Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP) has revealed a short list of individuals and businesses it considers are the ‘One’s to Watch’ for the coming year - outstanding Northamptonshire innovators and entrepreneurs who appear set for great success in 2014.
NEP’s ‘One’s to Watch’ epitomise the entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of Northamptonshire’s economic recovery. The list includes SMEs from some of the county’s major sectors including High Performance Technologies (HPT) and the Creative & Cultural Industries.
Jo Lappin, CEO of NEP, commented: “Northamptonshire's small and medium businesses are the life blood of our economy, making up 99.6% of our total companies. They are therefore key to economic growth by creating jobs and prosperity for Northamptonshire.
“That's why our ‘One’s to Watch’ are so important, as they are demonstrating the innovation, drive, determination and business know-how necessary to succeed in a competitive marketplace. They are all up-and-coming entrepreneurs that demonstrate why Northamptonshire is being recognised as the place for growth, with the businesses and people with the ambition and talent to make this happen.”
NEP’s ‘One’s to Watch’ 2014 are:
Karen Holland, CEO of XCAM, which designs and builds specialised digital cameras for science experiments and extreme conditions including space. In 2012, the Northampton-based company won the National Medilink award for Innovation in Life Sciences.
Nicholas Cooper from Stamp Shoes which makes bespoke, made to measure footwear in Northampton, boasting competitive ‘entry-level’ prices unavailable for similar products in places like London and one-off specialist products such as the unique GPS shoes for Dominic Wilcox’s ‘No Place Like Home’ project. Nicholas brings young talent to a local industry with a global footprint.
Neil Purcell, CEO of Talent Works International Ltd., a world-leading recruitment company based in Northampton with a market-leading proposition rolling out to clients and offices in the UK, New York, China and Hong Kong.
Richie Frost, CEO of Frost EV Systems, a Northamptonshire engineering company that has developed electrical systems for everything from futuristic electric vehicles to land speed electric race cars and will soon be supporting the FIA Formula E-electric race car championship.
Joe Zielinski, Director of Zinc Digital based in Milton Malsor, a digital agency delivering creative design, web technology and digital strategy. The company continues to be awarded significant Government R&D grants for technology innovation and investment.
Raimonda Navickaite, Founder of Holdall & Co and a designer of modern luxury accessories such as bags and cases made of Northamptonshire leather and handmade in Corby. ‘Rai’ succeeded in building an international brand within the first year of trading.
Andrew Smart, Managing Director, VirtualSales Team, a Northampton-based business that uses telemarketing to generate new business-to-business leads for clients. The company received its first national award for ‘Talent Action’ in 2011 – the only small business to win anything alongside Prudential, John Lewis and Accenture.
Tom Warner, Managing Director of Warner Edwards Distillery, a company that makes high-quality artisan gin products with the help of Tom’s business partner, Sion Edwards, in Harrington. In the first 12 months of operation, the company received several global awards and the Made in Northamptonshire Local Drink of the Year award and has appeared on BBC’s Countryfile.
Alan Bowers, Director of English Harbour Yachts, a company formed just over a year ago with business partner, Adam Greenwood, that designs and manufactures small motorboats in Oundle. The business has already achieved a nomination in the Starter Boat category at the Motor Boat of the Year Awards and is attracting orders from home and overseas.
Neil Webb, Director of branding and marketing company, Balance, based in Northampton. Together with business partner, Jon Murfitt, Neil has seen Balance become involved with London 2012 working alongside a London based agency designing and delivering graphical design services for one of the world’s largest corporations. Balance is now delivering for events during February 2014 in Russia and later in summer 2014 in Brazil.
Rob Lewis, Managing Director of Total Sim in Brackley, a company providing engineering consultancy services and specialising in aerodynamic design for race and road cars. The company has worked with UKSport since 2007 and has been involved in the development of clothing and equipment for the GB track cycling team.
Chris Walker, CEO of Diamond Hard Surfaces in Towcester, which provides a unique patented diamond coating to extend the life of components in high temperature, chemically aggressive and abrasive environments with sophisticated and lengthy preparation.
Karen Holland from XCAM commented: “We’ve experienced rapid growth and have built a reputation for being able to design and build the world’s most challenging and innovative camera systems. This year will see the first XCAM camera fly into space on the UK Space Agency’s ‘Cubesat’. I love science and engineering and we are proud to buy British and use and support the local supplier network.”
Total Sim’s Rob Lewis is accustomed to notoriety: “Northamptonshire is perfect for motorsport and is also well placed for the automotive industry. We have been heavily involved in the development of clothing and equipment for the GB track cycling team, as well as other sports.
“Although we’ve continued to grow though most of the recession, 2013 has seen a big increase in the demand for our services and products. Over the next year we hope to build our first wind tunnel for testing bikes.”
Neil Webb of Balance is also stepping out onto the global stage: “We are really proud to be appointed to work on two of this year’s biggest global sporting events in Russia and Brazil. Northampton's location is a key advantage for our business. Beyond the obvious benefit of being central to UK's major business centres, we have access to high quality supply chains locally."
Frost EV’s Richie Frost commented: “It’s critical for us to be based near the automotive manufacturers and motorsport companies. Frost EV has grown rapidly in three years and so far we’ve developed systems for futuristic electric vehicles, land speed electric race cars and we’ll soon be supporting the FIA Formula E race car championship. I’m passionate about engineering and by starting Frost EV, I can engineer vehicle systems that will have a positive effect on the environment.”
Whether you have your own small business or have been inspired to start one, NEP can help with business advice, support or funding.
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