Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

Imagine you’re selected to be whisked away to Sri Lanka to represent your company and your university as a graduate entrepreneur.  My first thought: isn’t there a war going on there? (which in November, there was).  My second thought: aren’t wars a bit dangerous? Well, as long as I wasn’t placed in any public places or close to any public or potential targets

After much fretting, to-ing and fro-ing, I decided to do it.  The mission was for the UK British Council delegation (handpicked from Buckinghamshire New University, University of Central Lancashire, University of Durham, Leeds Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and  University of Plymouth) to help to develop Sri Lankan awareness about graduate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education as part of the National Enterprise Week in Sri Lanka.

This would involve going to a large conference (scuppering my no public places plan) with lots of important government cabinet ministers (scuppering my public or potential targets plan), as well as presenting Turbo Lemon Media and my own experiences to a few hundred people. Turbo Lemon Nerves.

A rare sight, in trousers and tie.

A rare sight, in trousers and tie.

What not a lot of us knew, was that also as part of this, we were to be partake in ‘Ideators,’ which is loosely the Sri Lankan equivalent of The Apprentice (minus the firing, no pun intended). So having just about gotten over those thoughts of war=dangerous, I had to then deal with having a camera poking around my orange face (courtesy of the crew’s make-up team).  Turbo Orange Face.

Two teams pitched against each other: the brief, to design and make a shoe that would fix the lulling sales of a particular demographic, undertake the market research and then come up with the long term marketing strategy, graphic visuals and financial forecast for it.  Then present it to the board of Sri Lanka’s largest shoe manufacturer, DSI.  In three days. Turbo Lemon Sleep-Deprivation.

Ideators Orange Team

I won’t say much more about it as you can, to the utter horror and embarrassment of my shyer-alter-ego, watch Ideators below.  What I will say is that as well as it being a difficult and tiring experience, it was also quite incredible, learning from the Sri Lankan students and indeed, working with other UK graduates.  I say working – I jumped in as Orange (how apt) leader and, as best I could, let others lead where their strengths allowed them to do so.

An amazing opportunity, an amazing country, an amazing experience with amazing people.  All superfluous language, utterly justified!


Friday, July 17th, 2009

Don your sparkly hats – its Turbo Lemon’s birthday!  And for a one year old, we’re not doing too bad: not only are we walking, talking and fully toilet trained, we’re winning and being nominated for awards, we’re working with brilliant people and we’ve moved house – twice!

 That’s not to say it’s been an easy start.  Any SME has a slog to get through and avoid being part of the 50% that fail in the first year.  It’s certainly been an eventful first year.  Along with the smiles, successes and Turbo Lemon Goodness have been the stresses, the difficulties and the I-can’t-remember-what-my-house-looks-like-because-I’ve-been-in-the-studio-too-long moments.  It’s our birthday and we’ll cry if we want to.  But we’re not going to, because we have some rather good brilliant news.

Turbo Lemon Media has been named as one of the Top 100 businesses in the 2009 Barclays Trading Places Awards   (let’s hope there weren’t only 101 applicants!).  And what is this Trading Places Awards I’ve never heard of, my cynical ear hears you ask?  Well, Barclays Marketing Director for Local Business, John Davis, explains:  “Trading Places is a celebration of businesses that have struggled through adversity, which is even more relevant today in our turbulent economic times and have turned their lives around for them and their families.”


We're in the Top 100, honest!

Were in the Top 100, honest!

Other Turbo Lemon Goodness comes in the news that we have moved ( slightly).  We’re still housed in £15m Media Factory in Preston, Lancashire, but now we have our very own dedicated design studio.  A really hub of inspiration where we get can stuck knee-deep in our web and graphic design; a place for the reams of magazines and stacks of books; somewhere we can have music playing and somewhere that is conducive to attain the creativity we crave. Writing, thinking, designing, coding, making, breaking its an excellent place to be.

 An eventful year indeed then – so eventful, we’ve not yet been able to share the Sri Lankan Apprentice (Ideators) experience or told you about our ever-growing social conscience, working with local schools, colleges and universities.  We’ve not even celebrated our ventures into innovative research and development!

Now we’re older, we’ll be better at blogging. Promise.

Copyright 2009 Turbo Lemon Media Ltd. 4th Floor, Media Factory, UCLan, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE. UK Company No: 6649279.

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