Startup Academy

The Startup Academy is a 10-week programme designed to help early-stage businesses in Guernsey go from idea to market.

The programme is led by Blenheim Chalcot’s Red Team, who will share their knowledge and expertise with you such as, discovering customer insights, navigating unit economics and innovative business models. It is specifically designed to immerse entrepreneurs in developing their ventures, through a range of structured sessions and workshops.

Gain insider know-how, tips, tricks and essential elements to go from idea to market, and build connections with fellow cohort members for a lasting business network to drive you and your business forward!

The Startup Academy was made possible by the SMART Guernsey partnership, powered by Agilisys.


Session Topic



Startup Academy 2024 kick-off event


10th April 2024

Session 1: What Is a Great Business? 


11th April 2024

Session 2: Discovering Customer Pains


18th April 2024

Session 3: Nail it then Scale it Part 1


25th April 2024

Session 4: Nail it then Scale it Part 2


2nd May 2024

Session 5: Nail it then Scale it Part 3


16th May 2024

Session 6: Early Unit Economics 


23rd May 2024

Session 7: Business Model Innovation Part 1


6th June 2024

Session 8: Business Model Innovation Part 2


13th June 2024

Session 9: How to Present a Business Case


20th June 2024

Presentation Evening


4th July 2024


Application for the Startup Academy 2024 have now closed. If you would like to register your interest for the next Startup Academy, please use the form below.

Read the stories behind the businesses on the 2023 Startup Academy

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What to expect from the 10 weeks

The Statup Academy consists of a series of workshops and sessions covering the following topics:

What Is a Great Business? 

Participants will look into good examples of what could be considered great businesses using case studies from Blenheim Chalcot and the metrics by which great businesses are judged and how they have changed over the last year or so. This session provides a great opportunity to take an updated look at the business landscape.

Discovering Customer Pains

The focus of this session is how to effectively extract valuable information from customers about their pains when interacting with your business. Participants will learn that success might depend on not listening to what customers say they need, how to understand what’s important in user interviews (the five whys) and how to map qualitative data to identify opportunities for innovation.

Nail It then Scale It

This topic spans three sessions and looks at how to identify a valuable problem to solve, recognise product market fit, and develop and test a "Big Idea Hypothesis." Participants will learn how to make informed decisions and avoid wasting resources in their pursuit of success. We’ll also dive into prototype and solution testing before looking deeply at go-to-market strategy.

Early Unit Economics 

This training will provide a deep dive into Unit Economics. We’ll focus on why Unit Economics matters and become familiar with the terms and metrics within this topic. We’ll look at how Unit Economics relates to both B2C SaaS (LTV / CAC, CAC Payback and Contribution Margins) and smaller B2B businesses, while also considering key growth metrics.

Business Model Innovation

In these sessions, participants will understand the key elements of a business model and how they relate to one another. Using the business model canvas, participants will begin to deeply analyse how their current business models work while maintaining optionality, together with learning how and why business models can be a powerful source of disruption.

They will consider whether technical innovation can be more powerful than business model innovation, before looking at some examples of how Blenheim Chalcot businesses have innovated their business models and the kind of outputs of a business model that would appeal to a growth investor and the tools necessary for business model innovation.

How to Present a Business Case 

This final session focuses on learning the fundamentals of building a business case, including types, scales and considerations from both CEO and senior manager perspectives. Participants will gain knowledge of the importance of reporting and tracking mechanisms for successful operational plans.

Who's it for?

This kick-start programme is specifically designed for early-stage, high-growth businesses in Guernsey with scale ambition!  If you are starting or have recently started your venture and are looking to scale, this programme is for you. 

The information below specifies the application criteria for the academy:

  • Applicants must be residents of Guernsey
  • The applicant’s business must be looking to scale with growth ambitions for 2024.
  • Applications can be from any sector or business type. 
  • Each application is allocated two participant spaces on the programme.  If you have a business partner or team member who would like to take part in the Startup Academy programme with you, you must fill in their details when applying.

If you are unsure if your business qualifies for this programme or if this is the right level for the current stage of development, please email or call 01481 701010 for further advice. 

Apply now at the bottom of the page, the deadline is 24th March.

Hear from the Startup Academy alumni

Andre Duquemin

2023 Cohort Founder of Three Brain Training Academy

The Three Brain Training Academy is a private online community for next-gen leaders who want to prioritise peak performance while maximising their health and well-being.

"I joined the academy to help me build and scale a paid community of next-generation leaders who are looking for guidance and support in areas such as mental well-being, peak performance and leadership. 

