Young Innovators Success Stories: Lucy Fisher, Knit It/Zucy LTD, Scotland
Scottish innovator brings knitting to the digital generation
Lucy Fisher founded Knit It to bring her passion for the timeless craft of knitting to the digital generation during lockdown.
The Scotland-based innovator launched the business in April 2020 with what she describes as ‘a vague plan and a heap of motivation’ before joining the Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust Young Innovator Programme.
Fast-forward 12 months, not only has she received celebrity recognition from renowned Olympian and passionate knitter Tom Daley, she is also well on her way to make her business ambitions a reality.
Lucy’s innovative idea is to create a new digital platform that revolutionises knitting with interactive tools using modern technology. Her mission is to inspire the digital generation to pick up their needles and start knitting.
The past year has seen her prepare a business plan and bring on an expert advisory board. She has now appointed an award-winning design and development agency to support the build and testing of the minimum viable product, and is prototyping wireframes of the platform.
Since being recognised as a Young Innovator by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust, she has gone on to secure an additional £40,000 of funding through grants and prizes.
Lucy has won the Converge Creative Challenge 2021 and was a National Finalist in the F-Factor pitching during London Tech Week.
“The financial support has enabled me to invest in key purchases to achieve my milestones, including securing the trademark, progressing software development and prototyping, as well as covering running costs,” says Lucy.
Lucy attracted the attention of Tom Daley due to the success of a viral marketing campaign that has hugely boosted the brand awareness of Knit It.
“I have also been featured on STV News, the Jeremy Vine Show, Times Radio, as well as local and national press to promote the message that ‘Knitting is cool!’”
She adds, “My biggest takeaway from this programme is the momentum I have gained. I have grown in confidence and self-belief, and this has made it easier to keep pushing on.”
Central to her confidence boost has been the support she has received from her Innovate UK EDGE Innovation Champion, KTN and the Monitoring Officer working with her as part of the Young Innovators wider programme of mentoring and support.
Lucy says, “One of my biggest challenges has been coming from a completely non-business related background. Up until now, I have been working off my instincts. The programme’s advisors have been able to direct and point me in the right direction as well as advise and give guidance on the steps I need to take.
“They have also been able to connect and introduce me to many interesting people who, in turn, I have gained insight and knowledge from.”
In addition to the expert advisors, an invaluable source of support has been the cohort of other innovators who have shared this unique path alongside her.
“It’s been nice to be part of a community of young innovators who are on the same journey and can understand and support each other knowing it’s not easy, things go wrong and you have to pick yourself up constantly and be resilient,” she says.
Alongside focusing on her own success, Lucy is now sharing her experience with others interested in joining the Young Innovators programme
“I have assisted a friend with his application as I feel the momentum, opportunities and platform you gain from the award is so helpful as a Young Innovator and worthwhile if you are serious about your business goals. You get out what you put in!”
The Young Innovators Awards are an annual competition from Innovate UK that finds, supports and celebrates young people with great business ideas.