13 December, 2007 – East Manchester's Smart Plan wins £10k Enterpize Award
Smart Plan, a computer software design company based in One Central Park in Newton Heath has scooped the top prize in a major competition called EnterPrize organised by urban regeneration company New East Manchester.
Smart Plan beat of stiff competition from over 40 other entrants to win the £10,000 cash prize. Managing Director Maciej Orzechowski, who set up the company a year ago, was presented the prize by Rachel Elnaugh, one of the original ‘Dragons’ from the BBC Series, Dragon’s Den.
Smart Plan Ltd create design tools for home owners and semi-professional designers such as builders and architects.
Their first product ‘SmartDesigner’ acts as a computerised personal architect that can sketch design ideas which can be checked against planning rules before they are transformed into technical plans that conform to British Standards.
A second product currently in the planning stage, ‘SmartCAT’, provides an online catalogue of house plans that can be used to create customisable self-build homes.
Commenting on winning Maciej Orzechowski, Managing Director of Smart Plan said: "It’s fantastic to win the prize money as I can use it to develop my product. I’m so glad I took part in the competition as all the advice was a huge bonus and really helped me focus.
"As an entrepreneur I have lots of ideas and the experts taught me how to identify the best one and make the most of it. Business skills are not my strength and the advisors helped me develop them which is enormously beneficial."
"Being located at One Central Park has been great in terms of support I’ve had in developing my business and I really feel connected to east Manchester and want to remain here in the long term." Dr Orzechowski added.
David Auckland, Chief Executive of One Central Park and one of the judges said: "I am convinced that all five businesses will still be here in five years time. Choosing a winner was very difficult but Smart Plan stood out principally for its growth prospects.
"We were also impressed with the company’s global aspect. The £10,000 prize money will be a valuable investment and will produce enormous economic benefits for this area. We’ve planted a seed and I’m sure a huge tree will grow from it."
Eddie Smith, Deputy Chief Executive of New East Manchester commented: "The EnterPrize competition has been a fantastic success for New East Manchester – it has demonstrated the real entrepreneurial spirit that is here in this part of the city.
"It has identified business that can grow and make a real contribution to both wealth and job creation within east Manchester."
Source: New East Manchester press release