The latest companies to receive Isle of Man Government Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS) investment have been announced by SPARK Impact Limited (SPARK).
They are E-Sign, an advanced electronic signature provider, and Cortech Healthcare, which designs, develops and manufactures a range of independent living products. Both firms have secured premises in the Isle of Man and started recruitment to expand their businesses.
Under the agreements to date, funding of more than £1.83 million has been committed to helping to bring new businesses to the Island and expanding existing on-Island firms.
SPARK, which was appointed in March 2016 by the Isle of Man Government Department of Economic Development (DED) to run the Accelerator and Relocator elements of the £50 million EDS, has confirmed the agreements are across a number of sectors, including healthcare, eCommerce and technology, and that advanced negotiations with more businesses are ongoing.
E-Sign Managing Director Tom Taylor said his business had been exploring opportunities in the Isle of Man for several years and the EDS initiative had enabled the company to commit.
He explained: ‘E-Sign and its team have been exploring possibilities on-Island over the past four years. The emergence of the EDS has given us this great opportunity to commit to having on-Island operations and to grow the company’s reach. Both the DED and its partner SPARK have been very supportive of our ideas and ambition.
‘E-Sign is an advanced electronic signature provider, enabling organisations to digitise the signing of documents and store them securely. We provide a secure digital identification embedded into an electronic signature that is unique to both the signatory and the document. The document is then securely stored within an encrypted document storage facility.
‘We have been focusing on growth within several markets so far this year, and this has seen E-Sign’s customer numbers grow at an average monthly rate of 17%. Various departments within the UK’s central government are currently adopting E-Sign. Everything is looking very positive, and we hope to further this growth with EDS support and our new presence in the Isle of Man. We will look for similar and new opportunities on-Island, with a specific focus on compliance and ID validation within the finance and digital markets.’
E-Sign has established offices on North Quay, Douglas, and is beginning employee migration from the UK and on-Island recruitment for several new roles within the business.
Cortech Healthcare has leased premises on Balthane Industrial Estate in the south of the Island and is urgently seeking to recruit Island employees, including a senior management position. A further two jobs will be created in the coming months with the aim of employing a team of 12 within three years. The new positions will include management roles, highly skilled engineering, design and IT workers and assembly line opportunities.
Using a unique, patent-protected movement system, Cortech Healthcare is developing a range of independent living products that have been designed to increase the independence, dignity and freedom of vulnerable people and to improve the working conditions of their care teams.
The company is in advanced discussions with a number of UK distributors for the first line of products in the range, commode shower chairs which use an intelligent electronics system to encourage body movement in an out of the chair that will re-engage the correct muscles for each action. Fully customisable in seconds to the specific users’ requirements, this can provide significant physical benefits to the user as well as peace of mind to the care team and the user’s family.
Cortech Healthcare has plans for the further implementation of the movement system in other independent living products to be designed, developed and manufactured on the Isle of Man.
Alastair Demick, a Director at Cortech Healthcare, said: ‘The encouragement we have received from SPARK, the DED and the Isle of Man community has been fantastic. The Island is getting behind a revolutionary product, demonstrating it is a visionary and forward-thinking place to do business which understands what it has to offer to companies like ours.
‘We have a strong desire to establish immediately and grow quickly, and that is going to be easier to achieve in the Isle of Man. We have done our research and do not believe there is anywhere in the UK or Europe which can offer us comparable access to the skills we need, the experience we require and the support services we will rely on so close to our base.
‘As a new company with quick growth and expansion plans, hiring the right people for the right jobs is top of our agenda and we are currently keen to place our operations manager from the wealth of talent, experience and passion that exists on the Isle of Man. The Island is investing in engineering training and IT education, which are skills we will need, and the dynamic and diverse Isle of Man Aerospace Cluster, with the resources it represents, was a major attraction.’
He added: ‘The support we have had from DED has been exceptional, helping to identify that everything we need to grow this business quickly is available in the Isle of Man. We have ambitious recruitment plans, and are already looking for staff, and will be calling on the services of other Island businesses across many sectors as we establish and expand. SPARK has introduced us to a network of Island contacts which will support our growth, and everyone has been so welcoming and positive.
‘There’s clearly a strong sense of community and partnership in the Isle of Man and we’re pleased to be part of it.’
Mark Borzomato, Investment Director at SPARK, said: ‘We are now regularly seeing the positive results of the many months of discussions our team has been engaged in with business both on and off the Isle of Man.
‘Agreements are now in place which have created jobs, seen companies launch and expand, and attracted firms to relocate to the Island. E-Sign and Cortech Healthcare are the latest and we will continue to announce details of more deals in the coming weeks as the EDS is now gathering real momentum.
‘In gaining this traction we appreciate the support of professional advisors and DED, as well as the truly welcoming attitude of the Island’s business community and people towards our team and the companies which are considering the Isle of Man as a place to do business. The warmth of the hospitality makes a real difference in marking the Island out as a place people want to be and do business.’
‘As I have said before, interest in the EDS is growing all the time and we are in detailed negotiations with businesses across many sectors. The EDS has huge potential and we are now seeing that being realised.’
He added: ‘Both E-Sign and Cortech Healthcare are ambitious businesses with offerings at the cutting edge of their industries and a desire for rapid growth. The Isle of Man is an ideal base to operate such businesses from, centrally placed within the British Isles with prompt and easy access to highly professional support services, a reliable, resilient telecoms infrastructure and skilled employees.
‘The EDS investment coupled with the benefits of the Isle of Man have brought E-Sign and Cortech Healthcare to the Island, ensuring inward investment and creating new jobs.’
Offering flexible funding packages, including loan and equity investments, the EDS is open to businesses at all stages, from start-up to expansion and development. The EDS invests up to £1 million in businesses on or relocating to the Isle of Man through a variety of debt and equity investment instruments, and is available across a very broad range of sectors.
The SPARK Isle of Man team, led by Mark, Michael Bakewell and Investment Manager Christine Walters, can be contacted by calling 01624 629741 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the EDS Accelerator and Relocator programmes visit http://sparkimpact.co.uk/funds.
Photo - E-Sign Operations Director Adam Ross and Managing Director Tom Taylor.