Sage Tank: Month 2 Mentoring Update

2 years ago

It’s been 6 weeks since Alison Gray was announced winner of the ‘Sage Tank’ startup competition on #MicroBizMattersDay 2017 and during that time we’ve had three excellent 1hr mentoring sessions via Skype to discuss her new business, ‘Poetry and Motion’.

I already loved Alison’s original idea of providing poetry and spoken word classes for teenagers and older which was based on her own deep and long-term love of the art-form but I’ve been extremely impressed by how quickly she’s developed this further with support and encouragement from people in her existing network and the feedback that Sage Product Manager Jonathan Dowden and I have provided.

As a mentor, it’s great to be paired with someone who is so enthusiastic and creative as Alison and I’m thoroughly enjoying our sessions where we can spark off each other and come up with exciting new ideas which she is rapidly putting into practice.

She’s already working on a pilot workshop and series of follow on events with several schools in her local area, has completed her Disclosure and Barring Service (DSB) checks, has just launched a new website at, and also has lots of great people offering to help, support and partner with her new business.

Alison, her son and a family friend have also written a fantastic 3-person poem based on the themes of ‘Inventing the Future’ and pursuing your passion which they are also turning into a video to be shown at the ‘Newcastle Startup Week’ festival I’m running in May!

In my experience, energy breeds action and there’s definitely a real buzz around Alison at the moment that comes from her own confidence and positivity which is an attractive trait that makes other people want to work with you. (No-one wants to work with a negative entrepreneur or business owner now do they?)

Alison already had all the skills, knowledge and passion to bring her business to life so my role as a mentor is simply to act as a sounding board, constant source of encouragement and relentless cheerleader who can help help bring this out so she can fulfil her potential.

We’re on this journey together and she’s already made a fantastic start so I’m excited to see where she goes from her and how things will evolve over the coming weeks and months!

As Sage MD Jacqueline De Rojas says:

By Paul Lancaster (Founder, Plan Digital UK)

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