04 April 2006

Manchester Inventors: Grobox

We have had many examples of the wrong way to develop an invention. Today we were shown the right way. Beautifully presented, Jayne Lawton presented her GROBOX. A "grobox" is essentially a bulb or bulbs in a box. All you have to do is plant the box and let the plants grow. Even the laziest and most hamfisted gardener can use it.

Jayne told her story of how she got the idea from an egg box. She tested all sorts of combinations and bulbs in all sorts of environments to get the product right. Having perfected her product she protected it with a patent, trade mark and registered design. She also made sure that she could enforce her rights by taking out IPR insurance. However, her most important lesson was how she marketed the invention. From networking with more experienced business people she learned that the best publicity came from winning awards. She has won several including some of the really major competitions.

Although Jayne has displayed considerable business acumen, she has also shown concern for the environment. On the "Ethical Environmental" page of her website, she stresses the importance of being environmentally friendly. Her boxes are made from recycled and biodegradable material - even the straw benefits the garden ecosystem. Even the gift wrapping offered is made from seeded paper.

Jayne supports several charities and will be running for one of them in the London Marathon. She is looking for sponsors.

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