Client profile: Full On Sport
- "I believe we would not have been in the position to hire staff and to expand into a second office without the help of Pension-led funding."
- Loan from pension and purchase of the business’ Intellectual Property helped investment in the growing business
Very few people get the opportunity to combine business with pleasure but Mark Lewis has found the winning formula.
“I had a passion for sports and technology – and combined them. I had always wanted to run my own business,” said Mark Lewis, an accomplished triathlete who has competed in gruelling Ironman events.
Mark, 44, launched Full On Sport in his bedroom more than five years ago.
The company provides full support services to sports events, from organisation to timing and electronic payment processing from their base in Yeovil, Somerset.
Sporting pedigree and experience is in the company’s DNA, with all staff active sportsmen and women, some taking part in running, triathlon and cycling events, and others interested in martial arts, football, rugby and cricket.
“Everyone at Full On Sport regularly participates in various races so they really know what goes into organising a successful event,” the company’s website promises.
The belief that the company could improve the organisation of events for thousands of athletes up and down the country convinced Mark and his partners to take the next step.
He secured some capital from his bank but looked to Pension-led funding as an option for further funds.
“We wanted to grow the company and at the time the banks were not keen on lending to small companies, at least reasonable amounts of money,” he said.
“It was my pension so I decided the cash was better used in the company.”
A loan from his pension fund and the purchase of the business’ Intellectual Property helped Mark invest in the growing business.
The cash injection helped fund the appointment of another web developer and a full-time sales marketing person. The company now has seven staff.
Mark and his partners were also able to invest in timing equipment and new hardware.
Looking to the future Full On Sport will be developing their own Immortal Sport brand challenging athletes with “a mission to create tough, triathlon races, in beautiful locations around the South West”. Several events are already lined up for 2016.
Mark said: “We want to grow domestically all over the country and in a couple of years internationally.
“We organise our own events and would love to have an international series for our Immortal Sports brand.”
But Mark remembers it was securing funding from his pension which got his business off the start line.
“Alex (Stavri) was very helpful and made the whole process quite painless. I believe we would not have been in the position to hire staff and to expand into a second office without the help of Pension-led funding.”
Mark set up Full On Sport in his bedroom and now, with his partners, runs a business that provides full support services to sports events, from organisation to timing and electronic payment processing.
Despite securing some finance from their bank, Full On Sport wanted to invest more to push ahead with the development of the business to employ more staff and invest in new equipment. “We wanted to grow the company and at the time the banks were not keen on lending to small companies, at least reasonable amounts of money,” Mark said. “It was my pension so I decided the cash was better used in the company.”
Mark looked at the Pension-led funding option. A loan from his pension fund and the purchase of the business’ Intellectual Property helped Mark invest in the growing company. Full On Sport now employs seven staff.
Full On Sport are developing their own Immortal Sport brand and have a number of their own triathlon events lined up for 2016. The goal for Mark and his partners is to grow their market at home and abroad and to launch their own international series under the Immortal Sport banner.