Cape Town-based entrepreneur, Kent Lingeveldt, who started the customised longboard business, Alpha Longboards, has been named the recipient of The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town)'s 2013 Constructus Award.
The Constructus initiative was started by the creative agency in order to support, mentor and reward small local creative black-owned businesses.
"We hope to help transform Cape Town's creative industry and build on a culture of innovation and creative entrepreneurship. We know that our city has no shortage of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. We wanted to work with small enterprises to develop this, so that they could turn big ideas into practical business models and creative solutions into entrepreneurial reality," commented Claire Cobbledick, Managing Director at The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town).
The initiative consists of two main elements: the Constructus Masterclass; and the Constructus Award.
The Constructus Masterclass, an annual event now in its second year, focuses around a three day workshop in Cape Town, attended by local small creative businesses, where industry leaders share their insight in developing and growing brands and businesses. This year the workshop included presentations from local industry leaders including Ravi Naidoo from Interactive Africa (Design Indaba); Andile Khumalo, CIO of MGS Afrika Investment Holdings; musician Spoke Mathambo; and performance artist Athi Patrii Ruga.
Each of the attendees of the workshop submitted proposals on how they intended on growing their business, using insights gained from the workshop. The applicants were judged on how their business plan had the potential for job creation, its impact on the Cape Town creative industry and its quality and creativity.
Lingeveldt's proposal saw him winning the Constructus Award - a R75 000 grant and ongoing access to the mentorship team at the agency.
"Part of the Constructus grant will go towards maximising my current workshop space in Woodstock to enable me to have more artists working on the premises. This will enable us to increase board production, as well as the custom art we can do on the longboards, without losing the handcrafted feel of my products," explained Lingeveldt.
In addition, he plans to use the grant to research and develop new techniques and raw materials for long board construction, with the aim of being able to grow production and demand for the product.
Alpha Longboards was formed to answer the need for affordable, good quality, locally-made longboards. Based in Woodstock, Cape Town, the business specialises in making hand-crafted skateboards and longboards, customised to the client's physical characteristics and skating style. The business also develops custom artwork and graphics for the boards, and has launched a 'Local Legends' series, honoring heroes including Madiba, Desmond Tutu, Ghandi and Ashley Kriel.
For more information on Alpha Longboards, log onto www.alphalongboards.com