Global success story slips through Dragons' grasp

A Scottish entrepreneur who entered the Dragons' Den (Sunday, Sept 4th) has joined the ranks of success stories that got away.

Alison Grieve, from Edinburgh, is a multi award-winning inventor on a mission to change the way the world holds things. On Sunday night she presented the Dragons with her most recent product, the G-Hold: an ergonomic holder that attaches to tablets and other devices, enabling users to comfortably and securely hold their mobile technology.

The Dragons declared themselves 'out', but Alison has watched the sales flood in, bringing in revenue of £150,000 since filming took place, double the amount she had looked to raise in the Den. Her company has scaled up rapidly, moving to larger premises in August and increasing its assembly team, based in Scotland, to produce the 10,000 G-Holds required monthly to meet demand. The growth stems partly from the product's success on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) in the US, but also from large tablet rollouts in education, healthcare and corporate sectors.

"I am very grateful to have experienced the Den and would do it all again," Alison said. "Of course, it's much easier to say that from the context of our recent successes but having been on this journey for seven years, I knew I would take positives away from meeting the Dragons regardless of what happened next."

Alison first started developing patented 'handholding' technology in 2010 for the foodservice industry, launching a range of non-toppling trays, branded Safetray. A former waitress, Alison came up with her first invention after witnessing a spectacular accident involving a tray of champagne glasses toppling over at an important function.

"Our mission has always been to broaden the use of our handholding technology across multiple industries and applications. Once we had proven our concept, we saw a massive opportunity to develop new technology for mobile devices. And with almost a billion tablets having shipped since the launch of the first iPad, we are now reaping the rewards of that decision."

The ergonomic benefits of the G-Hold have been validated by various muscular skeletal experts:

"The last few years have seen a significant rise in the number of kids with neck and back pain, which clinicians increasingly put down to the use of hand-held devices," explains Gavin Routledge, Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. "The G-Hold design ensures that it massively reduces the strain on neck, shoulder, arm and hand; making for pain-free use of tablets."

The G-Hold is already being used across 100 schools in Aberdeenshire, Apple Distinguished Programme CalStateTEACH and most recently tech solution company XMA, feeding into the Scottish Government National Framework for Tablet Devices in Education. The company anticipates G-Holds fast becoming a standard part of the tablet tool kits provided across Scottish schools and further afield.

Aside from its health benefits, the brand has also been growing in 'cool factor' with celebrity users including former Gadget Show presenter Suzi Perry, Grammy award winning Gregory Porter, Scotland’s rugby team coaches and physios and sports presenter Lee McKenzie.

Alison is currently in Berlin at the IFA consumer electronics trade fair and intends to capitalise on the rise of augmented reality (AR), with games such as Pokémon Go and 360 degree videos creating greater need for handholding technology.

"My prediction is that AR will soon be a part of everyday tablet usage, particularly in education where traditional text books can come alive, engaging children in learning like never before. The G-Hold supports that experience physically, comfortably placing the whole world in your hand."

The G-Hold is available for sale online and in various retail outlets in the UK, Europe and the US. More information about Alison and the product can be found at www.g-hold.com.

Issued by Pagoda Porter Novelli on behalf of G-Hold. Media Contact: Barbara Fraser on 0131 556 0770, Barbara.fraser@pagodapr.com

Posted by Caroline Whitham.