I have found the training with Red Team to be fascinating and hugely valuable training. Having the resources to really dig deep into what my business needs to do to move forward is vital. From uncovering customer pains to working up prototypes of possible solutions and then getting out in the field and talking to real people, it's been a thorough and rewarding journey. I have no doubt that my business is in a far better state to achieve real growth in the next 12 months as a result of this training."

Ben Wratten & Dave Wratten

2023 Cohort Founders of Stage Portal

Stage Portal is a platform designed for the live event industry, meeting the demands and logistical challenges faced by event organisers, venues, production teams, and performers. Stage Portal enables the streamlining and automation of processes giving users the power to effortlessly manage equipment, artists, personnel and schedules saving days if not weeks of work. Allowing all parties to focus on creating unforgettable experiences, one event at a time. 

"Our time on the Startup Academy was invaluable to the development of our business, Read Team, the Digital Greenhouse and the other businesses on the cohort have been so supportive on our journey. Having the space to focus on each of the different areas covered in the academy enabled us to accelerate at a much faster rate.

We are looking forward to next implementing the learning on how we can innovate on our business model."

Joanna Corder

2023 Cohort Founder of The Veterinary Content Company and Petlearnia

Run by passionate vets, The Veterinary Content Company provides blogs and articles about pets for companies and pet owners all over the world. Their new solution, Petlearnia, will give owners an engaging learning experience so they can better understand and help their pets.  

"The course has been amazing. I’ve run several small businesses from home but never even did economics at school, so it’s been so great to learn the theory. Having said that, it’s been surprisingly practical and I loved being part of a supportive and cohesive cohort helping one another with business plans, technological issues, and our pitches."

Louis Jooste

2023 Cohort Co-founder of Cloud Wealth

CloudWealth is a secure, interactive online platform for clients and service providers in the Financial Services Industry where all aspects of the client journey can be managed by the use of automated decision-making processes and a centralised filing system - thereby reducing reliance on paper, ensuring better data protection and allowing teams to work remotely. 

"The Startup Academy was a great journey and I learned a lot of useful things. Sometimes with these things, you learn the theory behind it but never get the opportunity to apply it practically. To me, the academy was like a short course MBA for startups and I would recommend it to even the most 'knowledgeable' aspiring entrepreneur.

I appreciated the learning modules that dealt with business model innovation the most - there are so many ways to present a business to the market and to be able to pivot a business by changing the business model or even selecting a fit-for-purpose model is so crucial. My learnings will help me know what to look out for." 

Matthias Plunser

2023 Cohort Founder of Channel Islands Workation and WXplr

The Channel Islands Workation platform looks to help individuals and teams to increase productivity, focus and work-life balance by combining work and vacation on the Channel Islands. WXplr - Workation Explorer is an AI-based platform that offers worldwide consultation and booking of tailor-made workations.  

"I applied because I wanted to use all available opportunities to get Channel Islands Workation on track! I needed resources to build a strong and scaleable business, help build and grow my network on the channel islands, find key partners/investors for the future and bring the topic "Workations" forward for remote Islands. 

The Startup Academy had a great influence on my startup. I started with the simple idea of providing workations on the Channel Islands. Now it has become a real digital tech startup idea, backed by great insights about how to really nail the Big Idea Hypothesis, creating an awesome product to solve a real problem and finally how to bring my solution to the market. It helped a lot to be in a nice group of individuals working on their own startup and having the support of Digital Greenhouse and the Blenheim Chalcot Red Team."

Tammy Lodge

2023 Cohort Founder of Leaving Toxicity

Leaving Toxicity provides sessions and programmes for women who experience high-functioning anxiety to help them feel at ease.

"I applied to participate in the Academy because I see the importance of building a business with a strong foundation. In addition, getting to work with the Red Team and other local start-ups offered great opportunities for growth, collaboration and mutual support."

Tim Rowe & Sonia Mills Vincent De Vera

2023 Cohort Founders of Wild Wolf Wellbeing

Combining psychotherapy and their own personal experiences in their well-being practice, Wild Wolf Wellbeing embraces the understanding that each person is unique, fostering a supportive environment that has garnered overwhelming praise from their clients.

"Participating in the Startup Academy was vital for us to help ensure the success of our ambitious business model. It granted us access to invaluable support and resources from Digital Greenhouse and Blenheim Chalcott Red Team. Engaging with these industry experts allowed us to ask critical questions, refine our strategies, and make informed decisions as we prepared to scale Wild Wolf Wellbeing. Helping us to build a solid foundation for long-term success and empowering us to bring our transformative vision to a broader audience. Through this programme, we're ready to make a lasting impact and fulfil our mission on a global scale."

Startup Academy Registration of interest 2025

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