Final five companies selected for East of England Investment Catalyst

Five brilliant businesses from East Anglia will pitch for investment at a special event in London reaching the final of the East of England Investment Catalyst.

The quintet of businesses from the Investment Catalyst cohort – Ablatus Therapeutics, Developing Experts, Glyconics, PBD Biotech and Thyngs – were selected by a panel of expert judges after a pitching day held at the Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park.

They will now receive a final session of coaching and advice to hone their propositions, before presenting to an audience of investors and business leaders at the Grand Final, being held at Rise London on November 26.

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: “Congratulations to our five finalists. They embody the kind of innovative, ambitious firms which make East Anglia a fantastic place to do business, and have all worked extremely hard to reach this stage.

“The final is a unique opportunity for them to pitch for investment and build the connections they need to take their companies to the next level.”

The five other companies on the Investment Catalyst programme – 8Power, Aitrak, Duco, Herdsy and SupaPass – will also be at the Grand Final as part of an East Anglia Tech Showcase.

Investors wishing to attend the event, at Rise London on November 26, should email

The finalists

Ablatus Therapeutics (Cambridge)

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.”

Developing Experts (Norwich)

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.”

Glyconics (Norwich/Cambridge)

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.”

PBD Biotech (Thurston, Suffolk)

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.”

Thyngs (Norwich)

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.”