G-Hold's packaging makes it to the finals of the Scottish Design Awards 2015

We are delighted to announce that G-Hold's packaging, designed by Shaw Marketing and Design, is a finalist in the Scottish Design Awards 2015. The prestigious awards, in conjunction with The Drum, celebrate the best of the country's design projects each year. 

The winners will be announced on the 21st May, so look out for more news coming next month.

Other nominees include: 

Here Design and Hendrick's Gin for Hendrick's Minisculinity and Hendricks Dreamscapes

Here Design and William Grant & Sons for The Balvenie 50

Pocket Rocket Creative and Douglas Laing & Co for Timorous Beastie Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Pocket Rocket Creative and Dunnet Bay Distillers for Rock Rose Scottish Gin

StudioStand and Isle of Skye Brewery for Skye Ale

Make sure you check them all out and see what good company G-Hold is keeping.

Why we manufacture G-Hold locally

Alison with G-Hold in the Daily Record

Alison Grieve wrote a comment piece for the Daily Record, explaining why we decided to make the G-Hold locally.

"But perhaps more than anything it is the strong relationships that you form when working so closely with a manufacturer. I have laughed, pondered, learned, invented, almost cried and drunk numerous cups of tea with McLaren Plastics.

Walking into the factory and breathing in the scent of hot steel and molten plastic feels like you’re connecting with the very soul of a product.

The establishment of Safetray production took us around 18 months. With the G-Hold, units started shipping just five months after the first bit of aluminium tooling was cut."

Read the full article here.

G-Hold Gives You Comfortable, 360° Control of Your Tablet

Fantastic review of G-Hold by Melissa Popp on TechNorms:

"I’m still amazed at how a simple piece of plastic can give this much comfort and functionality for a tablet. If you’re looking for an accessory to make it easier to carry around your tablet, the G-Hold might just surprise you. It surprised me."

Read the full review here.

Five star review for G-Hold

G-Hold customer Vicky took to her blog to give G-Hold a five-star review, and we couldn't be happier.

"I wanted to try the G-Hold as I thought it would be good for disabled and/or elderly, and it hasn’t been marketed towards these groups. My hand grip is fine but for someone with arthritis in their hands or fingers this would be a godsend as your fingers won’t lock, bent. The main use I thought it would help me with is when I fall, I am always paranoid that I will drop my iPad and break it. Since having the G-Hold I have fell twice when using it and each time was able to raise my arm without paying any attention to what position the iPad was in. When I fell before I got this I had to concentrate on what was happening with my pad to make sure I didn’t  drop it or knock it into something like a door or table, but now I have more time to find something to grab onto with my free hand to prevent me falling to the ground, knowing that my iPad is safe."

Read VIcky's full review on her blog, Vicky and her Staffies, here: https://vickyandherdogs.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/g-hold-review/


Chatting with BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive about G-Hold and ScotEDGE

An unusual place for a censor bar

An unusual place for a censor bar

Alison spoke to Mhairi Stuart on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive program last month, ahead of winning the ScotEDGE Award. Mhairi also spoke to Sir Tom Hunter, who headed up the judging panel, and Kevin Harvie of Hectares Crisps, who joined G-Hold in winning an award later that evening. Click here or on the picture above to listen to the full feature.

Stocking stuffers for men who love travel

Raymond Walsh picked G-Hold as one of his top stocking stuffers for men who love travel, on the rather marvellous blog Man on the Lam.

"This neat and unique Christmas gift sticks to the back of any tablet. It rotates 360 degrees, folds-flat for easy storage in any iPad or tablet sleeve, and is removable leaving no residue behind. Great for keeping a firm grip on your tablet in public or business presentations on the road. Their motto? We wanna hold your hand."

See the full list here.

Get a Grip

Get a Grip

New Design magazine profiled G-Hold's inventor, Alison Grieve, and gives some exciting insight into how the design and production processes worked.

