James Leckey, Founder and CEO of globally recognised Leckey design, is the eighth Innovation Founder recognised by Connect and joins an esteemed list of previous recipients – Martin Naughton KBE, Brian Conlon, Dr William Wright CBE, Dr Peter FitzGerald CBE, Tom Eakin, Dr Hugh Cormican and Prof John Anderson.
Established in 1983, with Leckey at the helm, the pioneering Lisburn based company positively changes the lives of thousands of adults and children living with disabilities through its research, design and development of posturally supportive products.
Starting out working from his parents’ garden shed, 34 years on Leckey, a civil engineer, now employs over 130 staff and exports to 30 countries worldwide. Leckey have focused on innovation through collaboration with therapists, parents, carers, universities and experts around the world to create postural support products which are therapeutic, comfortable and life enhancing for leisure time in the home, school or in respite care.
With a wide range of products including Squiggles Seating System, Squiggles Stander and the Mygo, innovation is at the forefront of the business, blending inventive and award winning engineering solutions with compassion for people living with disability.
Ian Sheppard, Regional Director NI of Invent 2017 sponsor Bank of Ireland UK, said: “Innovation is a vital instrument of Entrepreneurship and James Leckey is a fantastic illustration of this. His business exemplifies the creative and commercial talent we have in Northern Ireland, highlighting the significant contribution company founders make to the local economy.
Speaking at a special lunch with the 12 Invent 2017 finalists, James Leckey commented ‘It is a great privilege to receive the Innovation Founder award. I feel especially pleased to be included within such a distinguished group of entrepreneurs. Leckey is a great company doing amazing work with brilliant people – I see this award as just recognition of all their passion, commitment and hard work.’
Dr Norman Apsley, CEO Catalyst Inc said ‘Each year the Innovation Founder award is given to a local innovator who has successfully pushed the possibility of their business idea beyond boundaries and we are delighted to recognise the outstanding success and qualities of James Leckey through this award. James and our other Innovation Founders come from a wide variety of sectors but they all share a common characteristic; having the tenacity and vision to develop home grown innovation into remarkable success stories. They are all a testament to the fact that in Northern Ireland we are as capable as anywhere in the world at creating an outstanding breakthrough businesses.’
The award will be formally presented at the Invent Awards 2017 on 5th October 2017 at the Waterfront Conference Centre, Belfast, where more than 600 investors, entrepreneurs, executives and student innovators will gather to congratulate James Leckey and the Invent 2017 winners.
Tickets are still available at www.invent2017.co