Durham's REALsafe Technologies Limited wins GREAT Faces of British Business competition

Innovative motorcycle safety app earns start-up £30,000 creative advertising campaign and export support

© Vicki Couchman/ UNP From left, Andrew Richardson and Zoe Farrington from REALsafe Technologies, with Business Minister Matthew Hancock
From left, Andrew Richardson and Zoe Farrington from REALsafe Technologies, with Business Minister Matthew Hancock

A Durham company has won the top prize in a national competition aimed at finding the most innovative and exciting businesses in the UK.

REALsafe Technologies, which is behind the RealRider motorcycle safety app, has been named as the Grand Prix winner in the GREAT Faces of British Business competition.

Launched in February 2013, the app lets motorcyclists track rides, record points of interest and stay safe when they ride alone. It can automatically detect if a rider has had a crash and contacts the emergency services with their last known location and medical details.

Judges - whose views were backed up by a public vote - said the company’s rise represented a classic business success story.

“It is a fantastically simple, yet innovative product that could save lives, and now the only way is up for the business,” they said in a statement.

Learning of their success at an awards ceremony in London, REALSafe Technologies founders Andrew Richardson and Zoe Farrington will now receive a bespoke creative advertising campaign worth £30,000, along with an iPad Air and unlimited BT Wi-Fi for 12 months, courtesy of BT Business.

They will also benefit from a package of export support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Managing director Ms Farrington said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been crowned the national winner of the GREAT Faces of British Business competition.

“Winning this award truly sets us apart from the competition in our field, and we hope we will inspire other small businesses everywhere to foster their success.

“We would strongly recommend any small business owner to visit www.greatbusiness.gov.uk to access the wealth of support and advice available from the Government to help your company grow.”

The competition - which also saw the Newcastle-based digital agency Hedgehog Lab pick up regional awards in the Best Exporter and Best Growth Story categories - was launched in November as part of the Government’s Business is GREAT Britain campaign.

Mr Richardson and Ms Farrington received their award from Business Minister Matthew Hancock, who said: “We’re backing the entrepreneurs and the innovators who run the small firms driving our economic recovery.

“The GREAT Faces of British Business competition is all about celebrating their successes. Following the public vote, REALsafe Technologies in the North East has been named Grand Prix winner.

“They are an inspiration to other businesses across the country looking to grow, export or innovate, and are the living proof that there has never been a better time to start and grow a business in the UK.”

Steve Rathborne, director of sales at BT Business, said: “Great Britain has a pedigree of producing innovative and successful businesses and leaders, and the national winners that have been selected accurately reflect the quality of British business and its excellence across industries.

“That’s why we’re supporting the Business is GREAT Britain campaign in order to discover and champion the entrepreneurial talent that’s out there and to give businesses an opportunity to boost their fortunes even further through a marketing package and business support from BT Business and UKTI.”

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