Can you stand the HEAT of competition?

Are you a new business that has been trading less than a year (as at March 2017) or do you have an idea you are looking to turn into a business?  Then The HEAT (Highlighting Entrepreneurial Ability Together) Competition is for you!

Now in its third year, The HEAT competition has seen prizes worth almost £10,000 given to local companies to help them grow and develop their business.

Last year, we saw record numbers enter with around twenty-five selected to go along to a pitch practice session to hear the rules of the competition, get tips on pitching their idea or business and have an opportunity to practice their pitch with feedback provided from our experts.  From the twenty-five, a final ten were selected by Business Gateway advisers from Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Falkirk to pitch their idea or business in front of the “Dragons”.

On the day of the final each of the ten competitors had the opportunity to pitch their idea or business to a team of 5 judges.  In only 3 minutes they had to sell themselves and their idea or business to the judges, in front of an audience and with the clock ticking away on the wall – talk about pressure! However, all the contestants were amazing and created an extremely difficult decision for the judges.  

Two of last year’s finalists explain further. 

Kate Caven, owner of Stirling-based Kids Creative explains. “The competition really showed me that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it. Having the chance to present my product and business plan to an audience and panel helped boost my confidence in myself and what I was aiming to achieve. I also met a great bunch of people in the process and we still support each other in business today.”

Kate describes how the prizes she won helped her business in 2016, “I received £500 which went towards tools for my workshop to help me make my furniture products more efficiently. I also received a £100 design and print voucher – I used this voucher to create a brochure of my products. This was so helpful as marketing material can be very pricey. “

Fiona Ritchie, owner of Alloa-based Siabann takes up the story, “The HEAT16 competition was the first opportunity we had to pitch our newly launched business to the local business community. Preparation for the competition helped us focus our thinking and plan our business priorities.  The pitching element of the competition was a challenge but a great skill to start developing. The support of Business Gateway and the preparation session was a very important aspect of the experience. “

The HEAT competition is also a great way to build up local contacts as Fiona found out, “Another positive element of The HEAT was that it gave us the opportunity to meet other business owners in Clackmannanshire.  It helped us develop networks and links with other businesses as well as trade our skills and services!  The involvement of Stirling University was also a helpful aspect of the process.   Following the competition we had the opportunity to work further with the Management School and gain valuable links and contacts within the student and staff body. “

“Being placed in The HEAT gave us the confidence to explore other pitching events and the publicity we received has definitely helped build our presence within the local community.”

The HEAT 17 has a fantastic set of prizes provided by our local sponsors. The businesses placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the HEAT 17 will share a bonanza of over £4,000 worth of cash prizes, branding and design expertise, accountancy services, marketing advice and property rental.

1st Place

  • £1000 value – 10 page company website & marketing strategy OR company branding with logo design, business card & brochure design – Sponsored by Blinkered
  • £1000 worth of business property rental – Sponsored by Ceteris (Scotland) Ltd
  • £500 worth of Accounting, Tax, Book Keeping and Consultancy Services for one year – Sponsored by Stewart Accounting Services
  • FREE 12 months membership of Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce valued up to £199 –  Sponsored by Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce

2nd Place

3rd Place

Interested? Click here to enter #HEAT17 – all you need to do is answer 4 questions.  But be quick, entries close on Friday 24th February 2017.

If you would like further information on #THEHEAT17, please contact Stuart McCusker, Business Adviser at Business Gateway Clackmannanshire on or by calling the local office on 01259 726430.  Share on social media using #THEHEAT17


Photo by Alan Gray Images showing The HEAT16 finalists.