Halifax firm eyes #VOOM2016 success

Halifax firm eyes #VOOM2016 success

Halifax-based The EyeBag Company has beat thousands of other UK-based businesses to reach the final of the Virgin Media Business #VOOM2016 Exporting is GREAT Award.

Based at Calderdale Business Park, The EyeBag Company was launched in 2004 by managing director Teifi James, a consultant ophthalmologist and ophthalmic surgeon at Calderdale Royal Hospital, when he decided to design and patent his own verison of a warm compress a re-useable product which can be heated conveniently in a microwave.

The EyeBag® - which acts as a warm eye mask to treat dry eye, styes and other eye-related medical conditions and can be heated up more than 200 times and a UK manufactured product, with all packaging and distribution being undertaken in West Yorkshire.

The business first started exporting in 2008 to Trinidad but has since exported wholesale to many other countries including Australia, Spain and France.

EyeBag achieved a turnover of in excess of £728,000 in the past year with 10 per cent of that from export sales. The product has also received US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) registration as a Class 1 Medical Device and EyeBag is now ready to export to the USA.

Teifi James said:“I’m absolutely over the moon to have reached the top three for the #VOOM2016 Exporting is GREAT award.

“Exporting seemed a natural development for the EyeBag® since international demand for our product is strong and growing. Eye care professionals around the world routinely tell patients to use a warm compress to treat a variety of eye conditions.”

The #VOOM2016 event, run by Virgin Media Business, gives businesses the opportunity to pitch directly to Sir Richard Branson for the chance to win a £1m prize fund to help them build their business.

#VOOM 2016 Exporting is GREAT Award semi-finalists made their pitches to a panel of expert judges including UKTI Business Ambassador Holly Tucker, co-founder and non-executive director of Not On The Highstreet.

The finalists of the Exporting is GREAT Award will attend the #VOOM2016 Live Finale at ITV studios in London on 28 June, alongside other #VOOM2016 finalists and judges Sir Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler, Holly Tucker MBE and Peter Kelly from Virgin Media Business.

Mark Robson, regional director of UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “I’m immensely proud to see The EyeBag Company, a fantastic exporter, reach the final of such a prestigious competition as #VOOM2016.

“I would encourage all businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber with the same aspirations for overseas success to get in touch with their local UKTI office.”

Richard Branson added: “I’m very much looking forward to being in London on June 28th to crown the winners of Virgin Media Business #VOOM2016.

“VOOM has proven itself to be an extraordinary platform for discovering and bolstering the UK and Ireland’s most exciting and innovative businesses.”



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