CAT dances off with Strictly Small Business prize

A CARBON-REDUCING technology business has won a £10,000 business package in the first Strictly Small Business competition.

Derek Foxcroft

A CARBON-REDUCING technology business has won a £10,000 business package in the first Strictly Small Business competition.

Three contestants made their pitches before a panel including Evening Gazette editor Darren Thwaites and representatives from Python Properties, Henderson Insurance Brokers and Waltons Clark Whitehill

CAT-UK (Carbon Abatement Technology), which is owned by Derek Foxcroft, offers different types of transport a unique fuel and emission reduction technology.

The winning business supplies the technology to heavy goods transport companies and Derek told judges how tests had revealed this can achieve 28% better fuel consumption and over 40% less emissions.

The start-up prize included a year’s free office space at one of Python Properties’ landmark buildings; the Co-operative Buildings in Middlesbrough or Cargo Fleet offices. A year’s free office insurance will also be provided by Henderson Insurance Brokers and business consultancy by Waltons Clark Whitehill.

The other contestants in the final were Mike Fellows from MF Support Services, an IT consultancy firm, and Max Kotecha, from Experteez Learning, which specialises in helping needy children in academic subjects.

Jonathan Willett, director of Henderson Insurance Brokers, based in Stockton, said: “Strictly Small Business was aimed at giving new businesses a head-start, to see local talent coming through and giving them an opportunity to create employment, and we saw three excellent presentations.”

Martin Johnson, partner at Python Properties said: “I think what made Derek’s business stand out to me were the possibilities that he brought to the table. It’s new technology, and he’s obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about it.

“If it did come off in the way he thinks it will, the possibilities are very good for this area and the wider region.”

Heather O’Driscoll, managing partner at Hartlepool based chartered accountants, Waltons Clark Whitehill, said: “It’s very important to support start-up businesses. Lots of people enter business doing something they are good at but they don’t have the financial help behind them.”

Derek Foxcroft added: “I know we have just stepped over a threshold, and that threshold could mean a lot more orders and a lot more credibility, especially in the Tees Valley.

“All of our clients so far are in the North-east. We always promised to keep the business in the North-east, including the supply chain, which I have managed to do, so to have our headquarters here in Middlesbrough would be fantastic.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer