Gorbals sparks with new business

December 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sparks are flying in Gorbals and going global.

The Entrepreneurial Spark programme to nurture business developers from around the world is based in the splendid setting of Baron Haughey’s Caledonia House headquarters in Lawmoor Street.

An initiative of the UK Trade and Investment department, the world wide competition to search for the best entrepreneurial sparks is called Sirius – reflecting the brightest star in the sky.

Winners receive around £12,000 each for the 12 months they are given to develop their projects in the UK. They are also supported with business accelerator programmes, mentors and other practical assistance to set up and launch their enterprise.

This is in sharp contrast to independent entrepreneurs coming to the UK under their own steam. From November 2014 they require to have a bank balance of £2 million before being allowed to reside here to develop their business. Before then the figure was £1 million.

Paola Cuneo, Campaign Director of the Sirius Programme on a recent visit to the Glasgow Entrepreneurial Spark base, told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘We had 2000 applications from 93 countries in the launch programme. Sirius is really the United Nations of start-ups.’

During a three day showcase festival for entrepreneurs in Manchester in 2013, a Mexican psychologist with a bright idea for a children’s fun but educational electronic game, met  Paola. ‘The game was for visually impaired children and it won the competition at that event. I met Pedro Bori, the man behind it,’ said Paola. ‘I was delighted when he later won our Sirius competition. His is now one of six teams based in Gorbals.’

Pedro Bori from Mexico

Pedro Bori from Mexico

Another two teams are in Edinburgh and a total of 200 people are in 67 teams scattered across the UK.  Next year Kilmarnock in Ayrshire will host some incoming teams in the next wave of Sirius winners.

‘The idea is that they will feed the UK market and have potential global markets. Having launched in the UK, it is highly likely they will remain here and make this their headquarters,’ said Paola.

Scottish based Sirius Sparks will finish their one year business start-up programmes in the spring of 2015.

In a candid interview in his Gorbals Sparks base, Mexican Psychologist Pedro Bori said: ‘The idea started when I noticed how children were using electronic toys. I wondered what kind of fun toy could be used to help visually impaired children with their cognitive development and memory skills and re-action rates.’

His university – Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo – is the oldest, largest and most respected research institute in east-central Mexico.  So he and colleagues worked on the idea and won first place from 470 ideas in Santander Awards for Enterprise and Science Innovation in Mexico in 2011-2012. The prize money enabled them to develop a prototype for their game called Smash-a-Ball.

Taking a great leap of faith and raising the enormous cost of travelling to the UK, Pedro and co-founder  Nadia Guevara attended the Manchester entrepreneurial festival where the Sirius Programme was launched.  He said: ‘When we heard about Sirius we wanted to win that.’  And the idea did win!

The result is that Sirius Smash-a-Ball was incorporated in the UK in May 2014.

Now the team is hard at work in Gorbals finalising the game and preparing for the test stage and clinical trials.  ‘We can’t ask more than this,’ said Pedro.  ‘We are on a really exciting journey with Sirius. We plan to have the first product on the market next year.’

The range of games is expected to appeal to children with a wide spectrum of impairment including autism.

Another of the Gorbals Sparks teams is developing an on-line version of a time bank.

Murilo Mafra and Ana Fernandes  from Brazil

Murilo Mafra and Ana Fernandes from Brazil

From Brazil, Ana Fernandes, Murilo Mafra and Lorrana Scarponi had developed 30,000 activities from 60,000 users who exchanged their skills for virtual time which is ‘banked’  to buy skills they needed without money being exchanged. They were surprised to find the time bank idea already working, on a small local scale, here. Said Ana: ‘Just think what this can do where there is poverty.’

But in order to make such an entrepreneurial idea work to generate income, they have extended it considerably so that corporate bodies can offer this service to employees.  Said Murilo: ‘co-workers can help each other grow and this can be integrated into social media networks.’

They now have the potential to handle 1 million users. Called Bliive – the company name is rooted in the Latin word meaning to trust.

