A former economist has successfully launched a business making a world-first type of secondary glazing to high demand after working with Business Gateway, receiving orders for over 1,000 panes since he began trading at the end of 2020.
Gareth Claase invented and patented ‘Gecko Panes’ and is the founder of Gecko Glazing, a business based in Edinburgh which specialises easy to install secondary glazing which helps home-owners insulate their properties and save on energy costs.
Gareth approached Business Gateway in 2020 after developing his idea for secondary glazing, 10 years after he first recognised there was a gap in the market for a more affordable, sustainable, and less disruptive way to cut heat loss from old windows.
Gareth said, “Most of the options available to upgrade old windows were too expensive, too invasive, or both, which is why I wanted to try and find a better solution. Ultimately, my goal is to help with the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from homes and other buildings, addressing the problem that most existing energy saving measures are disruptive and high-cost.”
Through his product, customers can fit a clear acrylic sheet on an ultra-small profile aluminium frame which fits inside existing window frames, converting single glazing into double glazing and double glazing into triple. Each pane can be installed in minutes, with no tools required. They are up to 90% less costly than conventional double glazing and cut heat loss and emissions by up to 50%. Unlike any other system, they don’t impede or obstruct existing windows.
Gareth made extensive use of Business Gateway as he set about launching his business. This included 1:1 support from a business adviser, help on his business plan and advice about funding, premises, and marketing. Business Gateway also facilitated several introductions letting Gareth meet experts in their field as he looked to upskill and get to grips with starting his business.
“After many years perfecting my design, I decided to take the plunge and start my own business, but I honestly had no idea what was involved. However, Business Gateway were an invaluable partner and helped me understand all the different aspects involved, ensuring I was able to quickly start trading. It’s fair to say that Gecko Glazing might not even be here were it not for their support and advice.”
Gareth was also able to access support through DigitalBoost, Scotland’s national digital upskilling programme delivered by Business Gateway. This included 1:1 support with an expert adviser where he learnt about search engine optimisation, website design and digital marketing. Through this service, Gareth was able to move to a more effective e-commerce platform and implement analytics so he could measure sales and customer engagement.
A specialist marketing consultant provided further extensive 1:1 support, helping Gareth upskill and identify how to market his product effectively.
Gecko Glazing has since gone from strength to strength since it began trading at the end of 2020, and recently received formal accreditation of thermal performance. He has since won the prestigious Scottish Edge competition for promising early-stage Scottish firms and signed an agreement with a third-party supplier to offer professional installation for customers. He is now exploring opportunities to scale up his offering through further investment and is hoping to expand into the US market in 2022.
Alison Lynch, Business Gateway adviser, said: “It was fantastic working with Gareth and learning about his unique business which identified a major gap in the market for eco-friendly and cost-effective secondary glazing windows. He maximised his time with Business Gateway, and made progress after every session, from devising a branding wheel with strong core values and developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, to fine tune his USP and elevator pitch.
“For anyone looking to start-up on their own, Business Gateway boasts a range of services specifically designed to help you get on your way, giving you the skills and tools required for a successful launch.”
For more information about Business Gateway start-up services, please visit https://www.bgateway.com/our-services