Let’s Do Business showcases helps Enlighten to thrive

Content Developer Billy Joseph with Enlighten Director Suzanne Edwards

Interest in a Staffordshire company’s innovative Augmented Reality products and services has hit new heights following their appearance at the county’s premier business show.

Award winning Enlighten were in the spotlight at the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Let’s Do Business Show as part of a creative industries showcase organised by the Factory programme. As a result of connections made at the business expo, they have now signed a contract, worth tens of thousands of pounds, and have many more leads to follow up.

“It was a fantastic day and has resulted in many promising leads and potential collaborations,” said Enlighten Director, Suzanne Edwards. “We have recently concluded successful talks on a major contract and there are several other deals in the pipeline.”

Let’s Do Business is an annual county wide exhibition held at Uttoxeter Racecourse. It sees businesses from across Staffordshire come together to network, make new connections, attend business growth seminars and, ultimately, do business.

Enlighten, of Tamworth, recently won the Most Promising New Start Up category at the 2017 Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Awards.

“Winning the award was an amazing boost to our growing business and is just one part of our relationship with the Chamber,” added Suzanne. “The support we have received has been fantastic, it has helped us build productive relationships and realise our potential.”

Enlighten were founded in May, 2016, by Suzanne Edwards and Steve Wileman. The partnership brought together Suzanne’s experience of using technology in education with Steve’s extensive experience in technology and the development of e-learning platforms

Suzanne explained: “We had worked together to support mental health education while I was working in the prison sector. Using AR inspired some reluctant learners to participate and brought subjects to life. Eventually, we decided to go for it and set up a business and we have now expanded from the education sector into many AR projects for businesses and the public sector.”

They were joined by content developer Billy Joseph in September, and, with the increased demand for their services, they will need to expand further in the not too distant future. The business is currently working on interactive, Augmented Reality maps to help showcase town centres to visitors. People will be able to use the maps to get information about where to eat, shop and park.

Enlighten has received support from the Factory programme, which supports creative businesses. It is delivered by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in partnership with Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and Staffordshire University.

Programme manager Marc Wootton provided business support for Enlighten through the Factory project as a delivery partner for the Chamber of Commerce Mentoring and Growth teams.

He said: “I have worked with Enlighten to help them consider market opportunities and as they prepared for the Edexcel education conference. It is incredibly satisfying to see a small Staffordshire business leading the way in Augmented Reality technology in the education sector and beyond. I have introduced Enlighten to the Moving Image cluster in Staffordshire and there are major opportunities opening up as companies in related industries such as games design, animation, film and TV work together in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Opportunities are opening up, particularly with the news that Stoke-on-Trent has made the shortlist for City of Culture 2021.”

Outcomes from attendance at Let’s Do Business:

• Contract negotiations at an advanced stage
• More than 10 new business leads to follow-up
• Partnership opportunities identified with film and animation companies
• Major boost to business profile and awareness of AR applications