7th October 2023

Great Malvern, UK

12th Edition


2016 Startup Stories


Evening Symposium

 Wednesday 5th October 2016 (evening)

 Coach House Theatre, Malvern, WR14 3HA 

An evening to enthuse you about the trials & tribulations of being an entrepreneur. Hear highlights from founder of TextLocal Alastair Shortland, The Apprentice finalist & Whisk CEO Nick Holzherr, and Dragons' Den winner Neil Westwood of Magic Whiteboard.


The event was free for all to attend.




Arrival & Networking

@festivalofinnov #InnovateMalvern #entrepreneurship #startup



Presentations begin in the theatre.

Dr Adrian Burden, Festival Founder & Managing Director of Innovate Malvern CIC




Startup success one SMS at a time

Hear the story behind local mobile communications company TextLocal. You too could create a multi-million pound business from the seed of a simple idea...

Alastair Shortland founded Textlocal as a bedroom startup and built 'version 1' of Messenger in 2005. His driving vision at the time was to introduce the power of mobile messaging to the mass market - simple, low cost instant communication for any business, service or community group. Previously, Alastair studied Computer Science in Nottingham before working for the Defence giant QinetiQ, and then on several projects for The Met Office and European Air Traffic Control. In October 2014, Textlocal was acquired by IMImobile, a global mobile technology company. This has enabled the company to build out an international footprint, leveraging IMImobile's integration with mobile operators across 60 countries.




From The Apprentice to 'Head Chef' - the unfolding story of Whisk

What was it like to reach the final of The Apprentice and then go on to create an exciting tech startup working with major retailers focused on food and recipes?

Nick Holzherr reached the final round of BBC's The Apprentice and then secured private investment to build Whisk. Headquartred in Birmingham, Whisk launched its first product in 2013: a smart grocery shopping list tool that helps people around the world discover, save and enjoy recipes and food. Today, Whisk has built the largest marketplace connecting recipe publishers and ecommerce grocery retrailers. They’ve partnered with some of the world’s largest recipe publishers where Whisk is seen by more than 30 million people on 300,000+ recipes.

@WhiskTeam, @nickholzherr



Snatching success with the help of the jaws of Dragons - the magic in Magic Whiteboard Ltd

Neil and Laura Westwood have been successfully running Magic Whiteboard Ltd since April 2006. In August 2008 they we were successful on BBC Dragons' Den receiving £100,000 investment from Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden. In September 2014 they bought back the shares and now own 100% of Magic Whiteboard Ltd.

Neil Westwood worked as a trainer for an NHS local hospital and was inspired to develop the Magic Whiteboard ™ because he was fed up of carrying the flipchart stand around the wards. A portable lightweight solution was needed and as a result of this the Magic Whiteboard ™ was born. The original and best whiteboard on a roll that is now going global!



HM MHSP 50pxh

FridayBeer 150pxw

Q&A and Networking

Refreshments kindly sponsored by Malvern Hills Science Park.


Malvern's very own crowdfunded brewery startup, The Friday Beer Co, will be here too!






2016 Festival Supporters