Seedcorn Fund Case Study
Fast-Form Systems was formed in 2013 by Tony White, a construction industry veteran who initially designed a steel bracket system for concrete pouring almost 20 years ago. It evolved into Fast-Form™, a series of reusable, adjustable stainless steel brackets that replace timber frames and hold plywood and polymer board securely in place.
The Grimsby-based business produces brackets that are faster, stronger and cheaper than traditional timber shutters. It also offers a unique handrail and access system for additional safety. The Fast-Form system has been used at high-profile projects including flood defence works for the Environment Agency, London Cross Rail, and the seating conversion for the new Olympic Stadium, which re-opens to the public in 2016.
Fast-Form Systems founder Tony White needed external funding support to invest in patenting, marketing and staff. He said: “The initial 12 months of trading were a bit of a whirlwind, but we have clearly hit upon a market need because demand from civil engineering and marine contractors has been incredible.
“Securing financial support as an early stage business is never easy.”
Finance Yorkshire Involvement
Fast-Form secured a £350,000 funding package from Finance Yorkshire’s Seedcorn fund, which invests in early stage innovative ventures that have the potential to become ‘beacon companies’ for the region.
The funding enabled Fast-Form to ramp up its marketing activity, as well as invest in product development, new stock, staff, and costs associated with the patenting process.
The Investment Rationale
Finance Yorkshire Investment Manager Graham Davies said: “Fast-Form’s reputation of delivering on high profile projects, coupled with Tony White’s innovative vision and experience, ensured that the business was an ideal candidate for investment.
“Fast-Form has the potential to grow strongly in the UK and expand globally. The system not only reduces costs and build times, but is also safer and more environmentally friendly than traditional methods. The company has secured broad patent protection, which will ensure their unique and innovative products are protected as more and more construction companies use their system.”
“One of our key aims for 2015 is to explore export markets, particularly Europe and the USA,” said Tony.
Note: this case study is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire