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BU entrepreneur hoping for flood of votes

7 June 2010

BU graduate entrepreneur Simon Phelps Graduate's company named as regional finalist in the Barclays Business 'Take One Small Step' competition to win £50,000.

BU graduate entrepreneur Simon Phelps is banking on a flood of votes to help him win a national competition to net him a £50,000 investment in his company.

Simon’s firm Fluvial Innovations Ltd is a finalist in the Barclays Business ‘Take One Small Step’ competition. He now needs votes from the general public via the internet and text to win one of ten £50,000 awards to develop his innovative product. The public can cast their votes at the Barclays Business 'Take One Small Step' website or text the word ‘FLUVIAL’ to 87222 from now until Sunday, 4 July 2010.

Simon first developed his unique Floodstop modular flood barrier as a Computer-Aided Product Design student in the School of Design, Engineering and Computing at BU. Floodstop actually uses rising floodwater to create effective flood protection.  He established the company, Fluvial Innovations Ltd, with support from BU’s Business Services team to oversee the manufacture and supply of the Floodstop which is gaining momentum as a logical flood protection solution for local and national authorities such as the UK’s Environment Agency as well as private home and business owners.  

“My idea actually came to me at university when I was watching a TV report on a devastating flood event in Sussex in 2000,” Simon recalls. “It seemed ridiculous to me that councils were handing out ineffective sandbags that just didn’t work, and after spending a year in industry I decided I’d develop a flood defence method that did work and could be rapidly deployed by one person.

“Even though I’d love for my business to be a huge commercial success, our main motivation is to help individuals at risk to obtain peace of mind – when a floods happen there is an emotional cost as well as a monetary expense to those affected,” he continues. “Our Floodstop barrier actually works, so I am passionate about it being in the market place and helping vulnerable people at risk – all councils should be able to provide them.”

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