A young entrepreneur who secured the support and funding of Dragon Jenny Campbell on the BBC series Dragons’ Den has appointed Structure-flex, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of flexible fabric products, to supply digitally printed lorry curtains for his fledgling business.
The lorry curtains are an integral part of the delivery of 23 year old Ed Holland’s business, DrivenMedia, which uses the advertising ‘space’ on the sides of trucks and lorries to market products and services.
Structure-flex has been a leading manufacturer of high quality tension curtains since the product was first invented in the early 1970s and has continued to provide an increasing range of innovative technical products for the commercial vehicle industry ever since.
Ed, who has spent the last two years building his business and works with a range of hauliers, advertisers and marketing agencies, pitched to the Dragons before Jenny Campbell, inspired by his ambition and drive, offered an investment of £30,000 for a 20% share in his business.
Paul Reeve, Managing Director at Structure-flex, said: “We are delighted to be part Ed’s journey and are very pleased to be able to apply our expertise in the manufacture of curtain siders for DrivenMedia.
“With our full-service integrated approach we will be able to support Ed through the whole production process where required from the measurement of the trailers and preparation of the visual livery layouts for approval, to arranging fitting.
“We are looking forward to watching DrivenMedia grow as a business and have no doubt that, with Ed’s drive and enthusiasm, it will be a success.”
Talking about his appearance on Dragons Den, Ed commented: “The whole experience was overwhelming and challenging. The Dragons leave nothing to chance and will grill you over your business idea, your vision and your financials. I’m so humbled by the fact that Jenny Campbell has seen my potential and I’m looking forward to learning from her.”
Soon after finishing a degree at the University of Derby, where he achieved a first-class honours in business studies, Ed came up with the idea when he noticed numerous lorries and heavy good vehicles stationary in traffic on the A38, a main transport artery road in the Midlands.
Many were sporting plain colours, or plain white material along their length with no imagery to engage the eye or attract interest. He started to research how to market his idea and worked hard to secure a number of haulage companies happy to host advertising for other businesses or campaigns – and customers who saw the value of this type of marketing media.
Structure-flex has manufactured and supplied a portfolio of added value products made from heavy-duty flexible fabrics for 46 years and won a Queen’s Award for International Enterprise in 2013 for increasing its export sales by more than 250% over the previous three years.
The company is based in Norfolk and provides a complete consultation and manufacturing service and includes Greene King, Irn-Bru, Wilkinger Hot Dogs and Skinner’s Pet Foods amongst the brands it has produced.