In Episode Two we explore the British manufacturing industry, by profiling Kwickscreen (kwickscreen.com), who manufacture and supply portable, retractable screens. The business currently wins the bulk of its business from the NHS but they are also seeing interest from schools and businesses thanks to their adaptable design, which also allows individual designs to be printed onto the product.
In this episode we explore the resurgence of interest in British manufacturing and design as well as asking some crucial questions about the value of investment for SMEs who are reluctant to give up equity. James is joined by panellists Dick Powell, of award-winning design company Seymourpowell and corporate financial expert Jo Haigh to talk finance, capital investment and design and innovation in the British market.
Michael Korn is the inventor behind Kwickscreen. He graduated from Cambridge University in 2004 with a degree in Manufacturing Engineering, after which he studied at the Royal College of Art. It was here that he began to gain recognition for his inventions, including a sustainable washable nappy which won both Deutsche Bank Pyramid Award and Wrightson Award for Entrepreneurship, before he went on to develop and trial the Kwickscreen as part of his course in 2007. Michael is also a recipient of the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Denis Anscomb is the CFO of Kwickscreen. He graduated from University of Bristol in 1995 with a degree in Mathematics, and spent his early professional life working in the financial sector as an analyst for Morgan Stanley and a bond trader at London Capital Partners. After a brief sojourn raising finance for the film industry, he worked at Square Pie as Finance Director before setting up Kwickscreen with co-founder Michael in 2007.
Kwickscreen - Vital Statistics
A portable retractable and bendable screen or room divider, Kwickscreen maximises space in hospitals, schools and offices via their use of RolaTube Technologies and the design has led to its creator winning a James Dyson Award for innovation.
Company Name: Kwickscreen
Turnover: £254k (projected with 2011)
Headquarters: Battersea / Corby
James' Checklist For Businesses £100k-£500k Turnover
- How can the entrepreneur improve his marketing strategy and visibility in the marketplace?
- Is the entrepreneur an attractive proposition for an Angel investor or a bank? Can they/should they consider family or friend's investments?
- Are the existing customers happy? Is there repeat business? Is the company therefore investment ready?
- What is the marketing message sent out to employees and clients? Is it cohesive, consistent and effective?
- How and when should the business secure its own premises? What are its needs and how can the owners ensure that the transition is cost-effective?