In his career working for the Metropolitan Police James Dawes saw too many tragic and fatal accidents where cyclists and pedestrians went underneath lorries. After he retired from the force in 2014, he set about designing a revolutionary road device that could significantly reduce injuries and deaths caused by this type of collision.
The result was the birth of Dawes Highway Safety, and the recent launch to market of the flagship innovation, DawesGuard. Utilising patented technology, the fully retractable system makes constant contact with the road surface to prevent the rear wheels running over anyone eon the ground. The driver can control and retract the system when the vehicle is deployed in off-road environments such as building sites and quarries.
The innovation has successfully completed a trial with construction firm Keltbray Group, which will eventually fit the system to its new fleet of vehicles. The aim now for Dawes Highway is to target other construction fleet companies and original equipment manufacturers in a bid to rapidly scale up revenues.
Dawes Highway has come a long way in a relatively short space of time – but James has had effective help.
Despite having a good idea protected by a watertight set of patents, he couldn’t get people to take him seriously at first. He also needed the necessary support any new entrepreneur requires. The Enterprise M3 Growth Hub introduced him to an experienced business mentor who could help him navigate the pitfalls in his way.
The mentor or “growth champion”, Mike O’Dwyer, helped James evaluate and re-write his business plans so they included clear, measurable aims and objectives. Mike’s assistance has also included advice on cashflow management, financial forecasting and how to promote the product to potential customers. James has now recruited a PR specialist and social media expert to help him step up his marketing drive. Mike also signposted James to other sources of help.
James said: “I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub. Mike’s assistance has been invaluable in helping me to fine-tune my business proposition and promote the DawesGuard more widely. I’ve received some fantastic coverage in the media, as well as expressions of interest from several parties.
“Mike has been a great sounding board for ideas. He has also used his extensive network of contacts to recommend consultants and specialists to advise me.
“The best thing about the growth hub is that it doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. It tailors advice and guidance to the needs of specific individuals and their business proposition.
“Now I’m ready to take my business to a new level. The financial potential of my product is massive and I’m looking forward to realising my dreams with continued help from Mike.”