Devon Business & IP Centre provides support to business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors

Start-up Day 2020

Thursday, 19th November, 9.30 – 16.45 (free, online)

Join BIPC Devon and the British Library online for a day of free talks and practical advice sessions designed to get your business idea off to a flying start.

We are back for 2020 with our biggest day of the year, Start-up Day. Whether you’re just starting out, need advice on sales in the current climate, or are ready to take the next step, join us online for our annual day of free business support. Feel free to pick and choose from our jam-packed schedule of inspirational talks and sessions, jump around between the different breakout rooms, find events local to you across the country, or else settle in for the full day.

With our live chat feature, you can continue to talk to fellow attendees, share advice and network. Events are being hosted across the country so this is an opportunity to meet a wider breadth of people than ever before.

You only need to register once to get access to the full day of events. You can then choose which sessions you attend.

Full programme and registration


As part of the day, join our BIPC Devon panel from 1.45 – 2.45 for:

Start-up Stories: the realities of bringing your ideas to life

Thinking of starting up? Find out more from people who have already taken the leap.

This panel event includes a mix of start-ups, established businesses, experts in the business field and the Digital Tutor from FabLab Devon.

Find out:

  • How they came up with their ideas and the catalyst for starting-up
  • The challenges faced and how they overcame them
  • Which business resources they found useful and who they went to for advice
  • What services or support would have been useful but wasn’t available
  • Market research
  • The challenges of COVID
  • Future plans
  • How you can access affordable equipment to make your prototype

Our panel:

Michael [Mick] Green (Facilitator)Mick Green phhoto

HR Professional and Ex Royal Marine, Director of Endorse HR, Chair of Exeter FSB. Area lead for Devon FSB. Trustee with Headway Devon. Secretary with Friends of Exeter Ship Canal. Mick has been running his own successful HR consultancy business for over 8 years helping businesses start, grow, take a new direction or deal sensitively, but effectively with people problems.

Find Mick at Endorse HR or on Twitter

Darren Avery (Foot Healthcare Practitioner, Sole Solutions)

My name is Darren Avery and I am 42 years old and I live in Torrington, North Devon. I worked as a welder fabricator since leaving school and was in the industry for 25 years. I decided that if I wanted a career change, then now would be the best time.

In March 2019, I started a course with Stonebridge Associated Colleges in order to become a Foot Healthcare Practitioner. This was after helping a few family members with different foot issues and I soon realised that Torrington and the local area had a shortage of foot care specialists that could travel and provide mobile services in the comfort of the client’s own home.

Since qualifying in January 2020, my client base has developed well, even with the unpredictability of the COVID-19 lockdown. I am fortunate to have been able to make this my full-time career since July and have received wonderful, five-star reviews with the majority of customers rebooking on a six-week basis. I am enjoying this industry immensely and look forward to seeing what the next phase of my career brings.

Find Darren on Facebook

Lynda Bowler (Pebble and Pooch)

I’m not a professional artist, but have always enjoyed creating things and painting, especially animals and landscapes. I have worked in libraries for the majority of my career until earlier this year. I created a children’s character (M@x the dog) for Devon Libraries (2005 – 2015).

I have undertaken privately commissioned works and last year the production of over 100 little Miniature Schnauzer slate paintings sold in aid of an animal charity. The paintings were a huge success raising well over £600 for the rescue in a relatively short space of time.

This got me thinking… Why not start a little business and do something I love to do, whilst still supporting a charity close to my heart…

Find Lynda on Facebook or on Instagram @pebbleandpooch

Lauren Lepley-Caldon (Executive Coach)

Lauren Lepley-Caldon, is an Executive Coach, primarily working with women from creative backgrounds and industries. Benefitting those with a lack of confidence, Imposter Syndrome, dealing with past traumas and those that struggle with anxiety and overwhelm in their lives, businesses and general self-care and wellbeing. These are all denominations that reflect her own experiences and career leading to her successes as a Global Operations Consultant and mentoring start-up businesses around the UK.

Lauren is also the owner and Founder of Aleafia Wellness Centre (AWC). A 360’ wellness centre based in North Devon with corporate and private clients stretching to London and Internationally. AWC brings together under one roof and facilitates a variety of specialists from Hypnotherapy, Yoga, Reiki, Acupuncture, Massage, fitness training and much more. The centre can offer a full health and wellbeing experience for all, from aged 4 upwards.

Find Lauren on Facebook or Instagram
Aleafia’s website, Facebook and Instagram 

Vicky Moss-Crump (Project Manager, Cosmic)

Vicky Moss-Crump has worked for the Social Enterprise Cosmic on a number of different internal and external projects over her 7 years with the company. Her current role is Projects Manager overseeing a number of projects for the company which provide digital and skills support for individuals, start-ups, SMEs and larger organisations. Her principle day-to-day tasks focus on expanding the reach of our work, supporting the project team to achieve high standards of delivery for those we are supporting and ensuring that we offer training and support that individuals and businesses need to excel.

Find Vicky on LinkedIn
Cosmic’s website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

Kerala Cotter (Digital Tutor, FabLab Devon)

FabLabDevon is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication and situated in two Devon Libraries, Exeter and Barnstaple. Digital fabrication is where you have a computer design that you input into a machine to make, from Laser Cutting to 3D printing. We are an open access, not-for-profit, community resource where anybody can invent and make just about anything. We want to help you learn and give you access to a space that will allow you to share your ideas.

FabLabDevon’s website, Facebook and Twitter


To register, see the full programme for the day, and learn about the business headshot editing service, visit the British Library’s Start Up Day 2020 page. We look forward to seeing you there!

Resources to help start, run and grow your business

  • On the right side of each page you will find upcoming talks, workshops and networking events.
  • A range of one-to-one appointments, including the popular Introduction to the Business & IP Centre.
  • Access to resources; free wifi in libraries, FabLab Devon and of course business reference books!