Alex Mellor (left) and Anthony Logan of Noir
Alex Mellor (left) and Anthony Logan of Noir
Richard Bell

Seven North West startups to watch in 2018

We’re now past the halfway point in December, which means its time for us to reflect on the last 12 months as we prepare for the Christmas wind-down.

As Bdaily’s North West editor, I’ve had the pleasure of breaking some of the biggest business stories, providing regional commentary on the most contentious national topics and speaking with business leaders from across this vibrant corner of the North.

Despite recent research suggesting that many businesses here are heading for choppy waters (more than 116,000 are at a heightened risk of insolvency), I cover tons of positive stories every week. Its the work of startups, in particular, that continues to impress day in, day out.

With that in mind, I thought I’d bring you a list of seven startups to watch next year. The innovators behind these brands are doing fantastic work and have the financial backing and growth to prove it. Keep your eye on these businesses in 2018.

Cool Cold Brew

Based in: Manchester

Founded by: Joe Devereux-Kelly

Cool Cold Brew is an up-and-coming drinks brand carving a solid niche for itself.

The firm was founded when entrepreneur Joe Devereux-Kelly discovered the delights of chilled coffee during a trip to the US in 2010.

Since then, it’s embarked on a crowdfund campaign to bring new flavours to market and targeted deals with big-name retailers.

LYPH

Based in: Lancaster

Founded by: Jemma and Frederick Edmondson

LYPH, standing for Live Young Play Hard, is a growing fashion business that specialises in wholesale contemporary streetwear with interchangeable pockets.

The husband and wife team behind it are looking to turn over £500k annually within the next three years – no easy feat, but certainly achievable if you’re as passionate about your creation as they are.

Noir

Based in: Manchester

Founded by: Anthony Logan and Alex Mellor

Who wouldn’t want to work alongside their best mate? Anthony and Alex will tell you it’s part of what makes their design agency, Noir, so successful.

In just over a year, the company has grown its team from two to 10 employees, relocated from co-working space to an office and launched a operation in London.

Friendly partnerships form the backbone of its stance on doing business, so it’s little wonder Noir is going places.

GoodBox

Based in: Salford

Founded by: Francesca Hodgson and Andrew O’Brien

Tech startup GoodBox has created a digital collection box that enables people to make donations with their bank cards.

In November, the company raised £2.4m through equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs to drive production of its GoodBox consoles and continue addressing what co-founder Andrew O’Brien, a former investment banker, called ‘major inefficiencies’ prevalent in the charity sector.

Event Transport

Based in: Stockport

Founded by: David Barnes

Event Transport was established to help organisers of gigs and other live events overcome the most troublesome logistical issues.

In a summer, a startup loan enabled the firm to acquire its own 12- and 18-tonne vehicles, used for moving technical equipment for bands and corporate clients.

Milexa

Based in: Liverpool

Founded by: Richard Wilde

This Baltic Triangle-based business announced a recruitment drive at the start of 2017 on the back of a 60% sales surge, having already grown its team from six to 16 the year previous.

Milexa designs and manufactures wallpapers, murals and Atrafloor – its own brand of durable, digitally printed vinyl flooring.

Broadstone

Based in: Manchester

Founded by: Tom Pickersgill

Security recruitment tech startup Broadstone created a raft of jobs earlier this year, after a £200k funding boost provided a firm foothold for future growth.

By 2020, founder Tom Pickersgill wants to have helped more than 60k individuals with the company’s online platform Broadstone Engage – a digital recruitment marketplace for jobseekers and employers in the private security industry.

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