Cohort unveiled for East of England Investment Catalyst

30th September 2019

Eleven brilliant businesses from across East Anglia have been selected for the next stage of the East of England Investment Catalyst.

The shortlisted companies, which cover sectors including life science, digital and agri-tech, will now receive coaching and advice to hone their propositions, before presenting them to a panel of expert judges at a special pitching day taking place in Cambridge on October 31. Finalists will then be selected to pitch to an audience of investors and business leaders at an event being held at Rise London in November.

The Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, a non-profit economic growth initiative for East Anglia, has organised the Investment Catalyst, working with partners Anglia Capital Group, Barclays Eagle Labs, Invest East, New Anglia LEP, Price Bailey and Cambridge Wireless.

Linn Clabburn, programme director of the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor, said: “There were some fantastic applications for the East of England Investment Catalyst, so shortlisting was not an easy task.

“We believe these eleven companies embody the best the region’s business scene has to offer, and look forward to working with them over the coming weeks.”

The companies will be presenting their business ideas at the pitching day, which takes place on Thursday, October 31 at the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge and has been organised in partnership with Cambridge Wireless.

Anyone wishing to attend the pitching day, which starts at 1.30pm, can register online here.

Meet the cohort

The Investment Catalyst cohort

8Power

8Power provides ‘fit and forget’ wireless condition monitoring for industrial assets such as motors and pumps using unique vibration energy harvesting technology. The firm’s solution gives an early warning of potential equipment failure allowing early intervention to stop catastrophic failure. Asset condition data is processed locally on the self-powered sensors then distributed via a cloud platform over wide area wireless networks.

Initially focusing on the water industry, it is raising funds to grow its business and help build its sales pipeline.

Ablatus Therapeutics

CEO David Brooks said: “Ablatus Therapeutics is a Cambridge-based NHS spin-out company developing a unique tissue ablation platform technology that has the potential to transform treatment options in oncology, vascular and women’s health applications.

“As we seek funding to complete our product and enter clinical studies, the Investment Catalyst represents an excellent opportunity for bespoke support and training to ensure we are investment-ready. We are excited to be a part of the programme and look forward to being able to pitch the strong value proposition of the company to investors.”

Aitrak

Aitrak allows brands, retailers, and advertisers to test and optimise the visual effectiveness of their designs. It uses machine-learning and proprietary training data to effectively reverse-engineer traditional eye-tracking studies, delivering results in minutes rather than weeks.

Its’ experienced founding team is seeking funding to grow its presence in markets around the world.

Developing Experts

Developing Experts provides a complete curriculum solution for children aged four-14, with a growing library of 700 online lessons focused initially around science.

CEO Sarah Mintey said: “The Investment Catalyst provides a timely opportunity to continue to raise our profile. We are currently in the process of talking to VCs looking for the right partner to help us support our goals. The Developing Experts journey have been a constant learning experience. We’re excited about what we can learn from the Investment Catalyst experience.”

Duco

Designers of environmentally sustainable, recycled technical sports apparel, as well as events and content for the growing urban outdoor industry, Duco already works as the official kit supplier to the Great Britain Climbing Team, which qualified for the 2020 Olympics wearing the firm’s gear.

With the Olympics set to act as a driver for growth for some of the firm’s key sports, including climbing and free-running, it believes its market will continue to grow rapidly, and is seeking investment to help with scaling up.

Glyconics

Glyconics is a medtech business developing point-of-care diagnostic devices, initially focused on COPD and diabetes diagnostics.

CEO Dr Kam Pooni said: “We are honoured and delighted to be selected to participate in such a prestigious and energising event. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Glyconics and will enable us to showcase our cutting edge diagnostic capabilities and company ethos to some of the brightest business minds in the area. To be selected for the next round of the East of England Investment Catalyst and the value of our company recognised alongside some other exciting contenders is good news that we’re very much celebrating. Best of luck to all our fellow participants.”

Gould Barbers

Gould Barbers is the largest independent barbershop chain in the UK, currently trading from 28 locations in Tesco stores across the country. Tesco is the firm’s commercial partner.

Male grooming is a market which is growing rapidly, and Gould currently has in excess of 10,000 customers per week. As well as selling services, the company retails products, and is looking for investment to grow its network of shops.

Herdsy

Herdsy has developed a ‘Fitbit’ for cattle, a connected collar which collects information on an animal’s condition and relays it to the farmer. The company believes it can make beef farming more profitable and environmentally sustainable.

CEO Richard Hobson said: “We at Herdsy are very honoured to be chosen for the East of England Invesment Catalyst. We are starting to raise funds to scale up the company, and the Investment Catalyst programme will be an invaluable source of advice and mentorship in order to help us achieve our global ambitions

PBD Biotech

TB in humans and animals is a huge global problem as there is a lack of rapid, accurate ways to detect the disease at an early stage. PBD Biotech has developed Actiphage, a new sensitive test that can detect the presence of the pathogen, mycobacteria, at a very early stage within a few hours. This creates the opportunity for new ways to treat or manage this devastating disease.

Mark Hammond, PBD Biotech CEO, said: “We are actively fundraising at the moment and the international market potential of Actiphage is attracting significant interest.  However, our roots are in Suffolk and we intend to stay and grow here so gaining support from the team behind the East of England Investment Catalyst is important to us.”

SupaPass

SupaPass provides website and app packages for brands, charities and membership organisations.

 CEO Juliana Meyer said: “Every business online with a website and content needs a better solution.  We are excited that Investment Catalyst will help SupaPass to provide our instant affordable website and app packages to many more businesses.

“Our award-winning software powers websites and mobile apps in podcasting, courses, fitness, entertainment, memberships, conferences, charities and communities – over 10 times cheaper than building a website from scratch, it’s like giving a business their own Netflix-type website instantly!”

Thyngs

CEO Neil Garner said: “Thyngs transforms any physical product, packaging or advertisement into an instant point of transaction without the need for an app. Whether it’s an engaging experience, instant purchase or loyalty scheme – the only limit is your imagination.

“We applied to be part of the East of England Investment Catalyst because it is an invaluable chance to open a wider team that has the skills to help us close investment. We are honoured to have been given the golden opportunity to raise our local profile and meet new investors through such a brilliant cohort.”