Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Graham Whitby - Leeds Inventors Group 16/1/08

Out of the Dragons’ Den
Yorkshire entrepreneur Graham Whitby shot to fame when he appeared on BBC2’s popular Dragons’ Den. In January he was guest speaker at the Inventors Group and entertained a large audience with descriptions of his experiences.

Graham told how he had worked in product manufacturing for 20 years before he met inventor Barry Haigh who had developed a device for rocking babies to sleep. The device comprised a base plate with an oscillating roller onto which could be placed the wheels of a pram or pushchair. The gentle motion produced by the “Baby Dream Machine” lulls the child to sleep. Graham could see the potential of the product and the two of them began working together.

Having applied for a patent they began publicising the “Baby Dream Machine”, attending such events as “Venturefest” and getting onto the local “Calendar “ news programme. As a result of this they got a call from the BBC in London asking if they would be interested in being involved in a new television show (which would become Dragons’ Den).

Graham described the numerous trips to London and the hours spent waiting around before finally getting to present their product to the Dragons. Their presentation didn’t go well and he said it was a perfect example of how not to do a pitch. However, because they messed it up it has been shown repeatedly on TV and therefore generated a great deal of publicity for the product! Each time the show is repeated sales of the product shoot up.

Although the Dragons liked the product Graham and Barry decided to go it alone, and have built an international business selling the Baby Dream Machine.

Graham is now developing further products, including an electric temperature control unit for a bath which maintains water temperature at a comfortable level for as long as required.

He admitted that when he began developing new products he had no clear idea of where he was going with them and had no detailed plans in place. This is a common problem with inventors – they often don’t know where their product fits in to the market or whether anyone will be interested in them. And yet they are so confident that they have a worthwhile idea that they spend a lot of money on it – sometimes tens of thousands – and keep on spending.

Graham cited a number of challenges to any inventor, such as the high cost of international patents, development costs and the importance of patent insurance to help cope with the possibility of infringement cases. But he believes that selling the product and finding a route to market is always the hardest part.


Friday, 18 January 2008

Current Journals & Newspapaers

Find out which journals and newspapapers the central library subscribes to:

New online version of Current Journals and Newspapers at the Central Library

Browse our list of over 200 journals and newspapers from areas such as architecture, management, textiles, media/marketing plus many more and national/local newspapers all available in the Central Library.

For more information phone: 0113 2478266 Email: piu@leeds.gov.uk

Monday, 14 January 2008

Top Leeds & Yorkshire Companies

The top 500 and top 100 North/South/West/East Yorkshire Companies by Employee size are now available to order from Business & Patent Information Services.

Directories of Top Leeds Companies
Top 100 Leeds Companies
Top 700 Leeds Companies
Also available:
Employment Agencies in Leeds ,Directory of Call Centres in Leeds and Yorkshire, Directory of IT Services in Leeds andDatabase of Voluntary and Community Organisations in Leeds: http://www.directories.leedslearning.org/

Available as excel spreadsheets with name,address,phone,website,activity,basic financial and director information.

Other mailing lists are available. Contact the Business & Patent Information Service for further information regarding specific search strategies and quotes for downloads or printouts.
Please contact us at 0113 2478266 or email: piu@leeds.gov.uk