Press abstracts extra: 

British Inventor is recognised as a Pioneer of the Nation

by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh

Business 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.

Ex-website 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.

The novel 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.

Now, after years of going unnoticed in the UK, Mark’s invention is finally being recognised.  He has secured two licenses for his globally-patented closure concept and he is now being seriously considered by packaging manufacturers throughout Europe. 

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.

“To be 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.”

He continued: “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 existed before.

“Being 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 US.”

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.

Mark 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.”

Since 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. 

“I truly 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,”

“Business Startup truly acted as the springboard for my current success – and it can do the same for others!”  Mark added.  


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