Derby music and tech pioneer scoops top prize in national export competition

Mon 10 Apr 2017
Posted by: IOE&IT News
Trade News

Derby Music competition photo

Derby-based four three six – which fuses designer clothing with downloadable music to create ‘wearable releases’ – has hit the right note in a national export competition.

The business that hand prints all its t-shirts, won almost £7k of funding and support after presenting its export designs to judges at Open to Export’s Action Plan Showcase Competition at Tech UK in London.

It was one of ten finalists in the creative and tech sector who had produced Export Action Plans through Open to Export’s innovative digital business planning tool. 

The prize comprised £3k cash funding, courtesy of SDL Managed Translation and Heathrow Airport Limited, a £3k website package from Yell and two free places on an Institute of Export & International Trade public training course worth £700.

Fellow finalists were Alpaca Comfort Ltd, Beatpixels Limited, Buttonfix Limited, Mymanu Limited, Potionshop Ltd, Raptor 3D Design Ltd, The Travelling History Company, Wustefeld and Zenith Nadir.

Open to Export is a free to use digital route to boost the UK’s SME exports. Its Export Action Plan tool is part of a website dedicated to helping new and inexperienced businesses prepare to sell internationally by giving them unlimited free access to information, support and advice. 

Helping companies make decisions along each step of their exporting journey - from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers – the tool provides additional wide-ranging support. Once complete, it produces a report in an easy to read format, which is perfect for sharing with international trade advisers or banks to better inform export planning conversations.

Each of the shortlisted companies will benefit from a year’s free small business membership with the Institute of Export & International Trade and a web translation voucher from SDL Managed Translation.

Sponsored by the Department for International Trade (DIT), Heathrow Airport Limited and SDL Managed Translation, the judging panel comprised Lesley Batchelor OBE – Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade and CEO of Open to Export, CEO of Open to Export an Richard Hanscott, CEO of Yell, Simon Spier, Head of International Trade, Tech UK, Robert Gordy - CEO of SDL Managed Translation and Stuart Birrell, CIO, Heathrow Airport Limited.

Andy McAllister, founder of four three six, said: “Export Action Plan has focussed my thinking on export and the competition win has given me the confidence and resources to approach the Japanese market head on.”

Commented Lesley Batchelor: “We were impressed, inspired and energised by the diversity, talent and global aspirations of all those shortlisted and congratulate four three six and all the worthy finalists who gained knowledge and confidence from using Open to Export’s innovative digital business planning tool.” 

For more information visit and for information and a video of one of the previous competitions.