Virtalent have been featured in Midlands Business News following their start at new business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark.
Here’s the official press release:
“A business which provides virtual assistants to start-up companies has had a whirlwind start after securing its first customers and moving to new premises.
Ellie Bekalo and Sam Wilson set-up Virtalent to offer online virtual assistant services to small businesses and start-ups.
The Aston Business School graduates, who employ staff in the UK to carry out tasks ranging from administration to marketing for a flexible number of hours each month, were runners-up in the 2014 Baldwins Accountants’ Entrepreneurs Awards.
As part of their prize, the duo received £5,000 of mentoring and accountancy advice from one of the region’s largest, independent family-owned accountancy firms.
Ellie said she and Sam are now working on Virtalent full-time after giving up their respective jobs at Birmingham City University and Aston Business School.
“I think we have exceeded our expectations about how fast everything has come together,” she said.
“We thought it would take longer to achieve investment but we quickly received offers of funding after becoming registered with the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and when we were networking at the Baldwins Awards night, we met various people which led to pitches and signing up a few clients.
“That is a massive step for us to have paying customers in a variety of fields from luxury interior design and hair and beauty to the legal sector and education.
“Staff at Baldwins Accountants have given us great advice and the fact they have given us their precious time has really helped us particularly with sales training.”
Sam said Virtalent has moved from the Innovation Birmingham Campus adjacent to Aston Business School to St Philip’s Place in Birmingham after securing a place on the new Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme, which is run in conjunction with NatWest.
On their first day in the new office, the Virtalent team won a 60 second pitch competition against 80 other businesses to secure £1,000 in prize money on the spot.
He added: “We are both excited about the future of Virtalent. We are proof to anyone thinking of entering Baldwins Entrepreneurs Awards 2015 that if you have an idea for a business, then you shouldn’t be afraid to just go for it.
“Ellie and I discovered that otherwise you will never find out just what you could have achieved, so you really need to believe in yourself and your idea.”
David Baldwin, a partner at Baldwins Accountants, said Virtalent is providing a valuable service to allow entrepreneurs to concentrate on running their business.
“The early days and months of SMEs and start-ups are vital to their success and being able to out-source tasks such as online marketing, customer support or design projects can make a real difference, which is why Virtalent is flourishing,” he said. “