By Daniel Hunter
From paving slabs which generate electricity to a collapsible pocket water bottle, the brains behind London’s brightest export ideas have been named as finalists in the UK Trade & Investment Export for Growth Prize, supported by PwC and HSBC.
The ten finalists will now compete for a chance to win business support worth up to £5,000 by presenting their big export idea to a live audience of business leaders on 8 March at One Marylebone.
The finalists are:
· Aquatina Ltd, Camden, whose collapsible pocket-bottle provides an alternative to disposable water bottles.Incognito, based in Notting Hill, who have produced a powerful natural mosquito repellent which is as effective as chemical equivalents.
· Integrated Trackers, Greenwich, who have designed and manufactured GPS trackers for bicycles to help you locate your cycle if it’s stolen.
· International Academy of Clinical Research Ltd, Harrow, who provide a comprehensive range of clinical research programmes. They are currently the only organisation in this field to become an accredited training provider.
· KwikScreen, based in Barnet, who have invented a versatile portable room divider which can be used in environments such as hospitals.
· Pavegen Systems, Camden, who have created paving slabs which generate electricity from footsteps.
· Peppersmith of Wandsworth, who make award-winning natural, healthy and sustainable mints and chewing gum.
· Smartstreets Ltd, Chiswick, who have created a range of environmental products including cigarette and gum litter bins.
· Squease Ltd, based in Havering, who have developed an award-winning therapeutic garment to help people with illnesses such as Autism and Dementia, to cope with stress. The garment calms the wearer by applying firm pressure to the upper body.
· Testplant, based in the City of London, who are supporting the software test industry in India with their test automation tool.
The finalists will attend a business bootcamp session on 21 February where they will receive advice on how to pitch their product, ready for the Exporting for Growth Prize Final on 8 March.
“The standard of entries was excellent. It has been extremely difficult to narrow the entrants down to ten finalists and the quality and innovation of the ideas demonstrates what we already knew: London is a hotbed of talent and innovation," Parveen Thornhill, Regional Director for UKTI London, said.
“Exporting is crucial for firms to sustain their business and grow during the economic downturn. This competition should help propel some of our finest firms into new markets and we urge London companies to take advantage of the support and opportunities out there.”
The ten firms will pitch their exporting idea to a panel of distinguished judges, including successful London exporters, on 8 March at One Marylebone. The day will include a welcome by successful entrepreneur Sir Eric Peacock. The winner will be announced by Lord Green, Minister for Trade & Investment.
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