April 17 2014 Latest news:
Friday, January 10, 2014
A Norfolk entrepreneur has launched an automatic version of his energy-saving shower pump despite being snubbed by TV dragons.
Alan Wright was refused investment on BBC’s Dragon’s Den, but was able to bring his automatic Shower Power Booster to market thanks to a £20,000 grant from Imperial College London.
And now he is working with the European Business and Technology Centre and UK Trade and Investment to target international markets, with a trip to India in the pipeline.
It comes after he secured a deal with plumping component company Flowflex to move the production of his manual shower-boosting pump from his home in Thorpe to a factory in Derbyshire.
Mr Wright said he was focusing on pushing the export sales of his invention and has already sold 1,000 manual pumps, and 300 automatic pumps, in the past month.
“I have nursed the product from invention to early production and development, but due to demand and international plans its time to hand over to Flowflex,” he said.
“It means that I can focus on marketing this product abroad and inventing new products, but I am determined to keep control of this quality product and continue to manufacture it in the UK.
“My long term vision is for international markets to produce the pump locally for their own market, and entering these markets with an established UK product helps enormously.”
Mr Wright previously teamed up with Dereham-based Anglian Electronics to fine-tune his product by working on a flow switch.
Since then, he has appeared on Dragon’s Den, as well reaching the final of the Local Business Accelerators competition.
In addition to domestic consumers, Mr Wright is exploring whether the pumps have a wider industrial use in factories and hospitals.
He will be travelling to India next year to see if his product can help the country’s problem with energy and water saving.
To date, he has made sales in the UK, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
Crab and lobsters from north Norfolk waters could be sold across Britain within months following talks between a Cromer factory and two major supermarkets.