Alistair Welch speaks to inventor and entrepreneur Alison Grieve about what’s involved in taking a product from idea through to manufacture

There is no doubting the popularity of tablet computers. In work, rest, and play the tablet has reached the mainstream. However, inventor and entrepreneur Alison Grieve believes that she has spotted a gap in the market. Whilst we might love watching Netflix on our iPad or reading a bestseller on our Kindle, holding these devices comfortably for any length of time can be problematic. Grieve’s suspicions that there was a need for a product that improved the experience of holding a tablet was backed up by some ‘Google market research’. When she entered ‘awkward to hold’ into the search engine both ‘iPad’ and ‘Kindle’ were amongst the top four suggestions.

This was the origin of the ‘G-Hold’ – a multi-purpose hand-hold that can be placed onto any type of tablet or reader to improve the user’s comfort when holding the device. The G-Hold is available in a ‘Megastick’ version that attaches permanently to a tablet and a ‘Micro Suction’ version that uses nanosuction technology to allow the device to be removed and re-used again and again. Leather cases for the iPad and iPad Mini featuring an integrated G-Hold are also available.

G-Hold inventor's search for woman who saved takeout pizza

Boo Paterson covers G-Hold's New York launch and CEO Alison Grieve's fascination with fellow inventor Carmela Vitale on her site Boo York City.

"An award-winning inventor is on the hunt for the mysterious New Yorker whose brilliant idea stops your takeout pizza from being ruined before it’s delivered.

Secretive Carmela Vitale invented the pizza saver – the little white plastic tripod that sits in the middle of pizzas to stop the box from sticking to the toppings.

And though Alison Grieve – who invented the G-Hold and the Safetray – has been searching for Vitale for two years in her spare time, she has yet to even find a photograph of the secretive creator.

Grieve said: “I started researching the inventors of the products we use on a day-to-day basis for a TV series idea that I had.

“Carmela’s takeout pizza saver is used literally billions of times per year. I remember the days of having to scrape half of my pizza toppings from the cardboard and refashion them in a sludgy mess back on to the half-naked base.

“It was a small, yet widespread, problem, answered by a simple solution. And yet, despite its ubiquity, its inventor is entirely unknown. Who is Carmela Vitale? Where is she now? Why did she let the patent expire after just a couple of years? I love the mystery and intrigue. And I want her to receive some of the kudos she deserves.”

Read the full story here.

Finalists for John Lewis’ ‘PitchUp’ initiative announced

by Megan Dunsby

High street retailer John Lewis has revealed the 12 finalists of its 2014 ‘PitchUp’ competition; an annual initiative which offers retail entrepreneurs the opportunity to get their products stocked on its shelves.

Backed by national pop-up shop campaign PopUp Britain, the 12 start-ups will now receive retail mentoring in order to get them ready to pitch their products to a panel of John Lewis buyers at the chain’s head office on August 1.

Intended to support British innovation and give retailers their “first taste of the high street”, the finalists include lightweight luggage solution Gate 8, children’s board game Blank, and cycle safety light specialist Veglo.

Ranging from sportstwear to wrapping paper, the 12 ‘PitchUp’ retail finalists are:
    Gate 8
    Identity Papers
    Lexie Sport
    Pretty Athletic
    Daniel Harkin
    Fiendishly Fabulous

John Lewis’ head of brand innovation, Matt Hully, said:

“We are delighted with the initial response to this year’s PitchUp, with a record number of applicants. We have a very exciting set of finalists, and look forward to welcoming them [...] and hearing their pitches.”

PopUp Britain manager, Becky Jones, added:

“Getting a chance to pitch your product to a panel of John Lewis buyers is every entrepreneur’s dream – a fact reflected in the number of applicants we had this year – almost 700.”

Read more here.

Crowdfunding: Six Lessons Learned from a Successful Business Project

Our CEO and inventor Alison Grieve was interviewed for this great case study about crowdfunding on Ideas Cafe. Here is a brief extract, but you can read the whole story here.

