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Business Growth Hub helps MS sufferer to bring new mobility solution to market


Business Growth Hub helps MS sufferer to bring new mobility solution to market


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For Stockport based businessman Mark Harrison, a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2004 has led to a brand new business developing a new breed of British designed and engineered mobility solutions. Mark is shown in the attached picture with the Triple Tread being ridden by Paula Lomax from Gee Cross who has Transverse Myelitis.
 
This month sees the launch of Mark’s new product, the Triple Tread trike www.tripletread.com that aims to bridge the gap between MS sufferers being unsteady on their feet and needing a wheelchair to travel short distances. To bring the unique trike to market, Mark has been working with the Start Up team at the Business Growth Hub who have provided him with a Start Up Loan, business planning and mentoring services and a range of specialist advice including legal and financial masterclasses.  Mark also worked with the Manufacturing Advisory Service on potential future manufacture partnerships and Intellectual Property advice where he has submitted Trademark, Logo and Design Registration protection applications.

Formerly a successful International Sales and Marketing Manager working with brands such as Adobe, Apple, Canon and Sony, as Mark adjusted to life with his worsening MS he found that his lack of balance meant that he couldn’t ride his cycle any longer. Unable to find anything desirable on the market that would enable him to remain mobile without a wheelchair, Mark decided to create a product himself that would balance fitness, fun and freedom.

Mark’s talented and generous network of friends and family have been very supportive, providing free mechanical engineering and both technical and creative design skills to deliver Triple Tread to  those affected by neurological illness.  Mark includes the Business Growth Hub in the support team adding “Working with the Business Growth Hub has been invaluable.  They’ve been with me every step of the way on this project, which has been as much of an emotional journey as a business venture. Having to finish employment hit me very hard, I went from a busy family man travelling the world to having no idea if I’d be able to walk in a year’s time. As my MS got progressively worse the mobility solutions I was able to find were bland and uninspiring and I felt passionately that we deserved better. I wouldn’t have ridden an old-fashioned, ugly bike before my diagnosis and having MS certainly hasn’t changed that.”

“Triple Tread takes aesthetics into as much consideration as functionality to provide solutions for people needing aids to help them with their daily life. Many people with neurological diseases like MS suffer a real lack of independence and sense of freedom without the help of someone else to go outside. I wanted to come up with a great looking product that gave us back that freedom and that everyone else will want to have a go on too!”

The TT Trike has an unconventional yet dynamic design and uses an innovative steering and suspension system for its two front wheels.  Utilising the principles of Ackerman steering and the innovative suspension system keeps the user in control over multiple terrains.  Mark is also introducing a battery supported model, which offers assistance on tough climbs and helps on longer or return journeys when the symptoms of fatigue may be setting in.

Mark has used his personal encounters of coping with the varied and sporadic symptoms of MS to help him design the Triple Tread and is currently working with his wife Pam on a range of other innovative products to bring to the mobility aid market.  The couple are also aiming to give something back to the community by building up an online support network and making new resources available that can make a difference to the lives of people with a range of mobility issues.
Isabelle Farqhuar, Growth Start Up Advisor at the Business Growth Hub said: “Mark has really pushed the boundaries to enable himself and thousands of others around the world to have a new type of tricycle that is unique to the mobility market.  His own experience of the condition has given him a unique insight into the need to create something that will provide fun, freedom and a chance to keep fit – something that is known to be good for MS sufferers. We’re continuing to work with Mark to develop his product range and to hopefully help him to secure additional funding to secure more partners, distribution and raise awareness of the need for such a great product.”

The Business Growth Hub and its partners currently deliver products and services that include the Manufacturing Advisory Service, UKTI, Access to Finance, Digital Growth, UK Start Up Loans, NW Business Angels, Textiles Growth Programme, ENWORKS and mentoring programmes plus a range of networking and specialist growth events.

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Analytics, Modelling & Business Intelligence Specialists