A healthcare firm has almost doubled in size following the successful launch of an innovative product that has increased turnover eightfold in a year.
With 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Angus Long set up Embryonyx in 2008 as a business consultancy working with SMEs in the homecare industry.
A common theme with all the firms he worked with were customers with poor circulation and mobility, so, keen to come up with his own product, he enlisted an inventor to create Happylegs, a machine which allows users to go for a walk from the comfort of their own chair.
With support from GrowthAccelerator, the product was launched last year.
Mr Long said: “During the early years of Embryonyx I did a lot of work with businesses in the homecare industry and all the people who purchased their products had difficulty walking.
“I wanted to know more about the health problems associated with a lack of mobility and approached the University of Northumbria sports science department to commission a study into the vascular anatomy of the lower leg and its relationship to helping the heart and the wider circulatory system.
“The study showed that poor blood circulation, as a result of illness, disability or a sedentary lifestyle, is a major contributory factor to conditions such as swollen ankles, joint and muscular problems, thrombosis and arthritis.
“These conditions are widespread among the elderly and disabled people of the UK and there’s a rising problem of young people suffering from poor blood circulation as a result of a sedentary lifestyle – often referred to as the desk-jockey syndrome.
“These conditions are not only uncomfortable and debilitating, but they present a considerable cost to the NHS to treat.
“There was clearly a gap in the market for a device that can stimulate blood circulation through exercising the lower limbs of the disabled and immobile.”
Since launching, Happylegs has proved a hit with the disabled community, occupational therapists and the frail elderly and the firm has been forming commercial partnerships with specialist mobility and healthcare retailers and suppliers across the country.
Rising sales of the product have helped to increase turnover at Embryonyx eightfold in the last 12 months.
Headquartered in Regent Centre, Newcastle, with a warehouse and logistics facility in Cramlington, Mr Long has recently grown Embryonyx Ltd’s headcount from six to 11 – a figure that’s likely to rise as the firm seeks to take on more sales people outside of the region.
Support from GrowthAccelerator has proved to be invaluable, he said.
“Through Growth Accelerator I was introduced to Alister Brown of Addere Valorem, which helped develop and finesse the business plan and so helped us to raise the initial investment through Santander,” said Mr Long.
“We were also privileged to have been selected as the winner of the GrowthAccelerator ‘Funding Champion’ award at this year Brave and Bold Awards in June.”
Looking ahead, Mr Long has plans to explore overseas markets – and work has begun on manufacturing more products.
“We have just began marketing an innovative hand and finger massager, the Manos Sanos, designed to help relieve the pain and discomfort of sore fingers and we’re working on bringing to market very soon two more great products that will make daily living considerably easier for elderly and disabled people.
“Next year is a big year. We plan to begin exporting to overseas markets, including North America, and the number of staff we have is also likely to rise because we’re in the middle of a recruitment drive for regional sales people in other parts of the UK & Ireland.”