DigitalBeans: Star Business of the Month – September 2013

Digital Beans Search and Social Marketing

Piperis Filippaios – Managing Director at DigitalBeans specialises in Digital Marketing with a strong focus on Search Engine Optimisation. The business which was originally called uTargeting was founded when he was just 22 and he has been working hard at it ever since. A very creative and hardworking individual showing true entrepreneurial spirit with his resilience to face any business challenge.


DigitalBeans was developed in response to supporting companies to grow their business online. Traditionally it started out with small companies and sole traders but the company is now increasingly serving larger clients ranging from manufacturers to shopping centres. The company’s success was recognised in the 2013 Kent Excellence in Business Awards receiving the status of Finalist in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category. The company is evolving and always takes into consideration any changing trends and adapting their services to meet these needs.

There is plenty of ambition with both DigitalBeans and Piperis. The aim for the company is to grow the business and size of the team, alongside growing other ventures Piperis is already involved with. Piperis hopes to be able to maintain this momentum and grow the number of companies he is involved with over the coming years.

Business Tip:

“Take the plunge and create your own future”

Website     Facebook    Twitter


Electric Lantern – Motion Picture Festival

electric-lanterns-festival-rectangle-720Client: Samuel Marlow –

Business: Electric Lantern Motion Picture Festival

Description: Now in its third year, The Electric Lantern Festival is a week-long international film festival in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, at the start of September 2013.

Telephone: 07599 716453


Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs supported this event in it’s infancy and are now pleased to announce it’s growth and success. Read on to find out more and join in… 

The Electric Lantern Festival, Tunbridge Wells’ International Film Festival has doubled the number of days it runs to cope with the volume and quality of submissions.

The director of Tunbridge Wells’ Electric Lantern International Film  Festival, Samuel Marlow, announced that he was doubling the duration of the event to cope with the volume and quality of films the Festival has received this year.

Running for a week at the start of September in Tunbridge Wells’ Trinity Theatre, the Electric Lantern International Film Festival screens feature length and short drama, comedy, documentary, animation, music video and experimental film from local, national and international directors. This year the sponsor-funded festival is  screening 63 films from 18 countries including the USA, Iran, Brazil, Cambodia, India and the Slovak Republic, with other films coming from people almost literally a stone’s throw from the venue.

Originally three days long, Samuel Marlow decided to expand the Festival to a week once the quality of the films being submitted became apparent: “You know something special is happening when you start watching another excellent film and your heart sinks because  you’re thinking ‘Oh, no. I’ve got to find space for this one, too!'”Despite the extra days and the addition of a second screen, the Festival is still only able to screen about a quarter of what was submitted.

“It was exceptionally difficult to make the selection,” Sam  continued. “I had to whittle the films down favouring premieres, films with a strong voice or unusual angle.” The Festival’s line-up boasts 41 world and UK premieres, and closes with “Traveller” starring David Essex and newcomer Billy Cook in an adaptation of John F McDonald’s novel.

The Festival’s full schedule can be found at:

Tunbridge Wells resident Samuel Marlow founded the Electric Lantern Festival in 2011 to bring some of the best in independent films to his home town.

Business Tip

“The Festival’s strap-line is See The World In A New Light, and I feel we really stayed true to that. Whether it’s a documentary about caring for elderly zoo animals or floating schools in Bangladesh, a film about a plastic toy diver having an existential crisis or a drama about which of two communities you belong to, every film is surprising, enlightening of inspirational.”

This Art Of Mine – Create something to be proud of!

gemma-blacker-this-art-of-mine-rectangle-549Client: Gemma Blacker

Business: This Art Of Mine

Description: A friendly arts and craft studio set in the Kent countryside. All ages and abilities welcome.

Telephone: 01622 735 312


How was This Art of Mine launched?

This Art of Mine was launched in 2010. The start up costs were funded by personal loans from myself and my other business owner Kate. We put in a lot of hard work to get it up and running, visiting many suppliers, designing a website, numerous trips to Ikea and buying our first lot of stock. After two months of planning the doors were open for business.

What is This Art of Mine?this-art-of-mine-studio-rectangle-609

This Art of Mine is an arts and crafts studio where customers can attend craft workshops, art lessons and courses. Teaching all the workshops and courses is an expert team of staff and for that extra sparkle the occasional guest tutor. The main crafts on offer are ceramic painting, jewellery making, sewing, knitting, t-shirt, bag designing and watercolour. The studio is inspiration in itself residing in a beautiful converted barn in the heart of the Kent countryside. The fantastic scenery and relaxing atmosphere come at no extra cost.

Are you creative yourself?

Yes I’ve always loved doing arty crafty things and I’m so lucky that I can now do a job I love full time.

this-art-of-mine-child-class-rectangle-611Where do you see your business in the future?

I would like the studio to be one of the top tourist destinations in Kent with the studio to be renowned for it’s teaching. Anyone then wishing to improve their art and craft skills would immediately think of This Art Of Mine.

Pigs with Personality? Find out more…

What support have you received?

Gemma is linked with a Business Mentor and said “My Mentor has been really great. Although we are very busy, we catch up on a regular basis to evaluate how things are going and to set some future actions.”  Developing a marketing strategy involved Gemma spending time in her Mentor’s own company, shadowing the sales team helped her to understand different elements of business.


The NETFORCE 2 mentoring project was selected as part of the France (Channel)-England cross border European cooperation programme INTERREG IVA co-financed by ERDF. This project was launched in January 2011 and ran until September 2013 in Kent and the Upper Normandy region. It gave the opportunity to test new tools to support the entrepreneur in their journey to create a new or take over an existing business.

Business Tipthis-art-of-mine-craft-class-rectangle-610

Keep on top of your admin and remember to take a break from the business once in a while so that you can reflect on where it’s going and come back with loads of exciting ideas to take it forward.

