Teenage entrepreneurs win best new business award
By JohnThorne | Monday, April 29, 2013, 17:30
An online business started by two teenage Taunton friends has won a prestigious award as one of Somerset's highest-performing new enterprises of 2013.
Our photograph shows (left to right) LetsBothTalk co-founders Ben Pratt and Dan Cooper with two of their staff, Peter Carpenter and Rob Jay, both also of Taunton. Their other employee, Matt O’Shea, was unable to attend the photocall.
Ben Pratt, aged 18, of St Quintin Park, and Dan Cooper, aged 17, of Redlake Drive, only formed their 'walk through' gaming clips business LetsBothTalk last summer.
The clips of Ben and Dan playing games interactively on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and PC help other players learn how to play better, as well as providing entertainment.
LetsBothTalk quickly attracted nearly 2,000 viewers and became an official YouTube partner within months.
Ben and Dan then launched their own website www.letsbothtalk.tumblr.com to include podcasts and a blog giving explanations of game moves and challenges, and they have already created three new jobs for fellow gaming enthusiasts.
Now, LetsBothTalk, which operates from premises on the Riverside Mill Business Park, Bridgwater, has been named the 'best new business in Sedgemoor' by an independent panel of judges representing some of the district's most established firms.
The honour came at the first-ever Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards ceremony.
Dan said: "We were optimistic when LetsBothTalk was nominated for the best new business award, but still completely shocked when we actually won.
"Hopefully, the award will earn increased recognition for LetsBothTalk among our target audience of gamers, so we can continue to improve not just the business but also our own skills.
"With greater popularity, our revenue should increase and allow us to carry on improving the quality of LetsBothTalk and making it an entertainment home with appeal for gamers of all ages."
LetsBothTalk sprang from the passion of Ben and Dan for computer games which they have been playing together since they were 12 or 13 years old.
Ben and Dan spotted the potential generated by people turning to gaming clips posted on the internet to help improve their skills, and decided they wanted to help shape and develop the new trend.
Despite an image of gamers being 'teenage geeks', there were an estimated 190 million households worldwide using next-generation video game consoles in 2012, with the average player being 35 years old and having played games for 13 years.
The average age of the most frequent game purchaser was 40 years, and women over 18 years made up 33 per cent of game players - boys under 17 years actually made up just 18 per cent.
Games made in UK studios generate global sales of around £1.7 billion a year and contribute about £400 million per annum to GDP.
In order to win the 'new business of the year' award for LetsBothTalk, Ben and Dan had to explain their business plan to the judges and show how targets were being met and exceeded, share their vision for growing the business and their strategy for the future, and also demonstrate an understanding of their market.
LetsBothTalk now aims to become a principle source of news and information for the gaming community.