"Crowdfunding is no longer purely a means for new startups to get off the ground. Nowadays, already-established companies are taking to sites like Kickstarter to launch new products that, in turn, can produce tons of advantages -- including an intense learning experience -- beyond the up-front capital.

We recently spoke with Alison Grieve, CEO and founder of Scotland-based Safetray Products, to get first-hand insight into her successful recent Kickstarter campaign that raised funds to manufacture her new invention, the G-Hold (grips and cases for iPad, tablets, and iPhone).

She learned several valuable lessons from the Kickstarter venture:

Connections are Key 
Giving anyone a chance to be a part of a production process opens up the lines of communication between the producer and those interested in donating. That feedback can be essential. The key is in the connection with the backers.

"You can really lose that connection if you have a business model of selling through distribution, wholesale or even retail," Grieve tells us. "Crowdsourcing gives you invaluable insight into the wants, needs and desires of your ultimate end user. It really is an unparalleled method of funding."

Be Genuine and Receive Genuine Support 
Hearing someone's story firsthand can be the kicker. Think about it: who doesn't love to support the little guy? A crowdsourcing page can give businesses the chance to open up about their ambitions. It also can help potential backers understand businesses' perspectives and why they need the backers' support.

"I got the sense that many backers are actually motivated by the desire to help in somebody's journey toward achieving their dreams- not just in the product itself," Grieve says. "It was a hugely emotional experience, and both myself and the team felt such gratitude for the kindness extended by friends and strangers alike."

G-Hold profiled by Young Company Finance

Young Company Finance profiles G-Hold and its parent company, Safetray Products Ltd, in the latest issue. Visit their website here to subscribe and see the full article.

Here are a couple of brief extracts:

"G-Hold is the latest brainchild of Edinburgh-based hand-holding technologists Safetray Products Ltd, and is used to hold tablet computers and other mobile devices securely whilst on the move. "

"US retailer Adorama will be launching the G-Holds at its NYC store this summer, and a non-exclusive distribution deal has been agreed for both West and East Coast USA with distributors SBC Global. In addition to consumer sales, the company intends to focus on professional tablet users in the areas of education, healthcare, retail and foodservice."

G-Hold inventor interviewed by Informed Edinburgh

Spotlight On: Alison Grieve, Safetray Products Inventor and Entrepreneur

We catch up with local inventor and entrepreneur, Alison Grieve. She explains how one simple idea led her to create her revolutionary range of Safetray Products which are now available all over the world.

How long have you lived in Edinburgh and what brought you here?

I was Glasgow-born, but moved here when I was seven. I lived here until leaving school when I scooted off for the best part of a decade. I returned in 2004 to have my twin boys because there really is no place like home when you become a mama.

Tell me more about your business, Safetray Products
I used to run an events business.  I invented the Safetray after witnessing a spectacular accident at one of our high-end events. A waitress lost control of her tray and dropped dozens of full champagne glasses all over the floor, smashing everywhere and causing embarrassment and expense. I started wondering why we still use the same old, dangerous design for carrying glasses and that’s when the idea for a discreet, retractable clip on the underside of the tray came to me. It slips between the server’s fingers and allows them to use their knuckles to help to control the tray, preventing it from overbalancing.

After patenting the invention and enlisting the help of Glasgow product designers, Fearsomengine, to source the manufacturer, we commenced production initially in China but then moved it to Scotland. The Safetray is now exported to 17 countries worldwide and is used in venues such as the Sofitel in Lyon, the Hyatt Regency in Dubai and Sodexo, USA.

We now have a few more products in development, including a mirror tray which looks as if stemmed glasses are magically floating through the air, and a disco tray with embedded LEDs.

Tell me more about the new G-Hold
Establishing Safetray internationally meant I needed to travel extensively. I bought a tablet to make working on the move easier but I found myself wishing that I could hold it single-handedly, like I could hold the Safetray. I searched for the phrase, ‘awkward to hold’ on Google, and the first thing that came up was ‘iPad awkward to hold’, the third was ‘Kindle awkward to hold’.

