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Utah trip leads to Isle company’s expansion

Twile of Epworth, in the US
Twile of Epworth, in the US

Directors of an Epworth-based company have returned from a competition event in America with prizes and the confidence to expand their workforce.

Paul Brooks, a co-founder of Twile, was highly successful in RootsTech, that was held in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The event takes place primarily to allow developers and tech entrepreneurs to explore opportunities that allow them to delve in to family history online. Twile was the only UK entrant and European finalist in the competition.

Paul, 36, was there with co-founder Kelly Marsden and his wife Caroline. He was one of six finalists to present their entries to a 4,000 live audience and 100,000 viewers online in an Innovator Showdown on Friday. Along with over £11,000 in prize money, he scooped two of four awards, for Most Innovative Product and the People’s Choice Award voted by the public. Twile’s supporters in the Isle were among those who contributed to voting.

An elated Paul said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won two awards. The pressure was on, presenting in front of a live audience and a judging panel, but winning the People’s Choice Award is a huge validation of our product - family historians all over the world were watching and voted.

“To also be awarded the judges third prize out of 46 original entrants means they too can see the business potential.”

Twile is currently a compact team of four, but now plans to use its winnings to expand their team. They will recruit a web developer immediately then more staff over the next 12 months.

Paul added: “This was the best market research we could ever have done. The feedback from customers that we have met and the relationships we have built are fantastic. We have come home with something much more valuable than a cheque.”

The judging panel at the prestigious event consisted of five expert genealogical and business leaders.