Barnsley drummer hits on business idea

1 March 2011

A drummer from Barnsley hopes to have hit on a great business idea after designing a clever bit of kit for musicians like him.
 
Nick Boxall, who plays with local alternative rock band Skinboat, came up with the concept for a device which prevents drums from de-tuning.
 
He has a launched a new business Drumtopia to develop the product with the help of start-up support from the Barnsley Business Mine, funded by the Enterprising Barnsley programme.
 
Nick, 37, obtained a first class honours degree in music and promotion at University Campus Barnsley, part of the University of Huddersfield, and has been creating a prototype for his invention with designers from the university.
 
He said: “I’ve been drumming since I was 15 and have personal experience of one of the problems drummers always face - that drums keep going out of tune. Re-tuning costs time during recording sessions and also interrupts the performance flow during live gigs.  
 
“I set about coming up with a solution while at university and my business has developed from there.” 
 
Once the prototype has been perfected, the aim is to either get backing from a major company or for Nick to produce and sell the product himself. So far he has had £1,000 to develop his product from Barnsley Business Mine – including cash from its Proof of Concept Fund. Then Nick recently won a £2,400 business start-up grant. His plan is for the units to be manufactured in Barnsley. 
 
Nick added: “There are 17,000 drummers in the UK and I want to target them before taking it to another level by supplying the millions of drummers worldwide.  There hasn’t been much innovation in attachments for drums and so I’m looking at other products too.
 
“I’m really going for it with my new business and I couldn’t have got this far without the backing of Barnsley Business Mine.”
 
The University Campus Barnsley has provided start-up grants to five promising Barnsley ventures under the Enterprising Barnsley programme after shortlisted candidates pitched their ideas before a panel in the style of the popular BBC show ‘Dragons’ Den’.
 
In addition to funding, the businesses will receive free one-to-one mentoring from a business advisor and access to a number of free workshops and networking events via Barnsley Business Mine for 12 months.  
 
Proof of Concept Fund grants are currently available for other would-be entrepreneurs and there will be another round of start-up awards available in the spring. To be eligible, candidates have to be current students at the University of Huddersfield or have graduated from any university within the last five years. The business must be launched in Barnsley.
 
The Enterprising Barnsley programme offers business support to Barnsley businesses with growth potential.   Enterprising Barnsley has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
 
For more information about Drumtopia call Nick on 07805 151282.  To find out more about the Barnsley Business Mine contact coordinator Suzanne Bagworth on 01226 644262 or at s.bagworth@hud.ac.uk   
 
For more information about Enterprising Barnsley contact programme manager Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at martinbeasley@barnsley.gov.uk or go to www.enterprisingbarnsley.co.uk
 
Notes to News Editors:
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre and University Campus Barnsley. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide an integrated programme of business support. 

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