Innovation is alive and well in Essex as James Perry, head of Eye Spy Digital, demonstrates in his ground-breaking solutions for interactive digital screens and payment systems for retailers.
James, a serial entrepreneur with a number of successes to his credit, recognises the value of working closely with a business mentor from the Essex Innovation Programme. The advice he received helped him focus on business development, as well as technology, and opened new market opportunities for the company.
Eye Spy Digital has a track record of successful innovation.
“One of our early products was Charge Angel, a solution that offered consumers the convenience of charging their mobile phones in shopping centres,” says James Perry. “It was a free service which was funded by advertising revenue. Charge Angel was taken up by eight shopping centres in the region and attracted over 1,000 users per month.”
Innovation in Essex
The company is now focused on interactive technologies. The original Charge Angel solution, for example, is being replaced by an interactive screen that incorporates a mobile phone charger, offering consumers and advertisers a much more rewarding experience.
“We’re working on ground-breaking digital screen solutions that feature interactive 3D graphics and integrate payment technology,” says James Perry. “We are collaborating with technology partners and payment providers to develop products that could revolutionise retail marketing. The concepts have already attracted interest from national retail chains and a high street bank.”
Mentoring for success
From the early stages, James Perry worked with a mentor from the Essex Innovation Programme. The programme, run by Essex County Council, offers growing businesses useful contacts and a range of services to help develop products and improve their competitiveness and market share.
“Our mentor met with us 10 times a year, helping us to develop a business plan and put effective reporting procedures in place,” says James Perry. “He gave us a proper perspective on business and opened many doors for us.”
The mentor also put Eye Spy Digital in touch with other important contacts and agencies.
Essex business advantage
Location in Essex is valuable to the company’s business.
“Many of our partners, clients and investors are based in London,” says James Perry. “It’s easy to reach central London quickly by train, we’re only about 45 minutes away".
Growing business in Essex
The company is now on a solid business footing, thanks to the Essex Innovation Programme. The programme has given Eye Spy Digital a clear sense of direction that is helping it to realise its ambitions for growth.