Stepping Stones Success!

kent-foundation-emma-whittal-kei-winner-2012-rectangle-563Client: Emma Whittall

Business: Stepping Stones Studio

Description: A community arts centre to showcase emerging local talent

Telephone: 07787 470495


Emma Whitall Founder and Managing Director at Stepping Stone Studios, graduated from Cambridge University and the University for the Creative Arts.

Emma was introduced to the Kent Foundation via contact with one of our Trustees & Chairman of Kent County Council. In order to help develop her ideas, she accessed the Mentoring Service to help her develop a business plan for Stepping Stones Studio. Emma subsequently entered the Kent Entrepreneurs Initiative (KEI) and went on to win. In return she received a package of free support from a range of business experts from across Kent.

Why did you decide to launch your own business?

I wanted to create an artistic studio in Maidstone which aims to reflect the ethos of the community I am working with in new and interesting ways.  I want to realise and develop innovative ideas with profitable and original results.    I just love collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds, utilising my own skills but also honing the interests of others to achieve maximum success.

Stepping Stones Studio is a community interest company and I am passionate about promoting aspiring and established artists in Kent. 

What support have you received?

Stepping Stones Studio is a self-designed arts initiative and received initial sponsorship and funding by Kent County Council.

Emma entered Kent Foundation’s 2012 KEI-Business Challenge and as the winner received a package of support from Kent Foundation’s business partners, including accountancy support from Wilkins Kennedy

Emma is linked with a Business Mentor and said “The Kent Foundation has been a great help and my mentor, Rob Bird, has been brilliant”

“For a young entrepreneur making your idea a reality is the first big step. Writing a business model that works is one thing- putting it into action is another. Kent Foundation helped me put my business idea into a real-life context, helping me make it a reality by giving me a business mentor with real experience, real connections, and real encouragement.”

What do you hope to achieve in business? 

I want to encourage and enable visual artists by providing, affordable studio space, cafe, gallery and shop.  In five years I hope the studio will have become a real artist hub, with tourists coming in, lots of events, open mic nights and art at its core.


The NETFORCE 2 project was selected as part of the France (Channel)-England cross border European cooperation programme INTERREG IVA co-financed by ERDF. This project was launched in January 2011 and ran until September 2013 in Kent and the Upper Normandy region. It gave the opportunity to test new tools to support the entrepreneur in his journey to create a new or take over an existing business.

Beebies Baby Store – Business venture from college student Ami Holt

beebies-baby-store-at-kent-foundation-blast-event-rectangle-524Client: Ami HoltBusiness: Beebies Baby Store

Description: A new baby gift business supplying affordable, pretty and practical gifts tailored to suit your needs.

Telephone: 07850858212


Why did you decide to start Beebies Baby Store?

I was inspired to set up Beebies Baby Store when a number of my family and friends fell pregnant around the same time and I struggled to find gifts which were affordable, pretty and useful, so I put hampers together myself. I spotted the gap in the market and so here I am!

What does Beebies Baby Store provide?boys-gifts-rectangle-525

Beebies provides a variety of gifts from Beebies Baby Baskets containing 10 items from well known brands, to personalised cushions and soft furnishings. A baby shower hosting service is also on offer.

You are a college student who has opted for business rather than University. Why do you feel this is the right choice for you?

I have chosen to take the “fourth option” and make my mark on the world of business rather than go to university, as I have always been independent and its my dream to run a successful company.

girls-gifts-8-rectangle-534Imagine yourself in 5 years time. What do you hope to have achieved?

I can’t say too much about my plans for the future, however I do see Beebies Baby Store having a lot of potential to become a national success.

Business Tip

“Believe in your ideas, only tell certain things to certain people and don’t be shy to ask for help!”

Mint Fresh Services – Cleaner than clean!

mint-fresh-services-kent-foundation-rectangle-585Client: Daniel Warren

Business: Mint Fresh Services

Description: An honest, reliable and value for money cleaning service – no job too big or small!

Telephone: 07999744788


Daniel has recently graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) with a BA in Business Studies. Daniel was introduced to the Kent Foundation by him entering Kent Entrepreneurs Initiative (KEI), he went on to win the Peer Award on the evening for his professionalism and then to further develop his business he accessed the Mentor Service. He has now had Test Trading and is about to launch his business, Mint Fresh Services.

Why did you decide to launch your own business?mint-fresh-services-professional-kent-cleaning-rectangle-588

I decided to start my own business because I didn’t want to settle for a job I didn’t particularly enjoy, which is likely what would have happened in today’s economic climate. I’d always wanted to build a successful business and be self employed, so together with 7 years academic business experience and 5 years experience in the cleaning industry with my part time job, I decided to start ‘Mint Fresh Services’.

What support have you received?

I have a Business Mentor, Keita, from Kent Foundation. Having a mentor during the process of starting a business was hugely beneficial to me. Having someone with knowledge and experience in business as well as an unbiased opinion helped me make the right decisions, the first time. He also helped me create a business plan that I could use as a tool and a guide during different growth stages of my business.

What do you hope to achieve in business? 

I hope to achieve many things from starting my own business; I want to disprove certain people from thinking young people can’t be successful in business, I want to put all my academic experience into practice and be successful and one day like to become a volunteer mentor to help someone in the same way Keita helped me.


The NETFORCE 2 project was selected as part of the France (Channel)-England cross border European cooperation programme INTERREG IVA co-financed by ERDF. This project was launched in January 2011 and ran until September 2013 in Kent and the Upper Normandy region. It gave the opportunity to test new tools to support the entrepreneur in his journey to create a new or take over an existing business.

Business Tip

The quote I always try to remember is:

 “Business either goes forwards or it goes backwards, it never stands still.”