What makes a great entrepreneur? “Being passionate about your idea to the point of craziness,” says Robert Scoble. “Being a successful entrepreneur is not about breakthrough innovation. It’s about flawless execution,” says Naveen Jain. “You never learn from success, but you do learn from failure,” adds Marcus Dyson.
One thing is certain, tech entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of business. Without them, ideas just remain that, ideas… Last year’s SPARKies winner of this award was Doug Pulley, founder of Picochip. An idea he developed and that evolved into a company that employs hundreds of people in the city and is now owned by US-based Mindspeed.
This year, the Best Tech Entrepreneur category is sponsored by SPARKies headline sponsors, The University of Bath Innovation Centre. This was an extremely strong category for nominations, proving the strength and depth of entrepreneurial talent in the south west.
In no particular order, the first of the finalists is Glynn Hayward, the Founder and Creative Director of Complete Control. As an entrepreneur, Glynn continues to set the vision, win the pitches, and drive new creative and technical concepts in the form of children’s apps, games and websites for the UK’s leading children’s brands – as well as developing a stable of Complete Control’s own IP. Glynn’s energies for nurturing new talent in the digital space can also be seen in his great work with local Universities and Schools. Developing the next generation of ‘Tech Whizz Kids’ is a key passion of Glynn’s and shows his ongoing commitment to the industry.
Next up is Mike Barlow, Founder of myHealthPal.com. Mike was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 42 and created myHealthPal to help people manage their own condition or for someone else to manage it for them and makes use of touch screen devices such as the iPhone to perform condition related tests, to capture results and log other information automatically. Mike has funded the product development process himself and is determined to make a real difference to people’s lives.
The SPARKies third finalist is serial entrepreneur, Mark Mason. Mark co-founded Mason Zimbler, a Bristol-based full digital marketing agency specialising in the technology sector. Mark sold his company in 2008 and then founded Mubaloo in 2009 to service the demand for B2C and B2B app development. Mubaloo’s clients include BP, the Met Office, DHL and the RAF. Mark is well known around the South West for the work he does locally: in 2012 he won the IoD South West Director of the Year award and he is very active as a mentor and organiser of student app building competitions.
To see which of these three finalists win, come along to The SPARKies Awards party on Wednesday 20th.