28 April, 2008
A real-life iTeddy brought cheer to the young patients of Pendlebury Children's Hospital thanks to a visit last week. Joined by his creator, east Lancashire businessman Imran Hakim, the pair gave out iTeddy toys to the excited children at the hospital.
The invitation to Imran came from long-time supporters of the hospital Peter Turner, a consultant with local law firm Forbes Solicitors and his wife Julie. The Ribble Valley couple recently raised over £10,000 for Pendlebury by taking part in the Plymouth to Banjul Challenge, a 4,000 mile adventure across two continents.
Imran said "iTeddy started off as a way of bringing some happiness to my young niece Aaminah well before I saw the commercial opportunity. It's extremely fulfilling to bring a smile to so many young faces and in doing so, revisiting the original motivation behind the iTeddy concept. I am delighted Forbes Solicitors invited me to the hospital, they were instrumental in the early stages of the business by helping us through the minefield of contracts we faced following our Dragons Den investment."
iTeddy is a teddy bear with a specially designed MP4 player in its stomach, capable of streaming downloaded video content. It is proving a hit with children as young as two, who can play games or watch their favourite cartoons on it. Imran appeared on Dragons' Den in January 2007, securing the backing of Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis to the tune of £140,000. The business law team at Forbes Solicitors rapidly reviewed the contracts for him in time for detailed negotiations with the television judges to secure their funding. Having this money in place has allowed him to roll-out the product to a UK-wide then global market with sales forecast to reach £15 million worldwide this year.