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New Blackpool company nets national award

David Preston of OFFiGO
David Preston of OFFiGO

A Blackpool company launched just four months ago has won a national competition to encourage greener smarter communities.

OFFiGO, was created by David Preston as a one-stop online marketplace for the resort for visitors and businesses alike.

More than 120,000 visitors viewed OFFiGO in the first three months. Now it has won Challenge 2017: Greener Smarter Communities sponsored by Geovation Ordinance Survey and Innovation UK.

The population growth in our cities is predicted to double by 2050 and this means that there will be a need to improve access and the sharing of information.

The OFFiGO team decided that the digital platform they had created for Blackpool matched the challenge and submitted the idea to develop it across a wider geographical area.

Millions of people visit Blackpool each year all looking to spend their money, the OFFiGO high street aims to make sure they can find exactly what they want. As 2017 winners, the OFFiGO team will get to attend a three-day business accelerator course in London.

OFFiGO will have chance to develop and test their ideas for business growth with mentors, business advisors and designers in an ideal environment. This will end in the chance to pitch the idea to investors funders and sponsors as well as having the opportunity to receive a grant.

Gauri Kangai at Innovate UK said: “Our mission is to help the UK economy grow by inspiring and supporting pioneering businesses to create the industries of the future.

“We do this through funding risky innovation projects and through connecting innovators to opportunities and resources, and my role within the organisation is very much about helping businesses develop new solutions to the complex challenges facing cities.”

David Preston said: “As the growth of the cities continues the complexity of the digital environment means sometimes it’s hard to find what you are looking for. It’s hard for businesses to know where to position themselves to be found. There is growing competition from online giants.”