Introducing ROC-NUT

Gareth Bristow, the brains behind ROC-NUT, has design in his DNA. An early passion for drawing and designing consumed his teenage years, and signalled the beginning of a career in mechanical engineering, architecture and graphical design which has spanned thirty years. An abiding passion for form and function, together with an ever-enquiring mind has seen him focus his attention on the development of new mechanical technologies and products. ROC-NUT is a unique product; essentially a locking wheel nut for a cycle, that also incorporates an online security system. Gareth intends to use his time in the Catalyst Centre to develop a whole series of innovative cycle security technologies, that aim to dramatically reduce the theft of cycles and highlight the importance of the registration of cycles. A truly social based national cycle register doesn’t exist yet, but undeterred, Gareth intends to create one. We like his style…

– Why did you decide to apply to the Catalyst Centre?

There are very few opportunities for a new or start-up business to receive all the help and advice they initially need to ensure that they start off on the right footing. The Catalyst Centre programme provided all the benefits; from office space to business, marketing and intellectual property mentoring in a single package, so it was obvious to us that winning the competition would be tremendously helpful during the initial development of our range of cycle related security products.

– How did your pitch go? What did you learn from the judges on the day?

Initially the call to inform us that we had been selected for the pitching session came whilst we were abroad in India, this meant that we had a very limited time to collate and prepare a pitch for this new range of products. Although our presentation was rather hurriedly put together, the judges seemed to be impressed and they all showed a great deal of interest in our business outline and prototypes.

On the day, we found that the judges required a lot of information that would normally be within a business plan. Luckily for us we know our target sector and anticipated market very well and following our meetings with the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), we also have a firm grip on production costs, packaging and distribution costs. The lesson here is to really know your customers, the USP and the placement of your products in an existing market before you pitch.

– What are you hoping to achieve during your time at the Catalyst Centre?

We anticipate the help and opportunities created by being one of the companies selected for the Catalyst Centre, will be a springboard to enable us to launch our range of products in a far quicker time frame. In addition to the extensive mentoring that the Catalyst will provide, we also believe that the networking, links to business angels, publicity, and working alongside other likeminded teams will help develop the business further and more rapidly than would normally be expected in the six month period.