“Smart technology and mobile phones are the future,” says Graham Shapiro, the creative force behind Cheshire-based Graham Shapiro Design (GSD). “And we’re part of that future too.” Being forward thinking, innovative and having self-belief are among the keys to the success of his business.

GSD creates award-winning mobile apps, as well as websites, branding and design for print. A chartered designer, Shapiro firmly believes that anything is achievable. “I’ve worked hard, had an idea and grown it,” he says. “You also need the breaks and to enjoy what you do.”

It was in the world of education that GSD secured its first major technological success. This was Reggie Education; a mobile phone app that enables teachers to take student registers anytime, both inside and outside the classroom. Launched in 2012, Reggie is now used in many schools across the UK, and was recognised in 2016 with two International Business Excellence (IBX) Awards. Not only did the app win Best Smart Technology product, it was also the overall sector winner for the whole awards. Shapiro was honoured to receive recognition from His Highness Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

A similar system to that used for Reggie is being developed for school buses, in collaboration with the Dubai government. Currently, children are checked on and off vehicles with pen and paper. The aim from next year is to introduce a digital student register that also sends parents an alert to say if their child has got on or off the bus. In addition, parents will be able to track their child’s journey to and from school.


Beyond education

The technology behind Reggie is not just limited to schools. GSD has adapted it to create the world’s first fire-drill app Reggie Fire Drill, as well as a tool enabling soccer scouts to identify promising players. The latter is a collaboration with Rene Meulensteen, the former first-team coach at Manchester United, where he worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson for many years, his coaching methods helping the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney

Looking to the future, the vision is to collaborate further with international partners such as Apple and Google, and to generate business opportunities in countries such as China and in Dubai, where the Reggie business is currently being registered.

GSD is proof that it is not just big business that achieves success. Shapiro has shown that even small teams like his have an important role to play in technology’s premier league.