University of Brighton Alumni Association

Need it Made by Alex Burn

Alex Burn graduated in Product Design in 2010. As a result of his experiences during his time at Brighton, he then set up his company Need it Made. Here is his story:

Alex Burn pictureIn the final year of my Product Design and Technology course where we were given free rein to complete any project we wanted to, which was fantastic and was a really enjoyable time for me and the others on my course. I can also remember frustrations trying to complete the project with the main frustration being emailing fabrication businesses individually, trying to get something made, trying to find a company that would talk, engage with me, and give a suitable quote. It took ages. I remember the disinterest, the non-replies, the unaffordable costs and the endless hours of searching and emailing. This process has followed me through all my projects and business ideas since graduating 11 years ago.

Why is it that you can use a comparison or marketplace site to get the best price for your car insurance, holiday or home building work, but not to make a product?

Need It Made fills that gap. Anyone can upload a project with whatever information they have –  from sketches to videos to full CAD. Any makers and manufacturers can quote in the form of bids, whether as an individual at a kitchen table, or a global company. This means the project owner can get multiple, varied quotes from a single action.

Recently I saw that this was the part of the whole project-making process that was always the longest and most Need it made logofrustrating, but should and could be made easier. This led to the creation of Need It Made, an online marketplace for manufacturing projects.

Not only does Need It Made mean that anyone can get any idea made, but also that anyone with skill can start a manufacturing business.

The Need It Made marketplace brings true free market competition to the manufacturing sector. All companies and individuals have the same standardised profiles and anyone can bid on any job. Without it, great businesses and individuals get lost in search engines, since 90% of searchers don’t go past page one. With Need It Made everyone is on page one.

This is the new way to make ideas reality. Join Need it Made, where you can make anything, and get anything made.


Nic Ashton • June 18, 2020

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