Friday 12th February
A design and engineering company has received tailored business support from the Growth Hub. Deeo, a division under DATAport Media, utilises technology to create and deliver projects and solutions to help businesses save time and money.
Deeo has a very unique skill set – all focused on SMARTCities. They work in both the Built Environment sector, creating interactive Digital Twins of buildings, facilities and infrastructure all over the world and also an Engineering division developing vehicles and solutions for the Transportation sector, including rail, automotive, marine, and aerospace.
The business was exploring funding opportunities for a wide range of projects that they are planning on implementing within their Engineering division. Rod Jones, Head of Projects, explained: “The transportation industry is very up and down. Mark Williams, the owner of DATAport, decided that he wanted to go into the EV electric evolution market, so Id to work on this. It was decided at the beginning of last year that the business will bring in specialists in their field to start working on new products and getting them to market.”
To invest in their internal projects and expansion of the team, Deeo needed to locate funding so they “looked at partnerships, investors, and Mark Williams’ personal investment – these were the three avenues of funding that we thought of at the start” (Rod Jones, Head of Projects).
This was a challenging task at hand because the funding was needed at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Rod said: “When Deeo became up and running as a team, it was at the start of COVID, so the timing made it difficult when we were trying to get funding from the investors and the partners.”
The business had to find an alternative solution for receiving funding towards their innovations. Thus, they branched out to seek support from one of our partners, Coventry University, who then referred Deeo to the Growth Hub for further assistance: “We got involved with Coventry University for support with one of our products and from working with them we also heard about the Growth Hub. There were a lot of people sending links to the Growth Hub website as well, so we knew about the services you provide from word of mouth too.” Mark Williams had also received marketing and had worked with Rachel Eade, the Growth Hub’s Rail & Advanced Manufacturing Sector Specialist, who also encouraged them to use our free services: “A flyer had been emailed to Mark and he has also worked with Rachel Eade before” (Rod Jones, Head of Projects).
Rod contacted the Growth Hub where he was advised by Klaudia Haines, one of the Growth Hub’s Business Advisers, who signposted Deeo to our Skills Hub for training schemes and funding for upskilling staff. She also assisted in locating funding and relevant grants such as the Business Growth Programme 2. Rod stated: “The Growth Hub helped us with the wording for the grants to help the assessors understand why we require the funding. As you can imagine our team consists of engineers and designers, they are good at wording the descriptions for their products, but their experience is different and wouldn’t necessarily know how to word the grant applications.”
Klaudia also referred Deeo to Will Broad, the Growth Hub’s Low Carbon Sector Specialist: “We applied for a low carbon grant and Will Broad helped us. He reviewed our document and revised it, we updated it to his advice and submitted our application” (Rod Jones, Head of Projects).
Deeo also worked with Rachel Eade, after Klaudia referred the business to her for insight and advice after they expressed interest in exploring HS2 opportunities. Rod explained: “Rachel also sent links for us to register with 11 opportunities and we’re on the mailing lists for them so we can see different things that come up. If an opportunity is appealing to our company, we can then apply for it. We get the bulletin for HS2’s major programmes that are awarded to the larger companies. We use this to approach the organisations to let them know that we are in the network and we can support them if required.”
Rod also joined the Peer Networks programme – a national peer-to-peer networking scheme for SME leaders that want to grow and develop their organisation for future success. Rod mentioned that he is a member of a cohort: “I’m a member of the Peer-to-Peer network, I’m part of the workshops and the meetings with all the business owners in the area.” Delivered locally by GBSLEP Growth Hub, we create diverse cohort groups of individuals to collaboratively work through common business issues.
The Growth Hub team is a diverse group with a range of different expertise and professional backgrounds and Rod was very happy with the team’s proficiency: “They are very nice people; they are very knowledgeable in their fields and they’re very helpful in advising.”
Rod further stated: “To tell you something about myself – I’m an engineer and I’ve owned businesses. My philosophy is ‘every man to his trade’ and I believe that at the Growth Hub, they know about business. They understand when we’re explaining a case to them or a business opportunity or a challenge and they point us in the right direction and help us get there in the end.”
Our expert team includes SFEDI accredited Business Advisors, Sector Specialists, Skills Brokers, and Apprenticeship Advisors. The range of specialisms and expertise within the team covers any issue a business may be facing, contact us for tailored business support and guidance.