Meet the founder of Ideas Britain


1.       Before we get started, please introduce yourself

My name is Adam Shaw, Founder and CEO of Ideas Britain – an app and broadcast channel that provides a totally new way for ideas and their creators to access opportunity, knowledge, mentors and finance.

2.       This is a very innovative idea, what inspired it?

The inspiration came from one of my sons who told me he wanted to become an entrepreneur and I, frustrated with his face being constantly glued to a mobile screen, told him that if he wanted to be an entrepreneur he should stop using his mobile phone incessantly. But then I thought, what if we could put all the advice, contacts, knowledge and experience on a mobile device and connect him to people that could assist him. Then we could both win!

3.       What is unique about what Ideas Britain has to offer?

It is the world’s first mobile incubator and accelerator app, but more importantly, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, it’s open to all, allowing anyone to have a go.

4.       How have you funded the business so far?

The business has so far been funded through equity and debt provided by Manchester City Council, North West Fund and Management.

5.       Being a young entrepreneur – what do you enjoy the most about running your own business?

I love seeing things come together and your ideas come to life- as well as the ability to test and try things without naysayers crushing your enthusiasm.

6.       What was your first big breakthrough?

The realisation that you’re no better, or worse than those around you and that anyone can succeed (if you put your mind to it).

7.       What is the best business decision you’ve made so far?

To buy Apple shares seven years ago.

8.       Think back to when you’d just started out – what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?

That some people won’t get you or your idea and instead of pursuing them, move on to the next who might understand the concept better.

9.       What kind of funding will Ideas Britain offer and to who?

Over and above the cash prizes for the best ideas from £5k to £500k, I think what we are offering is more valuable than money alone. We have coaches with such a depth of experience like Martin McCourt (the former Chief Executive of Dyson) that they could ensure not only the right kind of fundraising for a new business but also assist in its financial longevity. I don’t think lack of money is the problem in this country, I think the lack of solid experience and knowledge is.

10.   What is your favourite thing to do on a weekend on why?

Catch up on sleep, because I’ve got two young children as well as two teenage ones

11.   What advice would you give to young budding entrepreneurs wanting to launch their own business?

Don’t be over optimistic, don’t be over pessimistic, be over realistic.

12.   What plans do you have for Ideas Britain in the next 12 months?

In the UK we’ve got some great competitions coming up with some great brands including Manchester City Football Club and with Dave Stuart (Eurythmics) our Creative Director we are launching Ideas America.