The Team and Background
Passionate Innovation brings together people who are passionate about getting organisations, teams and individuals to do new things and who share ambition to spread the word to get significantly more businesses to innovate.
The inspiration for Passionate Innovation comes from entrepreneur and businessman Nigel Biggs whose love of innovation has inspired him to create his own and help other businesses
Nigel Biggs: Passionate innovation advocate, entrepreneur, business advisor, consultant, mentor, coach, investor, occasional university lecturer, marketing director, trainer, facilitator, ideas generator, speaker and university entrepreneur-in-residence.
Nigel began his career as a graduate software engineer, project manager and client manager in the UK and for five years in Germany.
Feeling increasingly constrained by the hierarchical nature of the corporate world, he struck out on his own, setting up a business initially to provide marketing services to technology businesses. Quite soon an opportunity arose out of a consultancy assignment to develop a new kind of database, and as a result Nigel founded a software house in 1988 to develop customer specific database systems and running associated training courses, mainly for British Rail. The business grew profitably having been the smallest UK company to achieve ISO9001 and TickIT quality certification for software design.
In 1995, the original niche market collapsed. In response Nigel and his team built on the expertise gained and started to develop their own software products managing digital images and sending pictures over mobile phones. As a result the company won a Surrey Business Award for Innovation.
In 1996 Nigel launched The Digital Camera Company as an expert web-based camera reseller to take the new technology to corporates and sell them the innovative software with cameras. With his team he successfully built that retail business and sold it in 2001.
In 1997 he negotiated angel investment from ex Govt Minister, Lord Young of Graffham, who became Chairman of Pixology - the digital imaging software business. In the next two years the business made extensive software product sales to major retailers such as Dixons in the UK and Costco in the USA, starting a branded service for corporate retailers such as Jessops, Boots, Costco and Tesco to allow their customers to print digital pictures over the internet.
The company was floated on AIM in December 2003 and it opened offices in the US and Japan shortly afterwards.
The call to take his experience and share it grew. In 2002 Nigel was approached to become the pro-bono Chair and Business Champion of the newly created Surrey Enterprise Hub Ltd - a not-for-profit company set up to support high growth potential business start-ups in Surrey. The partnership behind the company involved universities and other private and public sector bodies which shared the vision of working together to grow a strong local economy built on innovative businesses. It successfully bid for regional development agency funds to become part of a new regional network of Enterprise Hubs.
Nigel exited from Pixology in January 2006 to pursue a mixed portfolio of activities - with the common underlying theme of supporting businesses to innovate and grow. These have variously included an interim assignment as COO of software tools company, Imagineer Systems; non-exec Direct of Surrey Social & Market Research Ltd; Entreprenuer-in Residence with the University of Surrey; coaching and mentoring SMEs including clients of the regional Innovation and Growth teams that have superseded the Enterprise Hubs in the south east of England.
Nigel's motivation to set up Passionate Innovation has come out of all this activity in which he has met and collaborated with many people to grow businesses through taking good ideas and acting on them. However he has also seen that still not enough businesses are confident in knowing how to do this, and not enough have innovation built into their corporate DNA. His mission is to change this - and get Innovation on the agenda in SMEs in the same way that Quality has become a byword in successful businesses.