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The New Innovation Frontier - Solving Covid-19-Related Problems

Climate change and the Coronavirus pandemic have many things in common. Both have caused long-term damage to the world's social and economic structure and will continue to do so unless, in the case of the former, carbon emissions are reduced, or a vaccine becomes available to treat the latter.

But out of tragedy, the opportunity also flowers. Renewable energy and other climate change innovations will employ many of today's children when they enter adulthood. And the British government has announced £20 million of government funding available for businesses that provide innovative solutions to help people and the economy during the Covid-19 epidemic.

If you have an innovative app or start-up idea that could solve certain Covid-19 related problems, here is what you need to know to get it from an idea to a viable business proposition, capable of attracting funding and investment.

One - Draw Up A Business Plan

Most likely, you have spent many evenings reading stories about successful start-ups. Meeting investors, creatives, tech experts, building a team, attending trade shows - it all sounds exciting and glamourous. As these are PR pieces, what they leave out is the one to five years of behind the scenes work that led to their success.

One of the first tasks of any entrepreneur is to create a credible business plan. This should be a 'live' document, meaning it is regularly revised and updated as your commercial idea for solving a particular Covid-19 problem develops.

Your business plan should be written over a period of weeks rather than days and contain information relating to:

  • the name of your business
  • the legal structure of the business - i.e. self-employed, partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or charity
  • your product/ service
  • the identified gap/problem in the market
  • how your product/service solves the problem
  • a competitor analysis
  • your customers - who are they, where do they live, what do they like/dislike, how much disposable income do they have?
  • your financial plan - how much capital/investment will you need over the next two, three, and five years and where will this come from?
  • projected sales and revenue figures
  • your sales and marketing plan
  • how many employees or partners you need?
  • your operations plan - i.e. how the business will function and who is responsible for specific tasks

Creating a business plan will provide insight into the viability of your product/service and whether or not your innovative idea can be achieved. Furthermore, your business plan will answer the all-important question of is there a market for my product/service?

Two - Develop A Prototype

Before you can launch a new product into the market, you must see if it works. Developing a prototype will help you achieve this. The basic definition of a prototype is a simulation or sample version of a final product, which is used for testing prior to launch.

The four steps required to develop a prototype are:

  1. The Concept Sketch - one of the most difficult parts are all innovative and creative endeavors is to get what is in your head down on paper. Before using a digital drawing program to develop a more sophisticated sketch of your product, use old-fashioned pencil and paper first. This will allow you to consolidate all the ideas running through your mind and form a solid concept of your innovation. It is quicker to commit these to paper than fiddle with digital drawings.
  2. Create a virtual prototype - this can be done using AutoCAD, which can enable 2D and 3D renderings. Tools such as NVIDIA Iray, CATIA Live Rendering and Quadro can further help you visualize your product from all angles. You may need to engage a professional graphic or prototype designer at this stage.
  3. Build the prototype - you can do this yourself or hire a designer or engineer. If you are bootstrapping your business, seek out talent from a design college who could help you for a reduced fee and good reference. Bear in mind, it may take several attempts to get the prototype right.
  4. Find a manufacturer - once you have created and tested the prototype, you need to find a manufacturer who will build multiple units of the product at a cost that fits in with your financial plan. Remember, business is not that complicated - you simply need to make something for £1 and sell it for £2 to make a profit. Spend time investigating the most cost-effective materials and methods to ensure you get the best manufacturing deal.

Three - Access Funding

Aside from traditional funding options such as investment and loans, the UK government has recently announced it will provide grants of up to £50,000 to technology and research-focused businesses to develop innovative methods of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail, and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ideas such as new technologies to help retailers such as supermarkets respond to spikes in demand, services to help family members remotely connect and check on elderly or vulnerable relatives, and products that help schools provide home education, are highly desired.

The reason behind these grants is explained below.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway states:

The response of researchers and businesses to the coronavirus outbreak has been remarkable. This new investment will support the development of technologies that can help industries, communities, and individuals adapt to new ways of working when situations like this, and other incidents, arise.

Dr. Ian Campbell, Executive Chair Innovate UK, commented:

The COVID-19 situation is not just a health emergency, but also one that affects the economy and society. With that in mind, Innovate UK has launched this rapid response competition today seeking smart ideas from innovators. These could be proposals to help the distribution of goods, educate children remotely, keep families digitally connected, and even new ideas to stream music and entertainment. The UK needs a great national effort and Innovate the UK is helping by unleashing the power of innovation for people and businesses in need.

In Summary

Opportunities abound in times of crisis because so many people and industries need help to deal with completely novel situations. If you have an idea that can help others deal with the current Covid-19 pandemic or future similar events, now is the time to be brave and take the right steps to bring it to market.

Related Article: Read 'How to Write a Good Tier 1 Entrepreneur Business Plan' here

Some 'UK Business And Investment Opportunities Post Coronavirus that you should know'

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O.L

Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing.

As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

Jesse Lee

"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

The overall intelligence of this team, especially Anna Foley for me, is outstanding. I am speechless. Anna done such an amazing job on my husband’s application that although we couldn’t apply for the fast service and was told to wait for 12 weeks, we got a reply within 5 weeks.

That alone shows what an amazing and talented team Reiss Edwards are. Thank you".

Christine .C

"I wholeheartedly recommend Reiss Edwards to anyone who is in search of immigration advice. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amar who has been very thorough in finding a solution to my enquiry, and followed up with additional information even after the consultation. I normally don't leave reviews, and this firm already has enough good reviews for me to need to my own anyways! However, in this instance, I do hope that my review can let anyone who reads it be aware that RE is a great choice, these people care enough to help you the best they can".

Zohaib Butt

"I had the chance to use Reiss Edwards services for my Tier 2 extension. Marija dealt with my case and I found her very professional and experienced in dealing with my application. The care and attention to detail was exceptional. I would definitely recommend Reiss Edwards!".

Quintus Liu

"Knowledgeable, experienced, and relatable. Translated a complex process into steps that are easy to follow. Cruised to 3 successive wins on my Tier 1 graduate/entrepreneurship visa which allowed us to play our part in making the UK a better and healthier place!".

Khasan Vosijonov

"Thank you, Ms. Anna Foley! I am writing this with tears of joy.

As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

Saira Lawson-Brown

"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

Nora Nkechi

"My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team".

Deepak Chartbhurjh

"This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again. I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle".

Hakeem Salam

"I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them".

Top Notch Immigration Service

"Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them".

Mo Hussein

"I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation".

Gallagher Jones

"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

Richard Stone

"I have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, I was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that I wasn't disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle their case, contact Reiss Edwards".

Fong Li

"Investing over 2 million pounds is definitely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind".

Nancy Jacquard

"It's a shame that you don't have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards".

Florence Giwa

"I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards".

Salisu Ibrahim

"Fantastic Solicitors!!! My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them".

Amir Sandeep

"The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help".

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