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Enterprise Hub Network - Case History

Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub
Dr John Lee



Company Background

Exacttrak is a worldwide recovery company specialising in tracking people, vehicles, packages, and high-value items.

It was launched in 2007 by serial entrepreneur Norman Shaw. His enterprises have always been based in the ICT industry – ranging from computer and laptop sales to ICT security and tracking systems.

Exacttrak is developing a device to safeguard laptops, called Security Guardian, which relies upon a combination of GPS, mobile phone network and RF technology.

This means that Exacttrak can remotely communicate with its tracking system by using encrypted commands sent over the worldwide mobile phone system. It can detect stolen laptops to within 15cm of their position and also delete the information stored on them, remotely.

The laptop doesn’t have to be switched on for the software to work and the hard drive can also be locked down remotely to ensure specific files are saved.

Exacttrak’s projected turnover is £750,000 in the first year, £2million in the second and £4 million in its third year. There are three employees - Norman Shaw is Managing Director, John Pragnall is Technical Development Manager and Gavin Teal is Sales Manager. It is based in Aston Upthorpe, Oxfordshire.

Work with Enterprise Hub

Oxfordshire Enterprise Hub Portfolio Director Wendy Tindsley said: “The beauty of dealing with Norman is that he is very experienced in launching products. He is also very willing to listen to advice and suggestions. He has always been completely open and transparent and has taken a lot on board. I am certain that he will be very successful.”

Other hub assistance included:

  • assistance to ensure that his already comprehensive business plan was funding-ready – ie at the stage where he could approach outside bodies for cash. The Hub introduced him to Finance South East which helps ambitious companies to grow through direct investment and associated support.
  • helping Norman to take his business presentation to three funding networks where groups of investors go to view business propositions

Wendy added: “Attracting investors is not a science but an art. You need to be able to tell a good story, prove you are capable of taking it to market and that there is a real or proven demand.”

Norman said: “The advice I have had from the Hub has been invaluable. It is not only that its staff are impartial, but they look at every different angle of the business.

“Sometimes, as an entrepreneur, you are so close to a project, you can’t see mistakes. The Hub has been very supportive and offers very regular contact – in fact we see them every two months or so.

“It has pushed us forward and ensured we have very solid foundations on which to build.

“Areas in which I feel they have helped us especially include helping us to get finance-ready, reviewing our business plan, introducing us to patent attorneys and introducing us to investment networks.”

What’s next

The devices have already been purchased by Merseyside Police to be used as part of a crime reduction campaign.

Norman is currently waiting hear if he has attracted funding from one of five possible investors. He needs about £250,000 to help fund the final production of the products, develop the sales channel and sales volumes.

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