The Bournemouth University Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) was delighted to welcome Matt Hawkins, Chairman and Founder of C4L to the incubator to host our latest Business Surgery.
Matt is one of the CfE’s Entrepreneurs in Residence, a small group of proactive business owners who visibly support and encourage entrepreneurship by acting as Champions for entrepreneurship and Ambassadors for the CfE.
The CfE Business Surgeries are run on a regular basis and provide a fantastic opportunity for early stage and growing businesses to ask questions and pick the brains of experienced professionals and entrepreneurs. They are aimed at both the businesses based at the CfE and also BU students running businesses. Previous Business Surgeries have been hosted by Gary Seneviratne, (Adido), Peter Czapp, (The Wow Company), and Ewan King, (Content is King).
At the age of 25, Matt Hawkins founded C4L in 2000, four years after completing a computing and business degree at Brunel University. Having programmed his ﬁrst computer at the age of ﬁve, some 33 years later Matt’s privately owned company, C4L, now has a turnover of £12.5m which he expects to increase to £16m in 2014. Since inception the firm has maintained a track record of rapid growth every year due to continuous progression through innovation. Today, C4L is based at County Gates House which borders Bournemouth and Poole and occupies four floors of the building. C4L also owns its own data centre and houses 15,000 square feet of very sensitive data for banks, businesses and technology companies from across the UK and Europe. C4L’s client base includes Government, FTSE 250, financial institutions and many of the UK’s network carriers. C4L was the 2012 winner of HSBC’s South West Business Thinking initiative, and has been ranked in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 EMEA, as well as the Sunday Times Microsoft Tech Track 100.
Robin Humphreyies, Managing Director of games developers, Static Games Ltd (www.static-games.co.uk), and current BU student, said, ‘we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to talk over areas of our business with Matt.’ Robin adds, ‘it is great to receive insight and ideas from someone who has such relevant industry knowledge and experience, and who has already been through the start-up stage and understands both the problems we face, and perhaps more importantly, the opportunities available to us!’
Kaisa Kangro, Managing Director of el RHEY Ltd, (www.elrhey.com), specialist designers of children’s rainwear, agreed this was a ‘great opportunity to meet Matt Hawkins and ask questions to someone who has built such a successful business from scratch.’ Kaisa found Matt’s experiences of managing growth ‘extremely valuable’ and intended to use these insights to help ‘assess and steer’ el RHEY in the future.
The CfE provides support to start up and early stage ventures and in addition to the Surgeries organises a range of activities including business seminars. ‘It is fantastic that both the Entrepreneurs in Residence and the CfE are so eager to offer up their time to help a young business like ours,’ comments Robin, ‘we hope they will continue to support us with further relevant and insightful surgery sessions in the future.’
We are immensely grateful to Matt for his time and for his continuing support of the activities of the CfE and the businesses based here. To find out more about the Centre for Entrepreneurship please visit us at www.bucfe.com or contact Nikki Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org