The latest episode of the VOOM Podcast showcased three UK start-ups who are all disrupting their respective industries with truly innovative products. However, delving a little deeper into their stories reveals that this innovation has its roots in studious data research.
Eve Sleep has won many plaudits for their mattresses, which bring something markedly different to the sector. As co-founder Jas Bagniewski explains, how they arrived at the decision to start selling mattresses in the first place was a very rationale one.
Spot an opportunity and move quick
"We were quite opportunistic with it. I had worked at a company called Groupon and when I left they were very focused on services, but had started to make a transition into selling products. So with some friends of mine we thought ‘what products can we sell on Groupon?' So we looked for high margin things we could discount and source locally so we didn’t have to hold stock - this strange thought process led us to a mattress deal.
"We obviously didn’t expect it would sell so big, on the first day we sold 6,000 mattresses and it became the biggest Groupon deal of all time with about two million dollars in turnover. We then very quickly used the platform to go into 18 countries with it, so it almost landed on us by chance."
Look at the data, find a problem to solve
Blaze, the business behind a range of innovative cycling products - most noticeably the Laserlight which is designed to save lives on the road, also started out by taking a long, hard look at the numbers. Like many successful entrepreneurs, founder Emily Brooke discovered a problem that she was determined to solve.
"For us it was looking at the data. There was this one statistic that still amazes me, which is that 79 per cent of cyclists that are involved in an accident are travelling straight ahead and somebody else turns into them.
"That means they’re in a blind spot, so a vehicle is just in front of you and turns across your path or a vehicle pulls out of a junction in front of you. Our first product, the Laserlight, tackles the blindspot and aims to solve this exact situation by projecting the symbol of a bike on the ground about 20ft in front of you. So imagine being a bus driver, if you’ve got a bike in your blindspot that you can’t see you’ll spot this green picture of a bike on the road before you see the cyclist."
Listen to the podcast to learn more from Jas and Emily, as well as insight from previous VOOM winners MacRebur, the plastic road company, who are using the millions of tons of plastic waste currently fitting in landfill sites to make stronger, cheaper and longer lasting roads.