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News & Press: IOE&IT News

Britain’s Export Innovation and Creativity Showcased in National Competition

13 December 2013  
Posted by: IOE News
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This week the Institute of Export (IOE) is marking the vibrant success of five businesses who clinched top spot in a nationwide competition to accelerate and boost their export growth.

Our Director General Lesley Batchelor was on the judging panel of the first ever Global Jump-start Competition launched by Open to Export – a free online community spearheaded by UK Trade & Investment in partnership with the private sector.

Matthew Halfin, Marketing Manager for Open to Export, said: “We were blown-away by the quality of the entries we received, especially the ones from our finalists and we are very excited to be supporting them as they realise their international growth ambitions.”

A big congratulations to the five finalists starting with Blooming Simple whose flat-packed flower vase is being sold into international markets. Mia Tui, who invented her award winning bag design while living in Vietnam, has since created a range of practical handbags with pockets for everything. Ohh Deer, a group of illustrators designing gifts and clothing, have seen revenues grow exponentially in a year and are now selling products to Urban Outfitters, Paperchase and Topshop.

Revolutionary industrial cooking technology from Olympus Automation reduces salt content in processed foods by 20% – while husband and wife team See.Sense created the first intelligent cycle light that flashes brighter and faster in response to road risks.

Trade and Investment Minister, Lord Livingston, said: “There is no doubt that Britain has the creativity and innovation it needs to compete on the world stage and this competition demonstrates the quality of the UK’s small businesses which are driving our economy forward. I congratulate the winning companies on their success and look forward to seeing them realise their export potential.”

The winning companies will receive an Institute of Export training course and one year’s Business Membership  worth over £400, a return flight including all charges to any easyJet destination, an Export Communications Review from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) worth £250, a one year subscription to Croner-i International Trade export legislation guide worth £1000 – and £2,000 worth of business planning support from an expert accountant from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Lesley added: “The vision, talent and potential of the winners shone through and, with support from the aforementioned companies and the IOE – whose commitment is to embed professionalism into international trade – we wish the winners every success as they harness the wealth of opportunities in exporting and international trade.”


Fellow judges were Nicola Bridgett, Senior International Trade Advisor for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Ali Gayward, UK Commercial Manager for easyJet and Paul Lewis, marketing director of