Managing Director , Ameeca Limited
- Area Annfield Plain , Co. Durham
- Website www.ameeca.co.uk
After 20 years teaching undergraduates and using his knowledge of technology transfer, Dr Simon Johnson’s own foray into business has proved a huge success.
Combining his expertise in electronics and software with his wife Eleanor’s background as a primary school teacher, the couple established their educational technology company, Ameeca Ltd, in 2006 and launched their first product, StoryPhones, just three years later.
The digital audio system is aimed at children aged three-eight to help their listening, language and reading skills. Three thousand have been sold to schools across the UK and in countries including Australia, Hong Kong and Norway.
North East Newcomer Business of the Year 2009, Ameeca now employs ten people and has a £1.1m turnover, with plans to double sales within 12 months.
Simon says the rate of progress from idea to international sales was helped by key business, financial, export and distribution consultants. The business raised £450,000 to launch and has institutional and private shareholders.
“After 20 years in academia it’s been a steep learning curve but also a very rewarding challenge to do something different,” he says.
The multi award-winning, patented StoryPhones are soon to be manufactured in Cramlington, while product development, sales and marketing are based at Ameeca’s HQ in Annfield Plain.
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