Smart idea going to plan

A computer software design company founded by a graduate from Manchester University has scooped the top prize in a major competition for entrepreneurs.


A computer software design company founded by a graduate from Manchester University’s Science and Enterprise Centre (MSEC) has scooped the top prize in a major competition for entrepreneurs.


Smart Plan, which is based in One Central Park in Newton Heath, took first prize in the EnterPrize competition, which was organised by urban regeneration company New East Manchester.


The contest is aimed at new businesses in east Manchester and is designed to promote entrepreneurial talent, encourage economic growth and help local companies grow.


Smart Plan, founded in 2006 by managing director Dr Maciej Orzechowski, beat off stiff competition from over 40 other entrants to win the £10,000 cash prize.


Dr Orzechowski is a graduate of the Enterprise Direct course at MSEC, which was recently relaunched as the Certificate of Higher Education in Enterprise.


Smart Plan creates design tools for home owners and semi-professional designers such as builders and architects. Its first product ‘SmartDesigner’ acts as a computerised personal architect that can be used to sketch design ideas which can then be checked against planning rules before they are transformed into technical plans that conform to British Standards.


A second product currently at the planning stage – ‘SmartCAT’ – provides an online catalogue of house plans that can be used to create customisable self-build homes.