Having spent four years studying hands and the way that people hold objects, I realised that our expertise would be crucially valuable in the field of mobile technology. Although the G-Hold serves a very different purpose to the Safetray, and functions in its own way  (it rotates and can come as a removable device) our experience has served us well and sparked interest from several of the biggest household names in tablet computers.

We took to the crowd-funding platform, Kickstarter to finance development and, after a successful campaign raising 130% of our goal, we are now entering into production. It was quite an emotional journey, being so connected to our backers and experiencing such overwhelming support from friends and strangers alike. We received orders from all over the world, with our removable Micro Suction G-Hold proving the most popular. The G-Hold Micro Suction uses a very funky, futuristic material which sticks onto flat surfaces using thousands of tiny little suckers, smaller than the eye can see, enabling the device to be peeled off again, leaving no marks.

Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
I did try employment in corporates but found that I always wanted to change things. I’m not much good at being a cog in a wheel but have a lot of respect for those who can be. It requires all types to make a wheel turn round.

My parents have a cassette tape recording of me when I was seven, being asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied that I wanted to be an inventor. It may have taken me 25 years to get there but better late than never…

It seems to run in the family – a couple of years ago my son (who was seven at that time) announced one Saturday morning that he was going to set up a stall outside our flat and sell his old toys. He sat out there every Saturday from that day onwards, come rain or shine, until we moved last year. He is currently planning his next venture.

What do you love most about your job?
I love the diversity of the role, from building prototypes and witnessing them become real-life products to seeing them serve customers in venues all over the world, from setting up internship programmes for students to negotiating at board level with household name brands. It’s an incomparable adventure.

What has been your career highlight so far?
There are many moments, of which I am very proud, that are far too boring to mention in an article – moments where I have been forced through painful, frustrating, laborious, seemingly never-ending periods of time but ultimately coming out on top through sheer perseverance and determination.

However, in terms of utterly thrilling pinnacles, nothing can beat the eureka moments, when the ideas for Safetray and G-Hold struck me, with my first hashed together prototypes turning something from my brain into something I could hold. It’s always a special moment.

When you were starting out, was it easy to find business support in Edinburgh?
We were put on the High-Growth Pipeline of Business Gateway, providing access to financial and advisory support. Having consulted at Scottish-based business network, Thrive for Business I was fortunate enough to have access to a brilliant network of business owners and advisors. I wrote about the start-up phase in a blog over the first few months which can still be read here.

What advice would you give someone considering striking out on their own?
I am a big believer in knocking on doors to be heard when you’re starting out. I didn’t get onto the High Growth Pipeline initially but I kept going back until I met the criteria. I had a few funding applications turned down but I just kept applying. The Angel Syndicate that I first presented to for equity funding turned me down to begin with but I spent time understanding what would make them invest and, six months later, I returned with a revised plan and the deal was successful. For fear of sounding cheesy, I don’t believe in the word ‘no’ being absolute – just part of the journey towards a ‘yes’. Of course, there’s a fine line between persistence and stupidity and you have to be careful not to cross that border.

I would always advise sticking to an industry that you know and understand, and to ensure that you’re solving a real-life problem in a planned and meaningful way. It’s also crucial that you surround yourself with the best team of professional advisors, in my case Johnson Carmichael as accountants and MBM Commercial as lawyers. In both cases it’s the individuals that you work with that make the difference.

It’s important to remember that it is your own choice to start a business, nobody is forcing you into it. You have to take responsibility for that decision and for its consequences. It will not be an easy adventure but, if you really believe in what you’re doing, that will not put you off. I admit to having had a couple of days when, at the worst points of the journey, I just hid under the duvet in fear. But I had to get up, brush myself off and keep on trucking. It’s truly amazing what we can all achieve when we take away the option to give up.

