'Giant shuttlecock' goes through the roof for Epsom entrepreneur
An entrepreneur whose giant shuttlecock was turned down for funding on a TV business show last month says it has given his business a huge boost.
David Robson, from Epsom, has produced the Ukick - "a giant shuttlecock which you can kick around", costing £4.99.
The 29-year-old appeared on BBC business show Be Your Own Boss on September 26 with his product, and despite not winning the £50,000 investment he sought for his business, the Clapham-based entrepreneur said Ukick has "gone through the roof” and believes it will be a “multi-million-pound product”.
After completing a degree in Sociology and Social Policy at Leeds University, Mr Robson was made redundant from a finance company in the City in 2009, and then a marketing company a year later.
After losing his jobs he studied for a Masters degree in International Business with Entrepreneurship - which ignited his entrepreneurial flame.
He said: "When I was travelling in Vietnam, I came up with UKick as I saw people playing with it. I took it back to Britain and my friends loved it. I adapted the original to make it safe, colourful and so it could be customised.
"Since Be Your Own Boss, it’s gone absolutely manic. I didn’t win the show, but it doesn’t really matter."
Mr Robson said many investors and retailers have contacted him about the £4.99 product, including Debenhams and Argos, and retailers in America and South Africa.
He has sold 13,000 Ukicks online in the last two months and sold out last week.
He added: "It’s a gap in the market - no one has seen anything like this before.
"It will be great for tackling obesity and getting kids and adults to socialise and exercise together, rather than them sitting on their social networks."
The businessman’s advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is to be "creative" and not to give up in what is a challenging economic climate.
The former Epsom College student hopes to open a gym in the future where parents and children can exercise together.
He said: "Be creative about how you go about networking and finding the people who are going to back you.
"I’ve been emailed by lots of people who are finding it difficult to get work and because they have showed the initiative I would be happy to offer those people jobs.
"I’m looking to grow the business, and it’s a tough time, and it’s about supporting each other."