as well as expertise in a number of key market sectors.

Founded in 1938, Stephens Scown is consistently ranked highly in the UK’s top two independent legal guides, Chambers and Legal 500 and was named one of the Sunday Times 100 Best Mid-Sized Companies to Work For 2015. Stephens Scown also won Property Law Firm of the Year at the South West Property Awards 2014 and was named as having the Private Client and Family Law Team of the Year by the British Legal Awards 2013. Clients range from individuals to SMEs, FTSE and international companies.

Thompson Jenner LLP logo

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.

WPS logo


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.”


"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

Let us contact you

Request a call back or email