Undeclared attraction to a girl at his school got Sebastian Maraloiu launched on his idea of a teen crush app in his adult years. From Romania, he said he was too shy and lacking in confidence at high school to approach the girl at that time. Years later he discovered on meeting her, that she had felt the same way about him. But by then each had moved on! ‘Technology now can help teenagers with a crush on someone,’ he explained. He is developing the app which will allow a signal to be sent and where there is mutual attraction, the two people can connect. But where it isn’t reciprocated, the sender’s identity is not revealed.

Sebastian Maraloiu from Romania.

Sebastian Maraloiu from Romania.

He said: ‘It is a kind of flirting game and it is growing at the rate of 20% a week.’

These are only a few of the Entrepreneurial Spark ideas being developed in Gorbals right now.  The Glasgow district has always had a big reputation… now with Sirius, it is positively sparkling!

Tartan gifts win Lochend the title

April 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The winning team in tartan -from left: -Heather Kerr(Link Teacher), Jacqueline Garden, Thomas Deans, Lauren Scally, Christina McIntyre, Natalie Brewer, Kayleigh Murray, Luke Dawson, Chloe Kay, Emma Montgomery, Stevi-Lee Rennie, Amy Maguire, Allison Burnett (Link Teacher), Alan Taylor (Business Advisor)

The winning team in tartan -from left: -Heather Kerr(Link Teacher), Jacqueline Garden, Thomas Deans, Lauren Scally, Christina McIntyre, Natalie Brewer, Kayleigh Murray, Luke Dawson, Chloe Kay, Emma Montgomery, Stevi-Lee Rennie, Amy Maguire, Allison Burnett (Link Teacher), Alan Taylor (Business Advisor)

Lochend Community High School won the Glasgow final of the Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) Company Programme with their company called LÙTH producing candles decorated with tartan.

Said LÙTH managing director – pupil Stevi-Lee Rennie- : ‘We are proud of our company and proud of our journey. We’ve come so far in a short period of time and have learned so much. We’ve made friends for life and memories to treasure. This is an experience none of us will forget.’

In the competition, senior school pupils work with a teacher and a business volunteer to set up and run their own business. The LÙTH business advisor was Alan Taylor, general manager at Holiday Inn Glasgow Theatreland. He said: Congratulations to the team – and link teachers Allison Burnett and Heather Kerr. I’m delighted for them. They put a lot of time and effort into their impressive presentation of their range of scented Weegie Candles presented in jars with tartan ribbon.’

Providing training and practical learning experiences to young people of all backgrounds, across Scotland, the YES Company Programme gives them a true understanding of how a business works and how wealth and employment are created.

Participants gain experience of marketing, financial management, sales, customer care and human resources, as well as practical experience of the market, supply and demand, raising finance, cost, price, profit and competition.

Lochend now go forward to the finals in June.

Glasgow Chef wins top award

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Allan King, Head Chef at Jurys Inn Glasgow beat off five finalists in a live event to win the first ever  ‘Jurys Inn Best Chef Competition’ at Unilever’s Knorr Kitchens in London.   He collected a £1,000 cash prize and will see his dish included on restaurant menus across the group from May 2014.

The competition, which was run in conjunction with sponsors Unilever Food Solutions, PSL, Reynolds and Fairfax was judged by John Brennan CEO Jurys Inn; Shaun Watling Executive Chef, The Berkeley; Ian Shaw, Director of Key Accounts, PSL  and Paul Hawkins, Culinary Development Chef, Unilever.

Head Chefs and Sous Chefs from across the hotel group were asked to submit a recipe containing chicken and at least two Unilever Food Solutions products, suitable for a Jurys Inn Bar or Restaurant menu.  Each entry was scored based on creativity, planning, suitability and presentation as well as the capability to replicate the dish in any Jurys Inn kitchen.  The six finalists competing in the live final had two hours to prepare their signature dish plus a dessert using only items from a ‘secret ingredients box’.  They were judged on technical skill, presentation and taste, hygiene and food waste management among other things.

