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29 April 2014

Surgical glove pioneer begins exporting with helping hand from UKTI and The North West Fund

"By tapping into this network, we have been able to hit the ground running, using their local knowledge of the competitive landscape."


Tony Downes and Jonathan Day, founders of Leanvation 

Leanvation, which has developed an innovative range of surgical gloves, is exploring new export markets since securing investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital,
managed by Enterprise Ventures.

Based at St Helen's Chamber, the company has created a range of 100% latex free surgical
gloves. Using the latest advances in material technology, all Leanvation gloves have been engineered to deliver comfort, sensitivity and protection while removing the risk of potentially life-threatening latex allergy.   

Leanvation was founded by Jonathan Day and Tony Downes, who both have a strong background in healthcare, having worked with established surgical product brands, before
breaking out to set up their own team, in 2013.

The investment from The North West Fund for Venture Capital allowed the business to recruit a company Chairman and two sales staff, whilst also providing them with the
financial support to bring their products to market, both here in the UK and across Europe.

The team at Leanvation were keen to tap into export markets from an early stage and began talking to their contacts at UKTI straight away. UKTI advisers were able to help the company in their initial efforts to navigate the export opportunities available for their business.

However, Jonathan explained that existing networks and contacts have also been invaluable, he said: "A number of former colleagues have also 'broken out' to set up their own thriving businesses. By tapping into this network, we have been able to hit the
ground running, using their local knowledge of the competitive landscape. This has also removed the need to educate our partners overseas and has proven essential to quickly gaining traction in these European markets."   

In the coming twelve months the company are hoping to bring to market further new innovative technologies, whilst also continuing to explore new export markets, in Europe
and beyond.   

Lisa Ward, Investment Manager at Enterprise Ventures, which manages The North West Fund for Venture Capital said: "Jonathan and his team are experienced managers with
strong commercial judgement. As a management break-out team, they have been able to bring their innovative products to market quickly, and use their industry contacts to increase sales, here and overseas." 

For more information about how you may be able to access funding for your new business please visit http://www.thenorthwestfund.co.uk/funds/venture-capital

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