Business West illuminate the West’s Born Global Business 2013

By Anita Jaynes on 11 December, 2013

Devizes based company Linear Guidance Illumination have been crowned Business West’s Born Global Business 2013.

The awards took place on Monday 9th December at Leigh Court, Bristol in front of an audience of leading international business experts, mentors and investment angels.

The company beat over 75 applicants from across the South West to win the competition, which was sponsored by accountancy and investment management group, Smith & Williamson and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.  The prize was £25,000 worth of international business support and marketing.

The unique and interactive grand final put the judging decision of the top three finalists in the hands of the audience.  After all ten finalists pitched their business ideas, the audience, using an electronic voting system and £30,000 worth of Born Global competition currency, were asked to choose their top three and decide where to invest their money.

To add to the drama of the occasion, the three finalists were put through their paces again by a panel of Born Global judges, made up of two investment angels, an international trade adviser and an accountant, to decide their ultimate fate.

The winner, John King of Linear Guidance Illumination won over both the audience and the competition judges with his innovative illumination and LED systems for extreme environments. This flexible marking system, based upon electro luminescent materials has infinite possibilities but in particular is being targeted at the emergency services.

On winning, John King said: “This is such a great result for us. The whole Born Global experience has been invaluable as part of our preparations to launch the product world-wide; it has offered us the ability to drive the business forward in the coming months. The amount of publicity generated from winning Born Global will increase the awareness of our product to businesses both locally, nationally and internationally.”

Born Global was launched three years ago by Business West to find the best new business idea in the South West with the potential to go global. Applicants pitched propositions in the early stages of the competition at auditions in Bristol, Bath and Plymouth. They were then shortlisted and the final ten were invited to pitch at the grand final on Monday.

“We are delighted that Linear Guidance Illumination has won with their outstanding illumination systems for extreme environments.  However, all our finalists are winners in their own right. This is not the end; Born Global is a journey.  Each business has received lots of support along the way including advice on how to pitch and finance their ideas, market selection, and cultural awareness, as well as networking opportunities and Business West will continue to support them on their road to international success.” said Stephen Robertson, Chairman of Business West.