A domestic gardener with a green thumb is preparing to launch an innovative new propagation tray to the market, after receiving help from the Go For It Programme through Belfast City Council.
The Go For It Programme is part funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Investment for Growth & Jobs Northern Ireland (2014-2020) Programme.
Niall Magee, Managing Director of Bustaseed, was frustrated in dealing with clumsy, disposable seedling trays, which he found difficult to use, damaging to seedlings and a waste of money. He sensed an opportunity to create something durable and long-lasting, which wouldn’t damage delicate plants and was also environmentally-friendly.
Niall said: “I started to grow my own plants about five years ago and couldn’t believe how difficult disposable trays were to operate – at times I felt like I needed three hands! I did some research on whether there was anything better on the market, and when I realised there wasn’t, I got to work developing my own product.”
Niall designed the Bustaseed Tip Out Propagation tray, which has open-fronted stackable rows allowing for simple monitoring of a plant’s root systems for disease, pests and moisture. The tray streamlines the growing process and minimises opportunity for wastage.
He said: “After designing my product, I approached the Go For It Programme for help drafting my business plan. Phil at Ormeau Business Park in Belfast offered me excellent guidance on everything from finances to seminars and was invaluable throughout the process.
“When I first had my idea, I had the domestic gardener in mind – people like me. But as we have tweaked the design, it is obvious that the trays will help anyone interested in growing – be it the home gardener or a commercial operation.”
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Phil Murray, Business Development Officer, Ormeau Business Park, said: “From the very beginning, it was clear that Niall had the passion and drive to make Bustaseed a success. He had tested his innovative product and knew that it would aid gardeners across the country. Working with Niall, we were able to develop a strategy for how to get the product to market and to understand where the attention of the target audience was, so a robust marketing plan could be created.
From the very beginning, it was clear that Niall had the passion and drive to make Bustaseed a success.
“Bustaseed is truly innovative in its nature and goes to show that innovation doesn’t have to be transformative, and can be small iterations that improve the overall experience for the customer. I would like to wish Niall the very best in his endeavour and I look forward to watching Bustaseed grow in the market.”
The Bustaseed Tip Out Propagation trays are set to hit the market in June, and will initially be available from the Bustaseed website, www.bustaseed.co.uk.
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business visit www.goforitni.com; call 0800 027 0639; or visit your local enterprise agency for a free, independent chat.