Teesside businessman and philanthropist Andy Preston has been appointed chairman of tech start-up Procenergy, which aims to bridge the gap between the area’s traditional industries and its burgeoning digital sector, following a six-figure investment.
Procenergy is a secure and fully automated online training marketplace which will allow individuals and companies operating in Industry, including the offshore, construction and renewable energy sectors, to search, book and manage their training requirements online, in a way that has previously been restricted to large businesses and training providers.
The new platform will allow both large and smaller training providers to increase their online presence, including the ability to sell online and increase their share of the £4 billion UK private training market, while improving the scope and quality of courses available to companies and the general public.
The company was founded by experienced oil & gas engineers and former TTE apprentices Michael Styan and Greg Hynes, who also operate Prosafe Engineering, which supplies a bespoke range of integrity products and services to the UK and Worldwide Process industries.
They were motivated to start the firm after experiencing first-hand the difficulties people and companies in industry face when trying to organise training.
Preston was appointed as Procenergy’s chairman and made a six-figure investment in the business after originally being approach by Styan and Hynes for advice.
The technology behind the company’s innovative online marketplace is the brainchild of former Visualsoft director Richard Bendelow, who is also a member of Procenergy’s management team.
Planned to launch later this year, Procenergy is free to use for both managing companies and individuals, and once a candidate has chosen their industry training they can immediately proceed to pay and book their place using the sites fully secure payment gateway.
Preston said: “I’m delighted to be on board with Procenergy. It is exactly the kind of company that Teesside needs.
“While we have a long and proud history of traditional industry, digital innovation is the way forward. Where these can be combined to make a business that is unique and has strong financial potential, it’s all the better.
“When you look at the deprivation is some parts of our area, you can’t help but think something needs to be done. Part of the solution, but definitely not all of it, is to harness good ideas and use them to create good jobs.”
Managing director Styan said: “We’re really excited to be so close to launching Procenergy and really glad to have Andy on board.
“We have experienced first-hand as both an employer and an employee, the issues companies encounter while trying to book and manage their staffs training, and feel that we’ve come up with an innovate solution to improve things.”