Innovation Showcase: Swifty Scooters

Innovation Showcase: Swifty Scooters

Jason Iftakhar of Swifty Scooters gives us an insight into the company and tells us why they're hoping to win the Innovation Showcase competition at this year's Venturefest Manchester...

What does your company do?

Swifty Scooters was founded by British design duo Camilla and Jason Iftakhar in 2011. Both MA RCA graduates (2005), their vision is rooted in a shared passion for design, innovation and the love of adventures on two wheels. They passionately believe kick scooting delivers a sense of freedom and fun that’s really easy and accessible to all.

Swifty is now known for manufacturing the most beautiful and innovative adult scooters around, in particular their folding commuter scooter SwiftyONE. Swifty has already been endorsed by high profile collaborations, notably The Conran Shop (London and Paris) and Paul Smith (worldwide).

 

What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition?    

Manchester has a long history with transport innovation. Our ambition is to become a part of this legacy and secure Swifty as an international urban transportation brand. Our innovative products are all designed, engineered and prototyped right here in Manchester. We believe our contribution to this market is deserving of recognition. Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Swifty Scooters. We are proud exporting our products all around the world and are genuinely amazed by the feedback and support we get from our customers.  

 

SwiftyONE

SwiftyONE is the only fully folding adult folding scooter (SwiftyONE) in the world. The folding mechanisms have all been engineered to be simple, secure and easy to use. Our scooters are fast, fun and easy to use.

Manufacturing innovation

Our scooters are the lightest and strongest on the market and are the result of meticulous attention to detail, engineering innovation and years or testing. All our products are made in a very special way, making them incredibly strong and durable.

This pioneering manufacturing process was developed in-house by founder Jason. He developed this process when he personally made the first batch of SwiftyONE’s back in 2012. 

1000 mile scoot

Russel Smith is the first man to scoot the entire length of the UK from Lands End to John o’Groats. He did it on a SwiftyZERO in a record 21 days. This year Chris Baister will be raising money for Children in Need and attempting the same feat and include the 3 peaks challenge too. There really is no limit to what you can do on Swifty.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face?

All of the pressures that come with starting a new business are tough and not for the faint hearted. The biggest challenge is always working with patience. Time is always against you and often I feel the biggest threat to a young or new business. Building Swifty into an international brand has taken bags and bags of patience, hard work and endless passion. 

 

What are your biggest professional achievements to date?

The biggest achievement is developing and manufacturing a product that actually makes our customers lives better. It’s immensely satisfying to read customer feedback and hear about their adventures on their Swifty Scooters.

Other notable wins and achievements:

  • Developing our limited editions range with Paul Smith, The Conran Shop, Penguin Books and Warner Brother Studios.
  • Supplying and meeting celebrity customers is always a pleasure and honour.
  • Attending a UKTI British trade mission to South Korea and securing a new Swifty distributor.
  • Appearing on Radio 4’s Bottom Line show with Evan Davis.
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      How do you feel about presenting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Manchester?

      I think Venturefest is a really exciting opportunity to meet some really talented people. There will be some of the North West's most successful business leaders in the room and we get the chance to have 3 minutes of their time, that’s pretty rare. I’m going to enjoy presenting the Swifty brand and feel comfortable sharing our story and achievements to date.

       

      What would winning the Innovation Showcase mean to your business?

      The recognition would be great and a huge boost to my team for all their hard work over the last few years. The business support would also be of huge importance and benefit and help Swifty Scooters go from strength to strength.

       

      Where do you see your company in five years time?

      We have huge ambitions for the Swifty brand. Our long line of new product innovation is already a few years ahead. We have an apparel collection, kids scooter range and amazing electric concept coming on 2017. Swifty Scooters is growing into an international brand that’s respected and cherished by a happy and loyal community.

       

      What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?

      It’s been a roller coaster ride so far but below is my top tips:

      • They will tell you no, get out there and prove them wrong.
      • You have bad days and good days, enjoy and relish the good ones.
      • Go with your gut feeling and never give up. 
      • You never stop learning, so make a note when you learn something new.
      • Get your numbers right, check them again, then ask someone to check them for you.
      • Hold your hands up when you get it wrong.
      • Your team needs you but you need your team.