As entries open for the 2017 Innovation Showcase Competition at Venturefest Manchester, BQ catches up with last year's top three to see how their businesses have changed.
Second in 2016: Swifty Scooters
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Designing, prototyping and manufacturing in Manchester, Swifty Scooters are known for their beautiful and innovative adult scooters, particularly their folding commuter scooter SwiftyONE.
Pitching in last year’s Innovation Showcase and coming in second overall, they passionately believe kick-scooting delivers a sense of freedom and fun that’s really easy and accessible to all.
Jason Iftakhar, who founded Swifty Scooters along with his wife Camilla, told us: “Since Venturefest 2016, team Swifty has taken on new staff and is growing. We’ve had a significant increase in revenue this year; our hard work, passion and determination is paying off, and it often feels like we have only just started.
“We have been busy developing new products and excited to be launching our new children’s Scooter this August. Designed by our 8-year-old daughter, it’s named after her too. We also have an electric powered scooter in development which will really help Swifty to grow and join the digital tech industry.”
Jason’s Showcase application was encouraged by the team at the Business Growth Hub, and has led to some significant changes to their web presence – facilitated by a relationship they struck up at Venturefest! “We’ve completely overhauled our website,” says Jason, “and will be launching in multiple currencies, languages and incorporating for the first time a B2B trade account for our retailers and resellers to order direct from our Manchester warehouse.”
And what would he tell other people thinking of entering the Innovation Showcase? “It's a great platform to show your company to a whole range of business leaders, influencers and fellow entrepreneurs.
“Networking combined with the chance to win prizes and meet new innovative companies and founders - do it! The feedback was awesome – it really boosted our team’s spirits and led to us meeting some very interesting people.”