Everyone who has ever wished for a reliable way to stop nuisance phone calls will want to celebrate with South London firm trueCall, who last night carried off the New Product of the Year prize at the prestigious Growing Business Awards, hosted by the CBI and Real Business magazine.
Lambeth-based trueCall helps people regain control of their phone lines at home by blocking unwanted calls from telemarketers, market researchers and overseas call centres, or in the form of fax calls, robocalls, malicious calls and wrong numbers.
No bigger than an average paperback book, and dubbed “the cold call killer” by the BBC, the trueCall box simply plugs into your home phone line and uses patented software to check every incoming call, before letting your phone ring.
The business concept successfully withstood the scrutiny of TV’s Dragons’ Den when, in an unprecedented session, all five Dragons offered to invest in the company.
The panel of judges for the Growing Business Awards, which were presented at a ceremony in central London, included one Dragon, James Caan, and other leading figures from the business world. The awards recognise outstanding contributions to entrepreneurial business success. Speaking at the ceremony, Mark Prisk MP, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, praised the role of SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) as the engine of the national economy.
trueCall has been working with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) London since May 2009 under the Passport to Export scheme, to develop an export strategy and ensure its readiness for the challenge of international trade. The firm is now moving on to the Gateway to Global Growth programme, which helps more experienced exporters identify and target new overseas markets.
Company director and co-inventor of the trueCall device Steve Smith said:
“Winning the GBI award is a very public vote of confidence from some of the most respected names in UK business. We are currently negotiating a major worldwide distribution agreement with four of the biggest companies in the telephone market – an award like this strengthens our credibility and gives them confidence in us.”
“UKTI have helped us hugely over the past 18 months. They supported our visits to the CES Conference in the US, and the Technology Fair in Hong Kong, where we had meetings that kicked off the current round of negotiations.”
“Our first export order – to Mexico – is imminent. It is also the largest single order we have ever taken for trueCall, and UKTI’s recent conference on exporting to Mexico was a great help.”
“UKTI are also assisting with our funding round – just this week, we took part in the UKTI-organised MobiTechFest Conference in London. This gave us an opportunity to pitch for investment to a group of top venture capital firms, from which we have received a number of firm leads.
“The Prime Minister recently said that innovation and enterprise in UK businesses were going to lead us out of our current financial problems – the support offered by UKTI is just what small businesses need to take up the challenge and make their mark on the international stage.”
Ian Paterson, trueCall’s International Trade Adviser at UKTI London, said: “I am delighted for trueCall. They fully deserve their award. By breaking into international markets - as they are now starting to do - they are showing what innovative companies can achieve with the right preparation and support.”
Notes to editors
1. For more information about Truecall, go to http://www.truecall.co.uk/
2. The Growing Business Awards were presented in a ceremony at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on 25 November 2010 - http://gba.realbusiness.co.uk/ .
3. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.
For more information on UKTI, visit www.ukti.gov.uk or telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. For latest press releases, visit the online newsroom at www.ukti.gov.uk/media You can also keep in touch with developments at UKTI through www.blog.ukti.gov.uk www.twitter.com/ukti andwww.flickr.com/photos/tags/ukti
4. UKTI’s London regional team is dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of SMEs in the capital through international sales development. A team of International Trade Advisers, part-financed by the European Union, delivers tailored help to businesses who are either exporting for the first time or looking to enter new markets.
The team can be reached at: 020 7234 3000; firstname.lastname@example.org
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