In 2012 cycling enthusiast Mike Singleton began pursuing a long-held dream to design a new style of road bike. Breaking with tradition- this foldable bike would use three wheels to create a model that would be comfortable, efficient and safe.
Two years later Mike was joined by business partner Neil Symmonds and the two set about developing concept models that would shape the final design of their revolutionary cycle.
The six years that SAILGB have spent meticulously designing and developing has pushed their initial product launch some 18months behind schedule. A pressing concern for the business; unable to generate a return on their hard-work and investment until the finalised model, the GB3, reaches the market.
Mike and Neil urgently needed to identify suppliers for the aluminium frame and around 60 machined parts which proved difficult. Finally, a decision was made to use overseas manufacturers when the UK market came up short, but this caused further production delays. The lengthy design stage and complicated supply-chain issues exposed the innovation Malvern-based company to considerable financial risk.
Assisted by an advisor from Central Technology Belt the business was successfully awarded a European Regional Development Fund Proof of Concept Grant by Worcestershire County Council. The £30,000 capital injection would part-fund the design and development of the Trifecta prototype allowing the business to accelerate toward their ultimate production goal.
The prototype was used at the NEC bike show, amongst others, to generate interest and excitement around its unconventional design.
With the help and support of their funders, SAILGB is now successfully racing toward their first production batch in June of this year. Managed by Worcestershire County Council, the OFB programmes are funded by the European Union and delivered by the authority’s Growth and Investment Team. The Proof of Concept Grant specifically seeks out businesses with innovative products and ideas, helping Worcestershire businesses fulfil their design ambitions.
With support from Worcestershire County Council, SailGB’s Neil Symmonds says the company could instantly see light at the end of the tunnel. “Without this grant and the assistance from the Open For Business Programme, we simply wouldn’t be where we are today,” he said. “It has been absolutely invaluable to us in being able to put a delivery date on something which has consumed our lives for several years.”
“The administration of the whole process around the grant has been a superbly painless procedure.”