Startup, the UK’s largest free exhibition for would-be entrepreneurs
and small business owners, was the catalyst for the UK’s next James
Dyson to go global, and be recognised as a Pioneer
of the Nation by Queen Elizabeth II.
designer turned inventor, Mark Sheahan, designed a revolutionary new
packaging technology called Squeezeopen™
after his mother, who suffered from arthritis, complained about not
being able to open a shoe-polish tin.
concept is a new form of easy to open container.
It is senior-friendly because it involves applying only gentle
pressure to the lid to open it, while closing the container, by simply
lightly pressing the cap to seal it, is equally as stress-free.
years of going unnoticed in the UK, Mark’s invention is finally being
recognised. He has secured two licenses for his globally-patented closure
is now being seriously considered by packaging manufacturers throughout
But above all,
he is being given one of the highest accolades in Britain.
He is being recognised by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of
Edinburgh for his contribution to the UK, as a Pioneer
of the Nation, at a ceremony in Buckingham Palace.
honest, after knocking on the doors in England for over two years, I had
given up, and then I went to the US and within five weeks I had signed
Silgan as a new licensee,” Mark said.
Mark, who had originally struggled to be
noticed by UK manufacturers, attributes much of his success to having
attended Business Startup.
At Business Startup, an exhibitor, the
London Business Innovation Centre, advised Mark to enter the London
Innovation Awards, which Mark subsequently won, being named “Innovator
of the Year”.
Mark said: “I had originally attended Business Startup as a useful
networking exercise, and to source some suppliers for my company
Compgen Ltd, the licensing body for squeezeopen™.
Little did I know that Business Startup would be the catalyst
that would start me on the road to global recognition.”
“Attending Business Startup introduced me to the London Business
Innovation Centre, and through winning their Innovator of the Year
Award, my profile changed and doors were opened for me that never
awarded Innovator of the Year gave me the confidence to enter other
international awards, which I also won, and this has raised my profile
to a global level, which helped me secure the first license in the
In the past
year alone, Mark has won
20 major international innovation awards
including; the Grand Prix Award (overall winner out of 1,500 entries)
and two Gold Medals at the INPEX, in Pittsburgh, USA, a Gold Medal
at the 31st International Exhibition of Inventions, in
Geneva, the Premier Innovation Award from the Taiwan Invention
Association, and the Visteon Award for Manufacturing Innovation.
recommends Business Startup to would-be entrepreneurs and those
operating small businesses. He
said: “At Business Startup I was able to build-up a good network of
contacts and through the seminars you can get advice and learn the
pitfalls that others have encountered along the way.
It can also give you a greater understanding of the resources
available to small businesses including, for example, government support
and various grants that are available.”
attending Business Startup last year, Mark has also commercialised this
packaging technology in the UK. His
company, Compgen, is now manufacturing and has struck an exclusive two
year deal, with a marketing company called Main Aim Marketing, to sell a
promotional patented desktop storage container, called squeezeopen™,
using the closure method.
believe that this is just the beginning. If squeezeopen™
reaches its true potential, it will revolutionise the packaging
industry, and be used for everything from coffee to lipstick,”
Startup truly acted as the springboard for my current success – and it
can do the same for others!” Mark