Said Bobby Fitzpatrick, Group Purchasing Manager, Jurys Inn: ‘Over the past two years we have been very focused on our food and beverage. We set up a Chefs’ Circle – a think tank – dedicated to sharing best practice and creativity and to developing new dishes and menus.

‘The Best Chef Competition takes it to the next level and enables us to tap into the great pool of talent we have across the group while raising the standard of our food and beverage offering.

‘It has also allowed our chefs to showcase their talents while enabling us to identify and recognise the exceptional people we have in our company.’

The competition will become an annual event and Jurys Inn is considering running a Young Chef of the Year Event in 2014.

The winning dish by Head Chef, Allan King was a lemon-marinated chicken breast with a ginger and herb sausage, rosti potato and braised winter cabbage. From the “secret ingredients box” he prepared a rhubarb and apple cheesecake with fresh raspberry coulis.

All six finalists received a set of chefs’ knives, Best Chef  jacket and Best Chef plaque.


A new tune for Andy

July 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Pipers will compete to compose a tune to celebrate Andy's win at Wimbledon.

A composing competition for a bagpipe tune for Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray by The College of Piping in Glasgow has been welcomed by Stuart McMillan MSP, who represents the West of Scotland.

Mr McMillan, the only MSP who is a piper, said:

“A pipe tune for Andy Murray is a fantastic idea by the College of Piping, and they are to be congratulated for such a creative initiative. ”

Robert Wallace, Principal of the College of Piping, said: ‘It is right and fitting that a real Scottish hero like Andy Murray has his own tune for the national instrument, the bagpipe. We hope his phenomenal success will spur pipe music composers all over the world to get their creative juices going. It is right that the College, the centre of the bagpipe world internationally, should be co-ordinating this endeavour and we will make a substantial prize available to the winner.’

Added MSP McMillan:  “Andy Murray has made history with his outstanding Wimbledon victory, his second Grand Slam, and his Olympic Gold.  I have no doubt that the calibre of tunes that will be composed will be worthy of Andy’s phenomenal achievements.”

For information on the competition,  check the College’s website: http://www.collegeofpiping.org/2013/07/composing-contest-for-andy-murray/

Bukharah is the right Spice to win top award

June 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Archie and Mahrukh and their Awards

Archie and Mahrukh and their Awards

The spice of Glasgow’s curry houses took to the red carpet on Tuesday 15 June  for the Scottish Curry Awards at the Thistle Hotel, and a new kid on the block stole the show.
The newly opened Bukharah restaurant, part of the refurbished Lorne Hotel, was the star, bagging both the Restaurant and Chef of the Year Awards. For Archie Sharif, owner of the new Lorne Hotel, this recognition is sweet justification for the changes he made to Glasgow’s famous hotel, which reopened only in 2009.
After the awards, Archie beamed:’This is a fantastic achievement for the Bukharah, to win both awards, I am absolutely delighted and want to thank all our customers for voting for us. The Bukharah offers something different to the curry connoisseur, it’s healthy Indian cuisine, exactly what it says on the door, home cooking at it’s best.’
While the Bukharah is a new player on Glasgow’s vibrant curry scene, experienced hands are involved in cooking the curry. Head Chef Mahrukh Butt, originally from Pakistan, came from the 5 star Dubai Sheraton to be head chef  at the Bukharah. In collecting the Chef of the Year award Mahruk continues a remarkable personal journey. In leading Bukharah’s kitchen she became Scotland’s first Asian female head-chef. Mahruk lavished praise on the Lorne hotel after receiving her award. She said:’I am delighted to have been awarded Chef of the Year. Working at the Bukharah has allowed me to be creative in my cooking, I enjoy being able to come up with new healthy food dishes using fresh Scottish produce. The restaurant is part of a boutique hotel and not a global chain, it’s unique and to me that’s something special.’  Congratulations to Bukharah and all the other flavours of the night!

