A clever invention created by Teesside University graduate Wayne Taylor has been honoured with a top business award from the Queen.
Rehook, a cycling tool designed to reinstate a cycle chain without the mess, has been recognised in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2022.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning firms able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years.
Back in 2019, Wayne had television entrepreneurs on BBC show Dragon’s Den hooked on his invention when he appeared on the show. His pitch for investment resulted in offers from all Dragons, with Wayne accepting a deal with Deborah Meaden.
Set up by 2016 by Wayne, the business now employs seven people and produces a range of cycling tools and accessories. Originally from Hartlepool and now based in Norwich, Wayne built the business with help from his wife Anna Taylor-Maughan.
Wayne said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for this prestigious award. Since our launch we have been continuously striving to create best in class innovative products for the everyday cyclist. It is amazing to now carry a Queen’s Award to acknowledge all of our hard work.”
Anna added: “The company has grown consistently over the last five years and has begun plans to push heavily into Europe and the USA in 2022. The Queens award carries a lot of gravitas abroad as well as in the UK so its perfect timing for us as we expand overseas.”
Wayne’s mum Elaine Brown, who still lives in Hartlepool, also helped out the business in their early days.
Rehook is a tool designed to help cyclists get the chain back on to their bikes without any mess. Wayne had the idea after he dropped a chain on his way to work and arrived late for a meeting with oil-stained hands and a soiled shirt.
Wayne, who graduated from Teesside University in 2008 with a degree in Visualisation, said:
“I had such an amazing time at the University and absorbed myself in learning as much as could. I was very lucky to have such amazing lecturers over the three years.
“My degree was the key that opened up my career in military simulation. I used everything I had learned at the University to build graphics engines for training simulations, which we then plugged into the controls of real unmanned aircraft and tanks.
“Software development is becoming more accessible than ever, but I honestly believe I would not have been able to gain the deep understanding of it, without being immersed in university and having the support of such a complementary group of lecturers.”
Reflecting on his Dragons Den appearance, Wayne added: “It was fantastic to have five offers, but I have always been impressed by Deborah’s straight talking and pragmatic approach.”
The Award winners have been invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales to receive their awards in July.