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Barman and entrepreneur wins approval of Dragons Den panellist

Dragon fires up new business

By Paul Ainsworth

A REAL-life dragon has breathed life into a South Belfast online business aiming to become the next big thing.

After months of trying to crack the busy local art scene, Digital Cloud Art (DCA) -the creation of Malone Road man Phil Reese – has been given a boost by formidable Dragons Den star Deborah Meadon

DCA, which sells bespoke artwork by upcoming artists and designers,  has been selected from hundreds of regional entries in the Local Business Accelerators (LBA) competition, which features Ms Meadon on the judging panel.

Now declared one of three winners, Phil’s business will be highlighted in the daily press and has the stamp of approval from Deborah.

The young entrepreneur already has a growing client list who use DCA designs, and more are expected to take notice thanks to the firms competition success.

Speaking with the South Belfast News, Phil – who serves pints at one of South Belfast’s most famous bars when not running his site – called for emerging artists keen to work with Digital Cloud Art to get in touch.

“I was following Deborah Meadon on Twitter and that’s how I learned about the LBA contest,” the 22-year-old explained.

“I applied for it as it sounded like a great opportunity, but forgot about it as I had to concentrate on running Digital Cloud Art when I wasn’t working in the Empire Bar.

Last month I was surprised to discover I had been shortlisted from hundreds of regional entries, then recently I learned DCA had won. The amazing thing for me was that DCA is relatively new and I had been up against firms that are years old.”

Phil runs DCA with just his “laptop and phone” but the confidence boost from the LBA contest, along with the benefits of winning could see his firm expand at a time when others are struggling to stay afloat.

“We’re looking for artists and designers to get involved, and give them a platform for their original work. It’s a great time to be part of it.”


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