Win Win Win!!!! Five copies of Glasgow – City Beautiful

April 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

To receive a copy of John McDermott’s exquisite book – Glasgow City Beautiful – is to fall in love with this amazing city. The candid photographs from this professional photographer, reveal fine detail that is lost in the hustle and bustle of every day. His outreach with his camera extends from the Antonine Wall in Bearsden to the St Andrew’s Bridge at Glasgow Green.  Published by Derby Books Publishing Company Ltd – tel: 01332 384235 and email:sales@dbpublishing.co.uk, they sell for around £9.99. The LOCAL NEWS has five copies of this visual delight of a book to give away. For your chance to win one, just tell us: who took the photographs in Glasgow City Beautiful? Answers by 9am Tuesday 1 June to CITY BOOK COMP, Local News Glasgow, Yam Publications Ltd, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow G2 8QD  or by email with CITY BOOK COMP in the subject box – to: competitions@localnewsglasgow.co.uk

Hit the ground running and win a copy of Played In Glasgow

April 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

played_in_glasgowFootball grounds, bowling greens, dog tracks, ‘doocots’, racecourses, blaes pitches, athletics tracks and swimming clubs; our city has had them all. Ged O’Brien’s book, Played in Glasgow, is a modestly-sized but mighty anthology that covers every sporting nook and cranny since Victorian times.
This is part of the superb Played In Britain series,  backed by Historic Scotland and English Heritage. The volume is subtitled ‘charting the heritage of a city at play’, and is a store of information for those of us who choose to look beyond the elegant stone facades, towering steel skeletons and pretty, manicured lawns.
Beyond Hampden Park, the home of Queen’s Park and Scotland’s international team, there are retrospectives on the homes of Rangers, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Clyde and the bullish ranks of Glasgow Junior football.
O’Brien also looks at the homes of the city’s many rugby teams and enjoys our rich bowling heritage, all recorded with excellent photography and detailed with the care of a first-class reference work.
Played In Glasgow has a section on swimming baths and clubs, from the elegant but forgotten municipal pools of the late 1800s to their 21st century heirs and the architectural wonders of the Western and the Arlington Baths clubs.
The book also strikes a nostalgic tone with a look at the city’s remaining red ash ‘blaes’ pitches and takes a flight into the world of the Glasgow pigeon fancier and their home-built doocots. Neither does it neglect cricketing heritage nor pass by the huge achievements of our many athletes over the years.
With one eye on Glasgow’s place as host for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this book is a roadmap that shows us how far we have come, what we have won, what we have lost and hints at what could yet be.
A blend of social and cultural history and a treat with archive and modern photography, sometimes evocative and occasionally controversial, Played In Glasgow is an essential addition to the book collection of anyone who has an eye for their city’s sporting heritage.

LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has three copies of Played in Glasgow to give away.
For a chance to win your own copy, just write and tell us which football teams play their home games at Hampden Park.

Send your answers by email to competitions@localnewsglasgow.co.uk. Please put ‘PLAYED IN GLASGOW COMPETITION’ in the header field and remember your name, address and a daytime telephone number. You can also enter by snail mail, please write with your answer to Played In Glasgow Competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, Third Floor, 142 West Nile Street G1 2RQ. Don’t forget all your contact details.

This competition closed at 9am on Monday, May 24.

Win tickets for Dreamboats and Petticoats at the King’s Theatre

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

dreamboatsThanks to its phenomenal success, DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS, the smash hit musical which has had a sold-out second tour, is to be extended. It will be in Glasgow from March 29 to April 3 at the King’s Theatre. Phone: 0844 871 7648 for ticket details.
Written by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the team behind Goodnight Sweetheart, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesmen and Shine On Harvey Moon, this spectacular feel-good production featuring songs from Roy Orbison, The Shadows, Eddie Cochran, Billy Fury, Chuck Berry and many more.

LOCAL NEWS has two pairs of tickets to give away for the opening Glasgow night of DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS 2010 run.
For your pass to a great evening of nostalgia, just write and tell us which of the bands whose music is featured in the show is most associated with Sir Cliff Richard but also enjoyed huge success of their own.

