ENTREPRENEUR Andreas Patikis is appealing for a Cheltenham business to back his food preservation invention, after failing to find investment on TV's Dragons' Den.
Andreas, from Gotherington, could not convince the dragons to buy into his Tic Toc, a fridge magnet which allows people to easily keep track of the expiry dates of their food.
The 38-year-old is now hoping a local business will stump up £15,000 to sponsor the product, which is like a clock face displaying the days of the month, with hands for each food group to set to the relevant expiry date.
Andreas says the £15,000 will cover the cost of producing and distributing the Tic Tocs across Essex, for a trial of the product in 5,000 homes, which he has agreed with the county council. Whichever company sponsors Tic Toc will have their logo and website displayed on the gismo.
Father-of-two Andreas, who runs his own insurance company, said: "I was brought up in a council house with not much money and, being Greek as well, we were taught to finish the food on the plate and not leave any waste.
"Financially and environmentally, it gets me agitated when people leave waste."
Plagued by the knowledge that food was being thrown away across the country, Andreas dreamed up his Tic Toc invention two-and-a-half years ago and had the finished product nine months ago.
He said: "You simply place the dial on the expiry date of the food type when putting things away in your fridge. Each dial has a symbol to represent the major food groups that we waste in the UK."
Andreas added: "I have had meetings with four or five other councils and they have all said they love the product but don't have the money to pay for it at the moment. They said I have to prove that it works first, so that's what I'm hoping to do with Essex County Council.
"The trial will be for three to six months, and the council will be weighing the food waste it collects during that period to compare it with regular times and see if there's a difference."
If you are interested in sponsoring the Tic Toc, call Andreas on 07973 343166.