Gas–Sense: A revolutionary product that makes sense!
Canterbury based product designer and engineer, George Edwards, is hoping to revolutionise the way people use gas with his new company Gas-Sense after receiving a loan through the Virgin Start-Up Loan scheme.
Gas–Sense was initially created as a school engineering product but founder, George Edwards, decided to turn it into a business because of the positive reaction he received. George said “I received a lot of encouragement and endorsements in the product, so business seemed to be the only way to bring it to fruition.” Now in 2015, after three years of development and refinement to work out the finer points of the design and manufacturing process, Gas-Sense is ready to launch and share its products.
When asked what Gas-Sense does, George said “We produce an innovative range of sensors, so you never run out of bottled gas again!” Gas-Sense combats the problem of gas bottles unexpectedly running out by using magnetic strip sensors, a patented technology, which attaches to the bottle, simply and easily, to monitor the bottle and its contents. The information collected by the sensors is transmitted via wireless connection, to a screen or smartphone, and displays the current gas level and the estimated time before it runs out.
The Virgin Start-Up Loan scheme is another of Sir Richard Branson’s ventures. He has long championed small businesses and start-ups, seeing both as vital to the economy and employment. The ambition behind the scheme is to provide budding entrepreneurs with the opportunity of turning their business idea into reality.
George found out about, and applied for, the Virgin Start-Up Loan scheme online and was then put in contact with Enterprise First, the South East delivery partner for the scheme who provided him with a business mentor.
Talking about the scheme, George said “The programme helped me build up my supporting structure, fund the next steps and gain exposure in the start-up community.” Lisa Harding, an Enterprise First business adviser, supported George throughout his start-up process and when asked about Lisa, George said “Having an alternative opinion on things is always a good thing and having someone robustly interrogate your numbers is really useful.”
Currently, Gas-Sense has a very small team as a lot of the work, including the design and manufacturing, is outsourced. However, in the future, George hopes to expand the company by making the technology appropriate for developing countries, as the domestic use of bottled gas is ever-present in these areas; and he already has research and development in place to ensure that this is a possibility.
George Edwards has been able to turn his school project into a business idea with help and guidance from Enterprise First and the Virgin Start-Up Loan scheme, he said “The advice was really useful and the support is hugely valuable.”
If, like George, you have an idea that you want to turn into a reality, then Enterprise First and the Virgin Start-Up Loan programme could help. For more information and to get in touch with Enterprise First, please visit www.enterprisefirst.co.uk and for more information about Virgin Start-Up Loans, please visit www.enterprisefirst.co.uk/services/virgin-startups or www.virginstartup.org