Case study

BIPC supporting small businesses: Realrider

Zoe Farringdon and Andrew Richardson give a users perspective on the support provided by Newcastle's Business & IP Centre.

The people behind RealRider
The people behind RealRider

REALRIDER® is a smartphone app devised by entrepreneurs and motorcycling enthusiasts Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson. It automatically detects if a motorcycle rider has been involved in a crash by using motion sensors which send an alert to the rider’s phone. If the alert isn’t cancelled, the app immediately contacts the ambulance service with the location and pre-programmed medical details of the rider.

Working with the Great North Air Ambulance in 2006, Zoe and Andrew discovered that motorcycle riders being thrown from their bikes was a big problem which was costing lives and money. Accidents can often occur on rural roads and during solo rides so finding these riders within the ‘Golden Hour’ to help improve their chances of recovery is imperative. REALRIDER® offers motorcyclists peace of mind and ensures that if they are in trouble the emergency services are alerted immediately.

Through its early stage development, the Business & IP Centre with partner Newcastle Science City provided business support to REALRIDER® offering guidance on access to finance, intellectual property and researching the business idea.

From the outset we were keen to protect our ideas and valued assets, but with limited financial means at our disposal, it was difficult. We sought to secure our brand through trademark registration – a much more civilised process and far less time consuming and costly than originally anticipated.

Any advice for budding entrepreneurs in the North East?

Our biggest selling point is our connection with the NHS but it’s clearly not possible to patent a relationship of this nature, so instead we made a tactical decision to pursue an aggressive development programme and continue to forge relationships with the emergency services to keep ahead of the competition. To do that, we used all of the resources at our fingertips, including those offered by the Business & IP Centre Newcastle.

Work the networks in the region. Utilise the wealth of knowledge and assistance out there – it could help you avoid some of the mistakes others have made before you. Take the time to speak with peers and members of the business community, through networking events such as Newcastle Science City’s First Friday and the range of seminars, workshops and one-to-one sessions run at the Centre in Newcastle’s City Library.

Published 16 December 2015