‘Dragon’s Den without the Cameras’

With new sponsor KPMG taking the lead, supported by fellow sponsors Continent 8 Technologies and IQE, the latest in the Entrepreneur Event series was hosted at the Claremont, on Tuesday 10 March. Courtenay Heading attended and represented the Isle of Man Government’s continued support.

Bringing together an eclectic group of local business luminaries, retired senior executives and high net worth residents, all on the lookout for a good opportunity, the evening got off to a convivial start with a presentation by Paul Benjamin of Benjamin & Blum about his high-end food and drink gifts which are gaining traction in the global luxury goods market.

The next entrepreneur brought the audience back down to earth, taking them from luxury to waste management. In a perfectly timed presentation which was an object lesson in getting your message across simply and to great effect, Carlos Ludlow of Enval succeeded in getting his environmentally aware audience genuinely excited about his company’s commercialisation of their patented technology for extracting reusable materials from laminated packing waste.

The Needle Online Limited were up next, presenting their suit of online recruitment tools. The only Isle of Man-based entrepreneurs featured in this event, David Gillies and Christine Tautari were keen to stress that one of the key moments in their development was winning lead sponsor, KPMG Isle of Man, as a customer. They finished with the announcement of another significant recent customer win to ensure they left their audience seriously considering their opportunity..

Gemma Young followed, to present her plans with co-founder and sibling, Paul Young, to disrupt the estate agency world with the only online property platform offering a freemium service to property vendors. Gemma faced some tough questioning about potential competition but her assurance that Settled.co.uk works in partnership with big names like Rightmove and Zoopla seemed to settle any concerns on that score.

The evening stayed online for the next presentation, but this one focused on the scarier side as David Guyatt of Osirium talked the audience through his cybersecurity offering. David’s background as Founder and CEO for MIMEsweeper which achieved a sale value of $1bn in 2002 (at the time the largest IT security acquisition in European corporate history) meant his appeal did not fall on deaf ears.

The dinner which followed was a lively affair, with the entrepreneurs moving around the tables with each course and thereby getting an opportunity to present their case in more intimate and relaxed circumstances than the strictly timed 6 minute presentation and 2 minute Q&A they get at the start of the evening.

Siliconiom hosts events which connect early stage and start-up businesses with mentors, NED’s and investors alike. Its founders Charlotte Mason and Steve Hawkins being entrepreneurs and investors themselves have considerable experience in the start-up arena and have been able to facilitate a high number of successful connections to the Isle of Man across several different business sectors including Tech, Pharma, Bio-Med and Manufacturing.

“It was good to attend another SiliconIoM event last week at the Claremont. It’s nice to see a pitching event where presenters are managed by a strict Time Lord, and who have to deliver on time and stay focused. It was great to see a range of ICT, science and engineering topics plus a luxury goods manufacturer for good measure. There’s certainly no lack of ideas coming here looking upon the Island as offering a sound base” Courtenay Heading, BioMed – Inward Investment, Isle of Man Government.

Commenting on the 2015 Programme, Steve Hawkins, Siliconiom co-founder said, “We are delighted to have KPMG on-board as lead sponsors, their track record of supporting emerging sectors and start-up businesses will bring a new dynamic to the event series this year”.

Roberta Castle, Account Director for Continent 8 Technologies said “Events like this are beneficial both for those visiting and to the Island itself. For the entrepreneurs and companies considering the next step in their development, it’s an excellent opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Isle of Man proposition and the many benefits the Island can offer businesses. For the Isle of Man it enables us to develop relationships with high-quality, emerging businesses that will assist us to ensure the Island’s continued success

Anne Couper Woods, Executive Director of IQE Limited sponsor of Siliconiom commented “IQE is pleased to support this event which enables us not only to showcase the Isle of Man and the benefits it can offer to new start-ups, but also allows us to make introductions to our international clients and contacts who are keen to find new areas for investment.  Listening to new ideas presented with passion and enthusiasm is compelling and resulted in a loud buzz of conversation in the room which reflected the interest generated.”

“KPMG advise clients at all stages of development. It is vital to the island’s future that it is associated with innovation and new thriving businesses. There is no better way to do this than by attracting high quality start-up companies and the entrepreneurs behind them to the Isle of Man. For this reason, KPMG are proud to be sponsors of this event and we look to working with these entrepreneurs and those visiting the island in each of the sessions ahead” Simon Nicholas, Director, KPMG Isle of Man.

The ‘Entrepreneur Supper’ events run by Siliconiom are generally held quarterly in the Isle of Man, and the next takes place on Wednesday 24 June.

You may also be interested in:


Let's work together.


Asia +65 3165 4649
Europe +44 1624 694625
Latin America +54 11 5168 5637
North America +1 514 461 5120