A start-up feels like a love affair – or it should do – and that passion is infectious when you are communicating it in the early stages. As the company progresses, it feels a bit more like a marriage, requiring a whole new level of commitment and you have to work hard to keep that passion alive. New products and new territories really help to keep that passion alive for me.

Quickfire Questions

Describe Edinburgh in three words
Enchanting, eclectic, home.

When you’re not working, where in Edinburgh do you head to relax and unwind?
Dynamic Earth is always fun to visit with my boys and in the summer we can be found playing keepy-uppies in Bruntsfield Links. For grown-up time I like catching up with friends at The Fountain in Fountainbridge. I’m excited to see that area transform. My default after-hours venue would be the Jazz Bar.

What’s your mantra when it comes to work?
As Coco Chanel said: ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.’

See the full article here

Simple yet awesome, see why people are backing G-Hold on Kickstarter

When Alison Grieve invented the Safetray she was on to something amazing for servers. The Safetray has a clip on the bottom of a server tray that secures the tray in place so that servers can move about without the worry of spilling everything everywhere, making it safer for restaurant patrons and other servers.

Now Grieve has turned her idea for the Safetray and applied it to a tablet holder. Sure, there are other products on the market like it, but after using it since CES, nothing is as comfortable, stable or reliable.

The G-Hold allows users like me to hold the iPad on one hand without the worry of dropping it or knocking someone in the head with it. I can edit videos on the fly, write stories, send emails and even play games while I’m walking at a brisk pace. I don’t have to worry about losing my grip on my iPad, which could cause major headaches.

Some of G-Hold’s competitors are very uncomfortable, and one even required adhesive on the users hands. Because of Grieve’s experience in balancing and securing the Safetray, no stone was left unturned in the development of G-Hold.

Many backers agree and plan to use G-Hold in a number of ways:

  • A famous musician using it on his tour bus for when things get bumpy
  • A photographer/actor who says he likes to immediately load his images to the iPad for viewing and would find it useful for that, and also for reading his scripts during rehearsals but being able to do the movement stuff at the same time.
  • A guy with really bad eyesight who says he loses his glasses and wants to be able to securely carry his iPad as he searches around the house while he looks for them
  • A school governor who wants to buy a whole load for the teachers to use in classes
  • A pilot who always uses his tablet up in the air.

What will you use it for? You can support G-Hold and pre-order here.

G-Hold - secure grips and cases for tablets and smartphones

G-Hold featured on the blog of Modahaus Photo Accessories. Read the full feature here, and don't forget to back our Kickstarter here - there's only 7 days to go.

G-Hold – Secure Grips and Cases for Tablets and Smartphones

Don’t you find your tablet somewhat awkward to hold? Heaven forbid if you should accidentally drop this expensive item! The G-Hold is a nifty solution to all that fumbling. It is a clever backing designed to give users a secure hold on tablets and smartphones.

The backing is attached to the device with either a permanent adhesive or with microsuction and will fit all sorts of devices from smartphones to tablets and eReaders. The G-Hold not only provides the user a natural way to secure their hold between the fingers but also allows the device to be easily rotated. There is also a beautifully made leather iPad case with an integrated G-Hold.

Scottish inventor, Alison Grieve, came up with the idea of the G-Hold when she first starting using an iPad. Her innovation also derives from her considerable experience of how people hold things in her prior product, a non-toppling tray called Safetray.

The G-Hold is a current Kickstarter project where her team hopes to raise the capital so “we can build a mold and then conduct our first production run” as well as pay for the first batch of leather iPad cases.

G-Hold inventor interviewed by Wireless Dealer Magazine

CEO and inventor Alison Grieve of Safetray Products Ltd is interviewed by Michelle James from Wireless Dealer Magazine about her latest innovation, the G-Hold for tablet computers. The interview is focused on cellphones and mobiles, so Alison shows how the G-Hold could be used on an iPhone, as well as the wonders of the micro suction backing.

