KwickScreen has been celebrating after being honoured at the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards in Liverpool earlier this week.
The London-based company, which provides portable and retractable room dividers with custom backgrounds for hospitals, won the Best Start-Up prize at the prestigious event.
The product business has built up a strong reputation in the health sector, with hospital staff and patients alike praising the screens for maximising space, increasing privacy and brightening up wards.
Michael Korn, founder and managing director of KwickScreen, said winning the respect of the judges at the competition had made all his hard work worth it.
“To have Lloyds recognise the benefits of the product for hospitals and see the value and the uniqueness of the business was great because they know their stuff,” he said.
What Korn and his staff have achieved is extremely impressive, with more than 40 NHS trusts now using its screens, despite the company receiving no investment and selling the product by themselves.
As part of the awards process, the finalists – including Korn – had to complete a three-minute presentation and answer a series of in-depth questions about their business model, before winners were chosen across a number of categories.
The judges, which included a panel of five high-profile individuals from business, education and the media, selected KwickScreen ahead of seven other finalists. They were particularly bowled over by KwickScreen’s strong business model and Korn’s knowledge of the market place.
Stephen Pegge, director, SME Markets, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “As a judge at the final of the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards, I was really impressed with the professionalism and business acumen of these young entrepreneurs and the calibre of their innovative business ideas.
“The winners awarded on the night showed real passion for their products and a thorough knowledge of the opportunities as well as the challenges within their industries.”
As part of its prize, KwickScreen will also benefit from the mentoring of Lloyds Banking Group representatives for two years. Korn feels it is only right that banks offer small businesses a helping hand like this.
He said: “They’ve got massive assets and small businesses make the money for the country. This is what keeps Britain alive really and we don’t have anywhere near the resources of a big company or a big bank, so we’re really looking forward to working with them and we hope that they’ll be generous in sharing their knowledge and contacts with us.”
Moving forward, KwickScreen is embarking on plans to extend its footprint beyond hospitals into other areas, such as schools, open-plan offices, care homes, dentists and GP surgeries.
The company is also looking to increase exports and use the custom-screen feature to expand into areas such as exhibitions, marketing and advertising.
Korn is even offering a mystery prize for anyone who provides a winning idea for his product at www.kwickscreen.com.