A FORMER military helicopter pilot who was so passionate about all things technological he taught himself to code back in the 1980s has now steered himself into a new business.

Stuart Davies is a County Durham entrepreneur with more than 30 years’ knowledge of web and IT business development. His mission for the majority of his career, when he left the Armed Forces, was to encourage local businesses to buy from each other using technology.

He believed there was a market for independent companies to develop customers in their vicinity who might otherwise remain untapped potential.

As an entrepreneurial experiment he created a business which could enable companies to promote offers, similar to an on-line community, and he has used that knowledge to good effect in his new venture.

His new product, being created by his company Mobibud is an app aimed precisely at this, keeping business local, with all of the benefits of mobile technology. He said: “We would really like to encourage businesses to find a great company on their doorstep to buy from, but feel often doing web searches was pretty time-consuming and did not always produce great results.

“Our app works by a company typing in what they want, with a brief description of their needs. Their message is then promoted to potential suppliers in a radius of their offices or location, which can be determined by them, such as ten miles.

“Once a supplier (receiver) sees this opportunity they have the choice to respond if they feel it is right for them. If the originator is happy they can do business with the supplier, they share their details so each party can connect.”

All of this is carried out in real time using geo-location through the phone.

In the first instance the app is being marketed to business to business firms.

Mr Davies said: “Our innovation is really like a reverse search and puts the buyer on the front foot. Many businesses’ big problem is generating sales. This should help by having a solid potential order drop into their lap and hopefully generate a long-lasting relationship which is going to boost our regional economy.

“I have nothing against national companies but our region needs to have businesses who stay loyal to the North-East through thick and thin. My company is firmly committed to being based here. In time I expect to be able to roll out the app to other parts of the UK but we will always be run from here.”

The pilot of the app is going to be launched on September 24 and there will also be an opportunity to find out more at Darlington Business Expo on September 19.

Stuart Davies, Mobibud

Favourite North-East building and why?

To have a favourite building in the North East is very difficult, as there are so many great buildings both modern and old. The Curve at Teesside University is one of my favourites as its light airy and is the hub of some great innovation. I also really like the Market halls in Darlington centre as they remind of my younger days, full of life, vibrant and varied all under one roof.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?

My first job after leaving schools was working on a YOP scheme (Youth Opportunities Program), this was learning how to lay bricks, some carpentry and plumbing skills. I got paid £25 for the week and gave £10 to my mum for keep.

What is the worst job you've had?

I’ve never really had a bad job, I built kitchens as a young lad before joining the REME (British Army) as a vehicle mechanic then transferred across to be a helicopter pilot with the AAC. All jobs I wanted to do and loved doing.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner?

That would depend on your dietary preferences, so first I would ask if there was anything you cannot eat or dislike. There’s no point making you something which you cannot enjoy. One of my favourite dishes to cook is sweet and sour chicken with Pak Choi.

What would your superpower be?

My Superpower is placing others before myself and connecting people.  I’m passionate about local business and helping generate more for the local economy. Our new B2B application is all about connecting businesses locally to generate work and bring more wealth back into the local area.

Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party.

Can I only have four? There are so many inspirational people across the centuries. If I have to choose four off the top of my head it would be Nelson Mandela as he endured such hardship but became a compassionate and thoughtful person with great foresight. Lewis Hamilton as he is driven, focussed and has grown into a real champion. Tim Peake as a fellow member of the AAC and helicopter pilot I find Tim’s achievements, his drive, his focus and passion brilliant and he has the same sense of humour as me. Prince Harry as he is his mother's son, he’s passionate about helping others, he’s driven and, in a position, to make a difference and has a great sense of humour.