Dunoon-based web solutions provider Sam Coley – who created the Explore Argyll website for Argyll and the Isles Tourism and who is pioneering an approach to interactive touch screen information services - has been named Argyll’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2013 Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland Young Entrepreneur (PTYBS) Awards.
The 21 year old founder of SAMTEQ was announced regional winner at a ceremony at Kilmory Castle. He was presented with a £1000 cash prize by Caroline McPherson, from Firstpoint USA, sponsors of this year’s winner’s award.
Sam Coley launched SAMTEQ in 2009 when he was just 16 years old. Within 6 months and while Sam was still at school, SAMTEQ opened an office based in Dunoon. Sam worked after school and during weekends to steadily grow the business while completing his studies. The business focused initially on producing websites for small businesses and grew from there.
The business has been completely self-financed other than a Will It Work Grant from PTYBS.
Today SAMTEQ specialise in website development, interactive systems and cloud based software and clients include Balmoral Castle, SportScotland and the RSPB. Other big projects include the much publicised, Explore Argyll website, which SAMTEQ won after scoring the highest out of 38 tenders. SAMTEQ currently has two full time members of staff and the business is continuing to expand profitably into a wide range of sectors, ensuring SAMTEQ’s position as a growing leader in the market.
The runner-up is 23 year old Leonie Woolf, founder of Art & Sea based in Oban.
Leonie established her custom kayak graphics business at the beginning of 2011 with funding and advice from the PTYBS.
The young entrepreneur came across the idea for her business when she couldn’t find a graphics company to custom design own kayak. With funding from PTYBS she was able to purchase the tools, materials to be able to provide customers with custom designed graphics in a high quality marine grade vinyl.
The graphics can be applied to almost any surface, making them suitable for kayaks, paddles, helmets, and even cars and bigger boats. Leonie’s designs are now seen on boats throughout the UK, as well as USA, Australia and other countries around the world. Provost Isobel Strong from Argyll & Bute Council presented Leonie with a £500 cash prize and runners-up certificate.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland’s Regional Chairman, Murdo Macleod said, ‘Both these young entrepreneurs have exemplified determination, the will to succeed and the ability to turn a good idea into a viable business. They are great role models for other young people and deserving winners of these awards.’
Andrew Kean of Firstpoint USA, said: ‘We are delighted to celebrate the determination and innovation of our young people by recognising and rewarding their achievements through these awards.’