Entrepreneur proves businesses in rural Somerset can reach global audience

JOHN Bull with his tablet stand prototype.

JOHN Bull with his tablet stand prototype.

First published in News This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

AN entrepreneur said living in rural Somerset should not hold anyone back from achieving globally in business.

Last year, product designer John Bull, 54, was frustrated at not being able to find a pocket-sized stand to support his iPad while working, so he designed and made his own.

With 3D printer technology in his office at home in Halse, near Bishops Lydeard, he has been making prototypes to perfect the design for his 'universal tablet stand' in his spare time while juggling his work on other projects.

John signed up to feature his 'Plinth' stand on a website which helps creators to raise funds to manufacture new products.

In return for a modest pledge if the project goes ahead, individuals who are backers can receive rewards such as one of the first products off the production line.

Within just a few days, distributors and manufacturers from places as far and wide as Moscow, Sweden, America, Japan and Canada, expressed their interest in his product.

John said: “I strongly believe that living in a small village with internet that's still not great at times shouldn't hold anyone back.

“Living in Somerset has huge advantages and increasingly there are fewer barriers and more opportunities to get into global markets - I hope that my experience will encourage others.”

John, who lives with his wife Helen and three-year-old son Bohdi, said he decided against applying to television programme Dragons Den.

He said: “Dragons Den is a good way to get the capital and get exposure but they often want a large slice of your equity - from my point of view I see it as more of an entertaining television programme than a business opportunity.”

John now has to wait for two more weeks to see if the individual pledges add up to his target so he can start to arrange manufacturing in February He said if that fails, then he is still confident his product will get to market through the links he has already made since launching the project and he has applied to patent his invention.

You can see how he gets on by clicking here.

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