Valuing Ideas

"The value of an idea lies in the using of it" - Thomas Edison, Inventor

When was the last time you had a lightbulb moment? Did you see the value? Did you act and identify any potential risks?
Due to the controversy over who was the true inventor of the lightbulb, you may have noticed the irony in the Thomas Edison quote above.
As passionate advocates for entrepreneurial spirit in the region, we’d like to shine a spotlight on local 'lad' and early light bulb inventor, Joseph Swan.
Swan’s achievements saw the world’s first house illuminated with electricity in Low Fell and the first use of ‘fairy lights’ on the opening night of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe in the Savoy Theatre in London.
Thomas Edison, after evolving Swan’s original patented idea, made improvements to the light bulb which caused Swan to sue; eventually ending in them joining forces and skill sets to create ‘Ediswan’ the largest manufacture of light bulbs in the world.
So, when you next have that lightbulb moment, how can you make sure you value your idea, have the resources to develop it further and have the right network to support you?
FIRST offer a free qualification in Understanding Enterprise which covers the risks, skills and network needed to startup. We work directly with aspiring entrepreneurs and partners to support staff/clients to build confidence and develop ‘Intrapreneurial’ skills.
Our next course begins on 1st February 2022 so if you would like more information, contact

First some news...

Kicking off careers

The team at XL Health recently hired new staff as part of the government's Kickstart Scheme. They came to us to see how we could work with them to support their new staff to build confidence in their new roles.

Tailoring our Understanding Enterprise course to fit around the needs of XL Health and more importantly the new team, FIRST were delighted to help out. 

The course is free for anyone living in Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham and Northumberland and supports organisations to develop skills for their entry level staff, volunteers or service users.

Click the button below to hear from XL Health's Community Engagement Manager Lynsey Finlayson and if you want to build confidence in the people you work with, contact to start the conversation. 

Valuing ideas with Entrepreneurial Spirit

FIRST's Cofounder and MD Charlotte Windebank was the regional winner and proud receiver of the Great British Entrepreneur's Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at a glitzy awards ceremony in London. Representing the North East was a proud moment for Charlotte and "As a business, this title means so much to us in our mission to empower early stage founders, students and job seekers to recognise their entrepreneurial spirit and go on to start businesses, land that dream job or access higher/further education. Thanks to all involved."

#wherepassionmeetspotential is FIRST's motto and we're looking for more early stage founders in the North East who are full of passion and entrepreneurial spirit to apply for Startup Awards North East 2022! 

There are 3 categories to celebrate aspiring entrepreneurs from that initial ideas lightbulb moment, right up to ambitious growing startups who want to scaleup.

Applications are open NOW so if you have had a light bulb moment and want to shine a spotlight on your passion and business click here to apply

Events, news, and opportunities from the North East ecosystem:

Whoz Amy?

Amy Clunes is an amazingly creative and ambitious founder of a growing startup. Passionate about empowering women, providing a safe environment and being 100% transparent in everything she does, Amy not only makes handmade accessories, but offers alterations to ensure that your clothes fit perfectly.

After completing her qualification in Level 1 Understanding Enterprise she went on to win #SkillUP Social Impact Award in Startup Awards North East 2021. In a few short months she has taken her lightbulb moment from an initial idea to now officially running her own business!

WhozAmy has recently launched her products online so if you are still looking for some last minute Christmas Presents, then check out her website here:

Forget lightbulbs, what about solar?

Previous Startup Awards North East Award winner, Chris Nutman, founder of Global Teacher is launching the world's first educational, 3D printed, solar-powered projector to teach one million marginalised students!

Chris shares; "The North-East has been the home of Global Teacher and, an amazing community that has nurtured myself and the idea, volunteered relentlessly and offered nothing but support. Without this area, the local business community and a place to call home...we simply wouldn't be here today."

Global Teacher want to inspire, and ignite a spark in problem solvers, dreamers and changemakers by showing the world this genius project during a launch event.

"Dream To Be Told" will be held at The Beam in Sunderland on 28th January 6:30 pm - 9:00pm.

Register here for your free ticket. 

Looking for investment?

Innovation Super Network have joined forces with Startup Award Partners British Business Bank to bring you a FREE webinar masterclass and advice on how to prepare and secure funding for your business.

You can listen and take part in a live Q&A with a panel of experienced investors to find out what attracts them to invest and what to expect from the process, as well as workshops from industry experts.

To sign up to this unique opportunity sign up here

FIRST choice for upcoming events

If you want to share your ideas and get opinions from people outside of your industry then head to this event with Next Gen as they operate on a "one person per profession" basis: Next Gen Networking Newcastle Cycle Hub, Wednesday 22nd December 7:45am -9am. 

Do you want to get a head start in the new year? This virtual session will help you to set your goals for 2022: Rural Business Network, Online, 29th December, 9am -5pm.

Do you want to meet as many people as possible to get opinions on your business ideas and make new contacts? Then speed networking may be for you: Speed Networking VWorks Village Hotel, 29th December  7am - 9am.

If virtual events are more your thing then check out this great event for the New Year: Newcastle Virtual Networking, FSB Wednesday 12th January, 9am - 11am.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Please let us know your preferences.

Please read our Cookie policy.