Case Study: Conker Visor-Business Support
The Growth Hub helped Conker Visor access the NHS
Cheshire engineer Jag Virdie created the ‘Conker Visor’ to help glasses wearers stay protected during Covid-19, he reached out to the Growth Hub for support in getting his product into the NHS.
In March 2020, when Jag’s business, Conker Living wasn’t operating due to the lockdown, he applied his engineering knowledge to create the Conker Visor. The visor is a lightweight clip that enables wearers to mount it to glasses allowing a face shield to be attached, without the need for adjustment.
After donating initial batches to his friends, who were healthcare professionals, to try the Conker Visor, Jag made a batch of 500 which he donated to local healthcare providers and hospital staff. This also proved to be well-received and Jag received funding from Innovate UK to take Conker Visor from concept to pre-production stage. After securing this funding, Jag contacted Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub to find out how to showcase his product to the NHS, knowing that his design was different and more cost-effective than other options available.
After understanding the business and what Jag was hoping to achieve, the Growth Hub helped Conker Visor by connecting them with the Cheshire and Warrington Health Matters programme, which:
- offered strategic guidance
- helped the product gain the required certification to be used by the NHS
- helped the product be showcased to key figures in the NHS Supply Chain
Since the beginning of December, the Conker Visor has been available to buy wholesale and individually, with large orders being made directly through the business. Former host of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, was so impressed by the sample product sent to him, that he featured it in how-to and promotional videos for Conker Visor.
Jag Virdie, founder of Conker Visor said: “This was a project I began during the first lockdown, because I wanted to do something to help our frontline workers locally. The support I have received from the Growth Hub and the Cheshire and Warrington Health Matters programme, has helped me accelerate the product development process, so that now I am at the stage of applying for a global patent. I’m glad that others saw the potential in the Conker Visor and hope it will be able to help thousands of glasses wearers stay safe soon.”
Andy Devaney, Director of Business Innovation, Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub commented: “Throughout this pandemic we have seen many businesses innovate and change. It is great that Jag has managed to apply his skills to help the NHS through this difficult time. We’re proud to have helped Jag access the support he needed to get Conker Visor ready to launch and be involved in the NHS supply chain.”
Indi Singh, Commercial Programme Manager at the Innovation Agency, one of the partners in the Cheshire and Warrington Health Matters programme, said: “It has been a pleasure working with the Growth Hub and Conker Visor to bring solutions to real-life problems in the NHS. Jag’s product will help frontline staff provide better care at a time when it is really needed.”