The Innovate Story

We spent the last 20 years getting better at helping inventors and startups to develop product ideas on tight budgets.

Find out how we went from one inventor’s mission to make it easier for individuals to develop their ideas, to an award-winning design studio exporting British design services to inventors around the world.

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Alastair Swanwick founds Innovate Design

Alastair forms Innovate Design to help inventors and start-ups to develop ideas on tight budgets. It is born of his own experience trying to launch his own product ideas and the frustrating lack of companies able to help inventors like him


Worldwide Patent Search service launches

Innovate launches a Worldwide Patent Search service to help clients complete a thorough search of existing IP before further committing to the project

Lord Sugar recommends Innovate Design

Lorde Sugar writes his first recommendation for Innovate Design in his “Spoonful of Sugar” newspaper column


Patent Drafting service launches

Innovate launches a Patent Draft service to provide a cost-effective alternative to existing patent attorneys


Design Studio moves to Endless Street, Salisbury

The company moves into a larger design studio and installs a prototype workshop and test facility


First US office opens

Innovate opens an office in San Francisco to help UK inventors break into the US


Business Innovation Award

Innovate Design wins the Business Innovation Award


First Paris office opens

The Paris office helps Innovate to export UK design to Europe


App services launch

Innovate launches app development services to help inventors and startups create better apps, for less


Innovation celebrates its 20th year

Innovate has grown to over 35 employees exporting exceptional British design services to the US, Europe and around the UK

Innovate appears on The Apprentice

Innovate is asked by the BBC to help apprentice candidates to develop a smart toothbrush and app in less than 15 hours! Innovate’s designers feature in The Sun, The Telegraph and on BBC radio. Alastair presents Lorde Sugar with a toothbrush to thank him for his support over the years

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Barbara and James appointed Co-MD roles

Alastair moves to Chairman and appoints Barbara Bouffard and James McInerny as Co-Managing Directors. Barbara and James set out their vision for the future of Innovate with a focus on offering clients enhanced support for finding investment and licensing opportunities