It is not often that BIC Advisors come across individuals who not only have an excellent new product idea but who also work in the relevant industry and who already have a number of tradesmen already lined up to buy the product.
This however was the case in September 2008 when Carl Parton first contacted the Business Innovation Centre with his new plumbing product. Carl was a plumber and gas engineer who knew how difficult it was to react quickly to controlling a leak if a copper fitting hadn’t completely soldered or a pipe had been damaged and started to leak. The time it took to attach a hose pipe & drain the pipe work, took too long, the damage was already done.
Following a terrible accident Carl was unable to work for some time and so put his mind to devising a tool which would stop a leak temporarily until a professional repair could be arranged. With the help of the Business Innovation Centre Carl contacted the Manufacturing Advisory Service for advice with regard to the product’s design and potential manufacturers. In 2009 the BIC helped Carl to apply for a grant through the Advantage Proof of Concept fund and secured just over £20,000 to help with Intellectual Property costs and the development of the product. Carl attended some of the BIC’s self development workshops on Innovation and despite many knock-backs, persevered with his idea and through his commitment and tenacity, ended up with a protected product that anyone can use, that seals leaking pipes in seconds and is reusable – The Leak Mate.
Having developed the product, setting up in business and taking the product to market was not really Carl’s comfort zone and following advice from the Business Innovation Centre, a few attempts at getting partners and investors, Carl finally met Barry Greenwell who loved the product and who agreed to take on Leak Mate. At the end of the road, Carl commented
“The BIC is such a good organisation for start up companies and I would like to thank you for all the help I’ve received. This project has helped secure jobs here in the Midlands.”
Tradesmen across the UK are now finding out just how handy a Leak Mate can be, when working on their own or when they need a spare pair of hands to stop a leak quickly, giving them time to arrange for a Plumber to repair a damaged pipe.
The Leak Mate Tool is the only re-usable tool in the world designed to stop leaks in seconds across various pipe sizes and fittings, Copper, Plastic or Lead to a pressure as high as 280 psi. The Leak Mate can be purchased from a number of stockists in Staffordshire and throughout the rest of the country. The company has negotiated national and regional distribution deals with various companies in the UK and Ireland and have appointed representatives in the US to Licence “Leakbuddy” which is the US Trademark with current interest from Canada, Mexico and Spain. See www.leakmate.co.uk