The Design Council Spark: Ten of the UK’s brightest minds pitch for share of £150,000 to fast-track home innovation ideas to market

Assistive Technology, Europe, Universal Design, October 14 2019

Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge 

Ten of the UK’s brightest minds pitch for share of £150,000 to fast-track home innovation ideas to market 

Dragons’ Den investor and entrepreneur Deborah Meaden to host 2019 Spark showcase event

Ten bright UK entrepreneurs will be pitching for a share of up to £150,000 on 9 October 2019, as they enter the final stages of Design Council’s Spark programme. This leading UK product support programme and fund helps people who want to make life better by design to get their great innovations from concept to market. The focus for Spark 2019 is on products to help people live more independently in the home.

Now in its sixth year, Spark has helped more than 140 innovators and entrepreneurs develop products to make lives better. All participants benefit from a rigorous 16-week programme of both design expertise to strengthen their product ideas and business development support including IP, marketing, investment and presentation skills. Each finalist has already received £15,000 to support the development of their idea, before pitching to an investment panel for additional funds.

The allocation of the £150,000 investment fund will be announced by Deborah Meaden of Dragons’ Den at the Spark 2019 product showcase on 15 October.

The final 10 Spark ideas and innovators 

○      Washseat – Designed by Andy Speechley, Better Hygiene

A raised toilet seat which has been adapted so people can have a warm water bidet wash whilst seated.

○      The Koa Duvet Cover – Designed by Ben King and Luke Gray, Co-founders of product design studio Koa:

An easy change duvet cover, which does not become misaligned in the way that traditional duvet covers often do.

○      Post-Surgery Underwear – Designed by Esher N’jie, Zephyr Ease 

Post-surgery underwear eliminating major challenges to the healing process, decreasing post-surgery complications.

○      SKÜMA – Designed by Daniel Kabagema, Electrical Engineer &  Alexandre Yunus Mahé, Industrial Engineer, Omex Solutions

A water purification device that enables people to purify water from virtually any source and then       re-mineralise it with minerals of their choice.

○      Wish Cloths – Designed by Helen Kemp, Designer, Wish Cloths

Reusable and biodegradable wipes kit and a 100% natural cleansing concentrate.

○      Stablspoon – Designed by Hemal Dias, Third Year Engineering Student

An affordable self-stabilising spoon for people with hand tremors.

○      Air-dri– Designed by Hilda Varley, Inventor

A device designed for small spaces to hang clothes to dry or store, which can be overhanging a door.

○      Bug Grip – Designed by Jennifer Lake, FrederickLake

A universal clamp that can be used to temporarily fix two things together, giving people an extra set of ‘hands’ and encouraging independence.

○      Wheelbie – Designed by Jonathan Nwabueze, Engineer

A hybrid shopping bag that can be converted into a trolley with a gentle tap.

○      Helping Hand – Designed by Ruby Gregory, Student & Creative

A food preparation glove using smart materials to protect against cuts and burns.

Sarah Weir OBE, Design Council CEO said: “Design Council knows the power that design can have in making life better for everyone. Spark presents a great opportunity for anyone with a smart idea to change lives, break new ground, build businesses and drive innovation in the UK. This year’s focus – on helping people live more independently in the home – is especially important as we consider how best to respond to the challenges of our increasingly ageing population. We are delighted by the diverse new ideas presented and look forward to seeing how our finalists progress in the years ahead.”


For press enquiries please contact TDC PR:

Alice Pickthorn: +44 (0) 7595 272 550,

About Design Council Spark: The Home Innovation Challenge

Design Council Spark is a leading UK product innovation support programme and investment fund designed to help people turn bright ideas into commercially successful products that improve lives. Since its creation in 2014, Design Council Spark has helped more than 140 innovators and entrepreneurs to develop their product ideas. More than 50 of these have been intensively supported with mentoring, funding and specialist input to help them progress to market.

For more information please visit

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