Nineteen-year-old Building Entrepreneur Tames the Dragons
The TV show Dragons’ Den saw one of its youngest ever entrepreneurs receive investment this week as one of the business leaders, or 'Dragons', invested in what is his third business before he leaves his teenage years.
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Daykin, Managing Director of Grip It Fixings, received £80,000 from Deborah Meaden for a 25 percent stake in his business. The investment will help Jordan with the costs of new machinery, stock increase and a deposit for the firm's warehouse in Melksham, Somerset.
Grip It Fixings are a revolutionary new design of universal fixing designed for use with all types of plasterboard installation. To prove the strength of the fixings in the Den, Meaden put her trust in the product by sitting in a chair suspended by chains from a number of Grip It Fixings in a plasterboard wall.
Jordan left school at the age of 13, keen to follow his entrepreneurial dreams rather than remain in education. His first business was a website called RS2Services, inspired by his love of RuneScape, an online fantasy role-playing game. The site offered players the best RuneScape products at a cheaper price. Whilst struggling to find a tutor to help him with his academic work, Jordan founded nationwide tutoring agency Tutor Magnet, which currently has a database of over 400 tutors and generates a turnover of £2,000 a month.
Jordan came up with the idea for Grip It in 2008 whilst putting up curtain rails with his then 74 year-old grandfather Stan. Having difficulty installing the railings via traditional methods, the pair spent the rest of the afternoon in his grandfather’s garden shed figuring out a more effective mechanism.
Aided by his grandfather’s engineering background, it took the pair just a matter of days to come up with a prototype for the fixings, and, following months of testing, they applied for a patent in 2009, when Jordan was 14.
Once the patent for Grip It was granted in November 2012, Jordan was keen to grow his new business and sent out over 300 product leaflets to retailers across the country. After initial interest from Screwfix, Plumbase and Buildbase, Jordan met with Wickes in September 2013, which is now an official distributor of Grip It products; available to buy in all of their 220 stores.
Making up the Grip It team with Jordan are 11 of his friends, all aged between 17-19 years old, who look after various areas of the business, from accounts and production to packing and distributing. Jordan’s girlfriend Laura is in charge of sales.
Following great success in the UK, Grip It are already trading in Germany and Belgium, with a patent pending in America where the market is seven-times larger than the UK. Jordan’s plan is to take the product to the rest of Europe and Australia as well.
Having invested in Grip It, Deborah Meaden said: “Coming up with a practical solution for a problem that enough people experience and at a competitive price is the essence of Business, that Jordan did this at the age of 13 is extraordinary. Having worked with him for several weeks now and seeing his drive, clarity and focus it is no surprise that the range has already grown and Gript now sells in over 700 Stores Nationwide.”
Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone to invest RMB30 billion in five years
Chengdu is upping the hi-tech stakes after unveiling six projects and pledging to invest RMB30 billion in building 50 R&D institutions in the next five years.
The six projects comprise Chengdu Minshan Hydrogen Energy and Carbon Neutralization Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Integrated Positioning and Navigation Timing Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Power Semiconductor Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Microelectronics Advanced Enclosure Technology Research Institute; Chengdu Minshan Cell Engineering Technology Research Institute; and Chengdu Minshan West China Medical Surgery Robotics Research Institute. They will be backed by RMB450 million in funding.
The number of enterprises on the science and technology innovation board is also regarded as one of the important indicators of regional science and technology innovation strength. Since this year, enterprises in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, such as Olymvax Biopharmaceuticals Inc., GIMI and Zongheng Stock, have successively landed on the science and technology innovation board. So far, there are 45 enterprises listed and passing reviews in Chengdu Hi-tech Zone, including 5 listed companies on the science and technology innovation board.
Centering on the three leading industries of electronic information, biomedicine and new economy, Chengdu High-tech Zone has attracted 128 Fortune 500 companies such as Intel and BOE, and introduced 11 ten-billion-yuan projects last year, involving companies such as Tencent, Baidu, and ByteDance.
In recent years, the zone has introduced six Nobel Prize winners, 20 academicians, and 328 national high-level talents, and nearly 150,000 enterprises from different industries have set up a presence, including more than 56,000 tech companies.
Chengdu High-tech Industrial Development Zone was set up in 1988, and in 1991, was approved as one of the first national high-tech zones. In 2006, it was listed as a pilot zone by the Ministry of Science and Technology and in 2015, approved by the State Council as the first national independent innovation demonstration zone in West China, according to China Briefing.
In February, Chris van Duijn was selected, alongside GMP, as the winner of the Chengdu Future Science and Technology City Launch Area Masterplan and Architecture Design Competition (click here). The 4.6sq km masterplan, designed for the innovation industry in collaboration with CAUPD and Swooding, has been conceived as a pilot project to drive the development of the city around the new airport east of Chengdu.
OMA and GMP will develop the first phase of the overall masterplan, which will include an International Educational Park in the west led by OMA, and a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the southeast led by GMP.
NYSE-listed Xinyuan Real Estate Co. recently announced completion of five newly constructed properties, including Chengdu Xinyuan City.
Located in Shu Du New Town in the Pi Du District, Xinyuan City is surrounded by natural resources and offers various commercial facilities and leisure amenities, and is near the Medi River, Municipal Park, Knowledge Park, Cuckoo Park, and Chuangzhi Park.
A massive replica of the sunken ocean liner is now under construction in Daying County in Sichuan province, around 130kms from Chengdu, according to CNN Travel. Dubbed 'The Unsinkable Titanic', the ship is the exact same size as the original, 269.06 meters (882 feet) in length and 28.19 meters (92 feet) wide.
Chengdu, located in south-west China with a population of 20 million, is the seventh wealthiest city in China.