Send your answers by email to competitions@localnewsglasgow.co.uk. Please put ‘DREAMBOATS AND PETTICOATS COMPETITION’ in the header field and remember your name, address and a daytime telephone number. You can also enter by snail mail, please write with your answer to Dreamboats and Petticoats Competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8QD. Don’t forget all your contact details.

This competition closes at 9am on Monday, March 22.

Win tickets for the Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A one-stop shop providing a look at the latest in caravans, motor homes, camping, holiday homes, marine, industry clubs and associations, the show has become a major fixture on the Glasgow calendar and tickets are in big demand.

Plenty to see at the SECC

Plenty to see at the SECC

The hugely popular Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show 2010 is on at the SECC in Glasgow from 4 to 7 February.



Thanks the exhibitions, you’ll be able to plan a caravan or outdoor holiday from start to finish. You can meet exhibitors who’ll put you on the right road to insurance, on the best tourist trails to the best in campsites or keep you moving with vehicle rental.

The show also offers free 20-minute towing and manoeuvring workshops for budding – and experienced – caravanners under the watchful eyes of Caravan Club tutors. The club reminds all students to bring their driving licence when booking.

Prices have been held at 2009 levels … making it the ideal crunch-beating day out. Advance tickets are £7 or £6 for seniors and on-the-door tickets are £9 each or £8 for seniors. Kids go free. All tickets include a free brochure with a RRP £4.50. The show is open from 10am to 6pm daily. For more information visit www.caravanshowscotland.com or call the ticket hotline 0844 3954000

 In all, the Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show 2010 is a very hot ticket indeed, and LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has 10 pairs to give away for the event.

 To win a pair of tickets, all you have to do is tell us which organisation is offering free workshops in towing and manoeuvring caravans.

 Send us your answers by email to competitions@localnewsglasgow.co.uk. Please write ‘Caravan & Leisure Show’ in the header field. Alternatively, you can enter by snail mail. Please write to Scottish Caravan & Outdoor Leisure Show 2010 competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8QD.

Please remember to include your full contact details –  that’s home address and a daytime telephone number.

This competition closes at 9am on 29 January – good luck.

Win tickets for the Scottish Wedding Show at the SECC

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

weddingsScotland’s largest event for brides-to-be, The Scottish Wedding Show, will take place at the SECC, Glasgow on 20 & 21 February 2010.
The show brings together more than 300 of Scotland’s leading specialist wedding companies, showcasing everything needed to make the big day just perfect.
LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has 10 pairs of tickets for this fantastic show to give away in our easy-to-enter competition.
Visitors to the show will see all the latest products and services, from wedding planners to romantic honeymoons and everything in-between.
There will also be the chance to watch the spectacular fashion show, which will be staged four times each day. The catwalk features top models and the largest bridal collection in Scotland, from top designers and well-known high street names, for the bride, groom and the bridal party.
There will also be …
Free make-uppers by Benefit Cosmetics;
Free bra fitting by Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand;
Free expert advice and dance demos at the new Inspiration Theatre, where visitors can obtain free expert advice and inspiration for wedding hair and make-up, find out what dress suits each body shape and get some great tips on how to put the wow into your wedding;
Free cocktails from Badaboom Bars.
For more information on special offers, ticket prices (which start at £9) or to purchase tickets visit www.thescottishweddingshow.com or call 0141 587 6088. All tickets include brochure RRP £5.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets just write and answer the following question: Scotland’s largest wedding show will take place in which Glasgow venue?

Send us your answers by email to competitions@localnewsglasgow.co.uk. Please write ‘Scottish Wedding Show’ in the header field. Alternatively, you can enter by snail mail. Please write to Scottish Wedding Show competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, 73 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 8QD.
Please remember to include your full contact details – that’s home address and a daytime telephone number.
The first 10 correct entries will receive a pair of tickets to The Scottish Wedding Show.
This competition closes at 9am on 12 February – good luck.

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