Michelle James: Hi, this is Michelle James with Wireless Dealer Magazine, reporting live from CES 2014, and today we have with us an inventor. We have Alison Grieve of G-Hold, and they've brought a very cool project that they are looking to crowdfund through Kickstarter. Tell us a little bit about your product.

Alison Grieve: So this is the G-Hold, it's a product that stacks completely flat so it can fit into standard cases if it's a tablet, or on to your phone. You fit it between your fingers, and then it sticks but not permanently, it can come away again, but it's very, very durable. It's got micro suction on the back of it, and it can really take quite a pounding. It can be stuck on to your phone, or it can be stuck on to the back of your tablet, and it makes it very easy to hold.

MJ: So this one piece is strong enough to hold a tablet?

AG: Absolutely, yes. Even the last two versions of the iPad, which are really quite heavy, it holds them perfectly well, it can be upside-down, it's incredible material, micro suction.

MJ: Awesome! And for our viewers, how can we find more information about G-Hold and about how your crowdfunding goes?

AG: Well, we are on Kickstarter, live right now, and there are four versions that you can get. You can either get the MegaStick, which sticks permanently on to devices, or you can get the Micro Suction version, which is this version, or you can get tablet cases. But certainly for your viewers and readers, the Micro Suction seems to be the popular one. There's an early bird version of the Micro Suction on Kickstarter for around $23.

MJ: So if I make a pledge for $23 dollars I'll be on the beta test for the product?

AG: Exactly. You would get the first production run of the G-Hold.

MJ: Excellent! Thank you so much for visiting us today.

AG: Thank you.

Mum serves up new tech control grip

Mum serves up new tech control grip

Edinburgh-based mother-turned inventor Alison Grieve is looking to fund her latest invention from concept to market through crowdfunding.

Grieve, who invented Safetray - a retractable and stackable grip system for serving trays - has taken the concept further with a product aimed at the tablet computer market, called G-Hold.

Loosely based on the same design concept as Safetray, the G-Hold is a retractable and rotatable device that uses micro suction material.

She has now turned to crowdfunding with a target of £10,000, to take development of G-Hold to its first manufacturing run.

The product is already 79% funded with rewards on offer including cut-price early versions of the technology.

If the crowdfunding target is met, tooling for G-Hold is expected to be completed by March 2014.

Grieve said, "It is a scary thing to enter the world of technology and crowdfunding when my original invention was more traditional in how it is funded.

"But it's been really heartwarming to receive emails and pledges from so many people who immediately get the concept."

The closing date for the funding drive is Friday, February 14.


Picture credit Paul Bancks

G-Hold delivers innovative ways to hold mobile devices

Alexey Budarin for Tablet2Cases reviewed the G-Hold.

"Alison Grieve is looking to fund her G-Hold project through Kickstarter. It’s a selection of innovative grips and tablet cases for a variety of devices. The series of accessories includes Megastick – a one-hand holding solution, which permanently sticks onto any tablet; Micro Suction – a temporary one-hand holding solution; and two leather Bohemia cases for the iPad Air and the iPad Mini respectively. The accessories provide owners with simple and secure ways to hold and use their devices."

Read more at their website here.

Ever drop a tablet? You need a G-Hold

"If you are like me, you have dropped your share of devices. While that may not be too big of a problem for phones if you have a sturdy case, as you start to climb up the device ladder – in both size and cost – to tablets, it becomes more of a problem. If you have ever dropped, or worried about dropping a tablet, or if you want more mobility while using a tablet, consider the G-Hold.

The G-Hold is the brainchild of Scottish inventor, Alison Grieve. Way back in 2009, Grieve invented the Safetray (right), a hospitality tray with a clip beneath it to slide your fingers through, which creates a friction and safe balance. The Safetray is really the inspiration behind the G-Hold, and is a natural progression. The G-Hold employs the same exact clipping mechanism, and is really a Safetray for a tablet.

Although the G-Hold is not yet available for purchase, Grieve told us that they will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in the very near future. Also you can find Grieve and the G-Hold at CES at LVCC, South Hall 4 – 35577."

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