Looking back, thinking forward

Delivering the Propel Programme since 2009 we have built up a mass of experience stories and friendships. The 200 companies we have mentored and developed over 8 years have gone on to create over 500 jobs, realising in excess of £15m in equity and government investment.  They export goods and services across the globe, from digital tools to life sciences, to fintech to agritech. Most of the businesses were started from a simple idea, often around a kitchen table or over a glass of wine.

This weekpresenttree we took the time to pay a number of these a visit to see how they were getting on, a day that proved to be a very uplifting.

First stop was up to Ballymena to visit Jonny Small MD of HugeRugby.com, who has gone from zero to a global supplier of rugby kit, shipping balls and training gear to rugby enthusiasts across the world. During a quick tour of their recently expanded promises we witnessed a buzz of activity, efficiency and true passion for the sport.

Next, we had the pleasure to share stories and lunch with Catherine Cunningham CEO of ThePresentTree, who with similar humble beginnings back in 2013 has built a wonderful business sending tree gifts across Europe. Her team are located in a converted barn set in Antrim woodlands and have the company of hundreds of baby trees .. .. all ready to find a new home.  Organic, sustainable and

To round off the day we met with the impressive David Galbraith, MD of SwigFlasks. From pop-up shops in London in 2013, to building an online gift store, David and his team have shipped to customers across the world, including Olympic gold medallists and film stars. Swigflask are the UK’s first hip flask brand, dedicated to making the best flasks on the market, and perfect for gifting.

[Propel is currently not recruiting but it is anticipated that the next programme will come on stream in Autumn 2017.]