Riding High With Invest NI

Kan Teq, a business start-up based in Killinchy, has recently launched its first product, an innovative equestrian body protector for women, which has been developed over the past 12 months with help from Invest Northern Ireland.  

A body protector is a recommended safety item for horse riders to protect their spines when involved in a riding accident and it is compulsory to wear when competing.  Many models on the market have been designed specifically for men and are often considered by female riders as bulky, uncomfortable and restrictive.   

Kan Teq identified this gap in the equestrian market and designed the new, innovative product. The body protector, which is named after the company, is a safety garment that combines modern design, fit and materials with an innovative, highly flexible foam protective component. Glenshane Fashions, based in Londonderry, will be manufacturing the garment cover while Planet Knox, specialists in the production of protective panels for motorcycle wear, have developed a moulded foam that is totally revolutionary.

Professor Terri Scott, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Clients Group and Entrepreneurship congratulated Wendy McCaughan, Kan Teq’s Managing Director on the initial success of the women’s body protector today at Orchard Cottage Stables in Comber.   

Commenting on the product development project Prof Scott said: “Invest NI is committed to encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial growth throughout Northern Ireland.  Kan Teq is an excellent example of an innovative company which, having recognised a gap in the market used innovative R&D to create a new product with global appeal.”

Wendy, who comes from a technical clothing design background, said: “With Invest NI’s support, my original idea was transformed into a business reality very quickly.  

“Kan Teq Body Protector has been designed to conform to the requirements of BETA 2000, Body Protector Level 3 and EN 13158 Level 3 and is currently undergoing extensive safety testing.  We were able to develop this highly specialised product with our partners, Planet Knox and Glenshane Fashions, and aim to have it market ready by June this year,” continued Wendy.

The product was showcased at the annual BETA International 2006 Show a few weeks ago with a favourable reaction and has already received a number of orders and interest from leading distributors worldwide.