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Leigh Purnell graduated from Aston University with a degree in Technology and Enterprise Management. He had always wanted to set up a business and was inspired by electric vehicles and alternative transport to consider developing a product in the sustainable energy sector. After noticing the frustration that people experience when their phone batteries run out of charge half way through the day, Leigh decided to launch Petalite, with the aim of developing a quick-charging external battery that customers are able to plug into their phone once it runs out of charge.

Through BSEEN, Leigh attended workshops, received free office space, secured a grant and received mentoring support. Leigh felt that his mentor really helped the business during the initial stages and was able to assist with any questions that he had relating to the start-up of the business.

In Leigh’s own words, “the office space BSEEN provided was extremely good as it allowed us to store our hardware and provided hotdesk space to work from”. The business has since moved to a larger premises but Leigh feels that the office space provided by BSEEN really gave them a “launch pad”.

Because Leigh was hoping to market a physical product he found the legal workshop particularly useful as he was able to learn about the potential consequences of litigation and how to comply with legal standards. Leigh said “Aston University has a large network that I was able to take advantage of whilst receiving support from BSEEN.”