Wednesday, January 23, 2019

£10K SME growth packages up for grabs with Sensor City

Technical innovation centre, Sensor City, has launched a competition to give SMEs the chance to win a fast-track growth package worth up to £10,000.

Three of the competition judges; Mick Card - KTN Dr Joanne Phoenix - Sensor City and Dr Princy Johnson - LJMU

Announced at last night’s AWS User Group Meet-Up, the package is designed to help start-up and small businesses scale, boost competitive advantage and innovative capabilities.

The project is part of Sensor City’s commitment to creating a UK focal point for the development of sensor technology, while building a community of companies that are at the forefront of innovation.

The growth packages include free hot desk and co-working space within Sensor City for six months, official membership status, credits for use of event space and access to specialist laboratories.

Successful businesses will also get access to Amazon Web Services’ Activate programme, which provides them with access to the technology infrastructure they need to scale and grow including credits, technical training, and wider business support. 

Dr Joanne Phoenix, interim executive director at Sensor City, said: “The growth package is a fantastic opportunity for start-ups and small businesses to leverage the specialist equipment and technological expertise we have in-house at Sensor City, which will help them to rapidly prototype their ideas and innovations.

“Using AWS will also provide the services these businesses need to scale-up, while increasing flexibility and reliability, so I’d encourage SMEs across all sectors to consider applying.”

To join the growth programme and be in with a chance of winning this bespoke prize, companies must fulfil the following criteria:  
  • Be a registered company of SME status. 
  • Work within the sensor or IoT sectors. 
  • Have an existing product or be looking to develop new ideas.
Submissions are encouraged locally, nationally and internationally and should be completed by 5pm on Friday 22nd February. The judging panel, including experts from Sensor City, AWS, KTN, Pycom, University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, will then review all submissions and determine which 10 SMEs will win the growth packages.

To apply for the programme, visit:
The mechanical, electronic, optics and software laboratories at Sensor City house state of the art machinery and equipment, in addition to a dedicated team of engineers and academics who are available to provide customers with technical knowledge and professional support on a commercial basis.  

AWS is the cloud service division of Amazon Inc and works with some of the world’s hottest start-up and scale-up businesses, including Airbnb and Slack.

For more information about Sensor City, please visit:    
For more information about AWS, please visit:   

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

5 networking tips to help grow your business

With surveys showing that many people rank public speaking as a worse fear than dying, its not surprising that many of us try to avoid those dreaded networking commitments. But, is networking a trick that business owners can afford to be missing if they want to grow? We don’t think so!

Networking offers the chance to pitch your product or services to prospective clients and meet potential leads in the flesh. This is a unique opportunity to sell your business proposition in a compelling and authentic way. Small businesses simply can’t afford to miss out on opportunities to meet prospective clients and build brand reputation – so, business cards at the ready!
Here are our top tips for networking like a pro…

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Yasmin's Story: "I learnt that I was not alone, Change it made me feel like I was part of something"

5 years ago, Yasmin Annie moved to Liverpool to start dance training at Lipa. Her career took off and she founded her own company 'Percaya Dance' whilst juggling being a dancer, performer & business woman. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious, she knew something had to change...

"I would get days where I just didn't see the point in anything I was doing and I felt like I couldn't handle anything alone. I felt I was pathetic and relied on everyone and that one day everyone was going to leave me and I'd be alone having to deal with life. I had no confidence in myself feeling like I had constantly to get reassurance off everyone, it was tiring and straining for people around me.

Yasmin Annie
Yasmin Annie

I went on to do the ‘Change it’ course which came conveniently right after the break up. It felt like fate! During the ‘Change it’ course I learnt a lot. I learnt that I was not alone, even in a room full of ladies I’d never met. Change It made me feel like I was apart of something, because everyone in that room was going through something, they had their own battles, their own stories but we all at some point felt the same feelings! 
I didn’t feel 100% and I wasn’t sure how to change it. I’m obsessed with self help books and anything to help myself feel and be a better person. I've been to counselling, CBT, hypnosis and I think all these things are great and potentially could work more effectively for others, however for myself I couldn't keep up with the sessions as well as my hectic life.

Just before I went on the course, I went through a break up which meant I had to move out of my house and change my surroundings. This terrified me because I had to face one of my biggest fears: being alone, feeling abandoned and having to deal with life alone. My go-to reaction was ‘I can’t do that’.

The best thing about the programme was the trainer and the knowledge she had. Jenny is an asset to the Woman’s Org courses, she helped me a lot, she understood, cared and listened and had so much information to share.
I learnt so much, which I now use in my everyday life, which gets me through my days. I think I've have always been strong and confident deep down but I never told myself enough which was the issue! After leaving the course I reminded myself everyday that I was confident and that I could handle life on my own and that I am a strong person. It wasn’t always easy at first I felt like I was reading a script about someone else and it didn't connect to me at all! But everyday I developed and I started to notice a change and ways I would approach something in more of a positive way. I felt brave!

I still have a lot to learn and practice but I'm at a great place and I can and will handle what is thrown at me. I can do that by helping people, helping myself and helping in general through dance, and just having a tight network of women around me because I think we are good support for each other! 

Women who are thinking about doing ‘Change it’ Just do it! You won't lose anything from doing it. Only gain, gain a lot of amazing friends going through so many different things, which will broaden your mind! You will gain the knowledge that everyone has their own rough journeys but everyone's goal in the end is the same which is to be happy within themselves so why not help each other to get there. Finally you will learn that you deserve happiness and you will get there by following your own path!

I have changed a lot with the help of Womens Org and also by believing in myself that I can change things. I am so happy that I made the decision to go and I made that decision on my own and I am so proud of myself for how far I’ve come."

We have new dates available for Change it!

54 St James Street - Monday 14th January 2018, 10-3 (4 Sessions)

Wavertree Childrens's Centre - Tuesday 15th January 2018, 12:30-15:30 (5 Sessions)

Kensington Childrens Centre - Wednesday 16th January, 1-3 (8 Sessions with half term break in February)

Speke Childrens Centre - Thursday 17th January 2018, 9:15-12:15 (5 Sessions)

Belle Vale Childrens Centre - Thursday 24th January, 1-3 (8 Sessions)

If you’d like to find out more information about the programme or book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or and find out how we can support you.