Friday, 23 December 2011

Best wishes to our companies from Interiors & Lifestyle Futures

The team at  Interiors & Lifestyle Futures send their best wishes to those celebrating Christmas or enjoying the holiday period. We hope  to all our West Midlands companies, partners,and participants on the ILF Venture programme  have a very Happy New Year.We'll be back in touch in January with more blog news and details of all our latest workshops, activities and exciting business opportunities. Our offices reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2012.

Let's hope it isn't like this. No, really!

Contact details
Tel nos:
Birmingham office 0121 331 7925
Stoke office 01782 415210

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lord Stafford Awards for collaboration

Thanks to Interiors & Lifestyle Futures' member Katy Helps of  Love Me Interiors for spotting this useful celebration of the collaboration principle.  This focuses on collaborations between companies and Midlands- based universities  - with an attractive £5,000 prize to boot!

Lord Stafford Awards - 2012 Round Open to Entries (Midlands)

The Lord Stafford Awards are now open to applications for the 2012 round, with a prize of £5,000 available for the winners.
The Awards recognise and encourage the development of collaborative relationships between businesses and universities, highlighting the value and importance of such partnerships. The objective is to generate increased competitiveness, knowledge, support, growth and economic prosperity.
Universities across the Midlands can compete in the following four categories:
1.     Innovation in Development.
2.     Innovation Achieved.
3.     Innovation for Environmental Sustainability.
4.     Open Collaboration.

Winning an award can provide businesses with extra drive and opportunities to expand. A £5,000 cash prize is awarded to the winners, together with a commemorative trophy. The winners also receive associated publicity to help their business reach potential new customers.
Private sector businesses or clearly identifiable business divisions of larger organisations may apply. They must have collaborated on a defined project with one or more of the Midlands' universities or higher education institutions.
The closing date for entries is 28 June 2012 (12 noon) and further information can be found here
Any companies working within the West Midlands interiors and lifestyle sectors with a strong idea for a collaboration with a university can email Interiors & Lifestyle Futures here or call 0121 331 7925

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Fantastic opportunity to get your product into retail

Here's a fantastic opportunity for Interiors & Lifestyle Futures companies to pitch their ideas to Mary Portas’ business partner, Peter Cross. Successful applicants will win the chance to have their products or ideas sold or showcased in the Mary shop within House of Fraser.

If you have designed a beautiful new homeware product or have an innovative interiors idea that you feel her shop could benefit from please complete the application form found here and return it for your chance to meet Mary’s team of experts and pitch your ideas to them at next years show in January.

Pre-screened applicants will have a 10 minute slot to pitch their product or idea to Peter at the INTERIORS UK show. If you are interested, please complete the application form and return to the address detailed on the form by the deadline: 6th January 2012.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Collaboration continues: The Great 28 Day Exhibition

Made in the Jewellery Quarter – an Interiors & Lifestyle Futures’ inspired collaboration of four Birmingham companies – will be showcasing the results of their combined design and manufacturing capabilities early in 2012.

The Great 28 Day Exhibition will take place throughout February 2012 at Artfull Expression in the Jewellery Quarter. Made in the Jewellery Quarter’s aim is to: “let the people of Birmingham and the wider region know what is made on their doorstep, plus give them the opportunity to buy a piece of craftsmanship and a contemporary product from artisans, designers and most importantly locally based businesses.”

Work by Alabaster & Wilson of the Made in the Jewellery Quarter Group

Made in the Jewellery Quarter comprises: Alabaster & Wilson; Capricorn Coating; and LJ Millington. The group formed following an Interiors & Lifestyle Futures’ collaboration workshop and with ILF help they took part in the 2011 Pulse international trade fair in London.

For further info please see Made in the Jewellery Quarter and Artfull Expression

Don't forget, Interiors & Lifestyle Futures is always keen to hear from West Midlands companies who have proposals for collaboration projects. Please email or call 0121 331 7925.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Awards for start ups

StartUp Britain, the private sector initiative launched in March 2011,  "designed to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK" has just circulated a list of competitions of interest to start up/growing businesses.

Guardian Digital Innovation Awards
The 2012 Megas have launched with a new range of award categories, to celebrate and recognise creative achievements and inspiring entrepreneurial spirit within the field of technology.
Award categories include:
  • Young innovator of the year (sponsored by Wired)
  • Best StartUp business (sponsored by Taylor Wessing)
  • Best StartUp Leader / CEO
  • Best use of technology for social change
And many more…
Further details about all the categories, the full judging panel and information on how to enter are available here
If you are entering before 2nd December, the early bird discount of 25% will be applied at the time of payment.
£1,000 Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Awards
Shell LiveWIRE have 4 x £1,000 prizes to give away in December to the most innovative ideas submitted by new businesses!
  • Entrants (and any business partners) must be aged 16-30.
  • Entrants must have been trading for less than 12 months.
  • Entrants must be based in the UK.
  • Entry to the December Awards closes on midnight 31/12/2011.
Entries are made via the Shell LiveWIRE website here
The Stake
The Stake is a unique competition for 16 to 21 year olds, which gives you the chance to decide how £100,000 is spent AND allows you to turn a bright idea into a reality. What are you waiting for?
Using Facebook you can enter the competition by either pitching or backing an idea with the chance of making it a reality. Either way you will get one stake, which you can use to back your favourite idea – even if it’s your own!
The top 20 ideas with the most stakes by 23 December at 11.59pm will be shortlisted and judged by a panel from Channel 4 and Barclays. Apply now.
 Get 1k in cash for your Christmas Party
Huddlebuy are giving away £1,000 for your Christmas Party! This is open to all entrepreneurs, SMEs and home workers so that the winner can have a great Christmas. A link to the competition entry form can be found here

For more information about StartUp Britain please click