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When St Helens-based Inovus Medical enjoyed 400% growth at the start of 2021, there was no chance it wouldn’t be able to cope with the demands placed upon it.

That’s because the co-founders of the company, which designs and manufactures surgical training technologies, took the decision to build a new manufacturing plant before it was actually required.

Inovus Medical was launched in 2012 by co-founders Elliot Street and Jordan Van Flute and has grown to 30 staff.

The company initially received a £80,000 loan from NPIF – BFS and MSIF Microfinance, which was used to scale up the manufacturing function.

This was followed by a £500,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance in 2018, which subsequently led the business to drastically scale its team and operations.

Co-founder Street says: “We benchmark ourselves on 100% revenue growth. We look to double our revenues every year and that’s what we’ve done in the last four years.”

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More than three-quarters of its business is domestic, with 23% overseas. A total of 14% of the business comes from the US.

Street explains: “To put that into perspective, that was me jumping on a plane to the US prior to COVID, and we started to dip our toe into the water.  There’s a whole spectrum to the way we train surgeons.”

Inovus Medical took the decision to invest ahead of the curve by building a new manufacturing plant in St Helens.

“We did 400% growth in Q1 2021, which is well ahead of target,” he says. “We decided it was important to build a business with systems and processes built in.

“We built a business that is four or five times bigger than the revenue would normally have supported.  We decided to invest in our facilities for a manufacturing business.”

The decision paid dividends. “It was surreal because you would have thought that a business that had just gone through 400% growth cycle from the previous year would have meant that people would be running around like headless chickens, but that wasn’t the case because we’d built a business with processes in place so that when we do have a sales jump, it’s calm and we can keep up,” he says.

Glenn Cooper, founder of bollard manufacturer ATG Access, is now the chairman of Inovus Medical.

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