British Small Business Awards winners: Marc Wileman of Sublime Science

'Mad' Marc Wileman, winner of our Micro Business of the Year award at the 2017 British Small Business Awards, discusses how his company has grown since winning the gong.

The 2018 British Small Business Awards (BSBAs), held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 31st, will bring together the brightest stars of the small business economy with the vendors, advisers and financiers that help them start, run, grow and succeed.

In this section, we’ll look at the winners from the 2017 Awards and learn about their fortunes since their win.

First, ‘Mad’ Marc Wileman of children’s entertainment company Sublime Science discusses how his business reached 1 million kids with his educational and fun science-based parties.

What is the background of the company, why was it started, and what is its USP?

I’m ‘Mad’ Marc (Marc Wileman on more sensible occasions!) and I started Sublime Science with the sole intention of showing children how much fun science can be. I founded the company with a £1,750 Prince’s Trust loan back in 2008, aged just 22.

I’m best known as that guy that fired smoke rings at the Dragons on Dragons’ Den wearing a slime covered lab coat but went on to secure Dragon investment.

I am utterly humbled to have won a a Queen’s Award for Enterprise, a British Small Business Awards gong, been labelled ‘a visionary’ by Forbes and most important of all to have made science awesome for kids.

How has it grown since it began?

Things have grown rapidly over the past decade. Sublime Science has now inspired more than a million children to discover how awesome science can be. We’ve made a lot of slime and launched a lot of rockets!

It’s also involved recognition from Her Majesty the Queen and 10 Downing Street as well as the investment of a couple of (awesome!) dragons.

The Sublime Science Party is the most popular in the UK with more than 3,000 rave reviews and we have the pleasure of working with thousands of primary schools across the country.

We’ve even taken our first steps into international expansion so we’re taking the best of British science expertise out to children across the world.

How did you find out about the BSBAs last year?

A fellow entrepreneur recommend the BSBAs to me. They just thought the work we were doing was really cool and so recommended us to go for it.

What was the event like and how important is to recognise the small business community and its significant contribution to the economy?

It was an absolutely amazing experience. Such a fantastic venue and a great bit of motivation for me and the Sublime Science team. It’s so awesome to see small business recognised in this way. On some level every business starts out as a small business so it really ties into the fabric of our society.

How has the business performed since the win?

This has been our best year ever. We’ve reached more children then ever before and grown massively. The feedback from our partners and suppliers has been great too.

What can you say about the experience of winning an award like this in terms of the impact it can have on a small business?

Winning an award like this is a great boost to any small business. If you’re doing something awesome (I know you are!) then go ahead and get some of the recognition that you deserve.

The 2018 British Small Business Awards will take place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 31st 2018. For more information, please visit the website here.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.