We aim to foster a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and success among engineers in the UK, creating economic growth and societal impact. At the heart of how we do this are the Hub Members, the promising entrepreneurs who we support through our programmes, and our Hub Mentors, the business leaders who volunteer their expertise and time to help the Hub Members succeed.
From manufacturing to medtech, our Hub Membership is made up of some of the UK’s most innovative entrepreneurs. But don’t just take our word for it: read more about our Hub Members to see how they are, without exaggeration, changing the world.
CEO, Odin Vision
Odin Vision has developed a novel artificial intelligence (AI) technology for endoscopy to help support doctors in detecting and diagnosing cancer.
Patients showing signs of bowel cancer may have a colonoscopy with a small endoscopic camera to inspect tissue for small growths, called polyps, some of which can develop into cancer. These can be challenging for clinicians to detect and diagnose with some studies suggesting that over 20% of polyps can be missed.
Founded by a team of clinicians, medical imaging and AI experts, Odin Vision has developed a suite of tools that use AI to improve detection and diagnosis. The technology uses deep-learning algorithms to identify polyps in real-time so that doctors can more efficiently make diagnoses at the earliest stage possible. This improves patient outcomes by increasing opportunities for early treatment to reduce the incidence and impact of bowel cancer.
Peter Mountney, CEO, is developing a strategy to support Odin Vision through clinical trials and obtaining regulatory approval. Peter aims to use a combination of training, mentoring and coaching through the SME Leaders Programme to get timely support in financing and change management at a time of significant growth.
Visit Odin Vision's website here.
COO and Co-founder, Open Bionics
Open Bionics have created the Hero Arm, an affordable, 3D printed, multi-grip bionic hand. Lightweight and durable, the Hero Arm is an empowering, medically-approved, myoelectric prosthesis for below elbow amputee adults and children aged eight and above.
Designed with customisation and comfort as priorities, the Hero Arm is lightweight and robust while also being breathable and adjustable. Embedded with special sensors, it intuitively detects muscle movement so that it can move and coordinate with life-like precision.
Developed by a rapidly growing team in Bristol, the award-winning technology is now available through prosthetic clinics in the UK and Europe with expansion into the US market planned soon. COO and co-founder, Samantha Payne leads Open Bionic’s product design, branding, communications, culture, HR and customer service. Samantha will use training and coaching through the SME Leaders Programme to strengthen leadership and management skills as the start-up scales internationally. Mentoring and coaching support will also help Samantha to further develop her design-thinking and gain a deeper understanding of the company’s commercial offering as it expands into new markets and develops new products.
Visit the Open Bionics website here.
Many young children want to engage with and create music but can find it difficult to learn an instrument.
Coming from a musical family, Michael developed the technology to support children to enjoy and be creative with music. He felt that the challenge of getting sounds out of an unfamiliar instrument gets in the way of understanding how notes fit together to make music.
Michael’s solution uses ‘Bops’ - brightly coloured blocks that each play different musical notes when arranged on a board. The Bops can switch between different instrument sounds and be endlessly rearranged to create new tunes and even combined into chords when stacked together.
Designed for children aged three to six years old, Soundbops makes it easy and fun for children to create their own music, discovering as they go what works and what doesn’t.
The technology’s ease-of-use encourages creativity and experimentation. It has strong educational value as it engages children in reading sheet music and composing songs without having to first master a complex musical instrument.
Michael plans to work with toy manufacturers and schools to capture a share of the £45 billion global educational technology market. In February 2018, Michael ran a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising over £50,000 to start manufacturing Soundbops.
Michael was the winner of the Hub’s 2016 Launchpad Competition and received the JC Gammon Award – a prize of £15,000 and Membership of the Hub.
CEO, Agile Analog
Agile Analog’s novel approach to the design of analogue semiconductors is transforming the electronics industry by making it easier to deliver customised solutions in electronic circuits.
As systems-on-chip and application-specific integrated circuits grow in complexity to meet digital demands, the demand for better analogue solutions has also increased. Current techniques in analogue design are based on older, manually-intensive methods that often lead to components that are restricted in use, inefficient and costly to change. Agile Analog uses artificial intelligence to automate the design and delivery of customised components that efficiently match customer’s requirements at the same time as driving efficiency in both power consumption and cost.
Tim Ramsdale, the company’s CEO, is developing a roadmap to support Agile Analog as it enters the next phase of growth. This includes raising additional funding, delivering first products to market and expanding their customer base. Tim will use training and development through the SME Leaders programme to strengthen skills in areas such sales and business development as the company targets a $2 billion market in analogue intellectual property design.
Visit Agile Analog's website here.
Plural AI is creating a new way to navigate industries by building a rich map of the world’s corporate landscape. Using natural language processing and machine learning, it mines and links web data such as websites, filings and news sources to create an understanding of what companies do, their ecosystems and how well they are performing. Clients can access Plural AI’s proprietary knowledge graph to gain bespoke financial insights and analysis.
Camille Rougié is Co-Founder and CEO of Plural AI. Camille joined the SME Leaders programme in 2020. She says: “I am looking forward to the one-to-one mentoring and coaching. I am also very excited to meet the other participants in the programme. In my experience, peer mentoring and support has always been one of the best ways to learn the tricks of the trade.”
Plural AI’s knowledge engine is readily scalable. It can deploy systems across the internet to apply additional metrics and filters. The company can also build predictive models to help make informed financial decisions. In the coming years, Camille says that the focus will be on building up the company’s profile and brand as well as accelerating its growth and expansion.
Gravity Sketch is an intuitive 3D design platform enabling cross-disciplinary teams to collaborate in an exciting new way. The technology allows designers to conceptualise their plans without needing to learn to use computer-aided-design (CAD) software, from concept sketches through to detailed 3D models using augmented reality, virtual reality and touch technologies. Users can view and manage their designs on their desktop and integrate Gravity Sketch within their end-to-end workflow. Design teams can reduce concept-time processes by up to 60%. The company aims to fundamentally change the workflows of engineers and industrial designers by speeding up the design process, saving money and making collaborations between stakeholders more efficient.
Oluwaseyi Sosanya is a mechanical engineer who co-founded Gravity Sketch Ltd in 2014. Oluwaseyi has used his experience in manufacturing physical products to focus the development of the software to solve spatial and ergonomic challenges in real-time. Now, users can make their workflows with existing CAD and rendering software immersive.
Oluwaseyi became an SME Leader in 2019 and credits the programme with promoting his business acumen. “It has provided me with a mentor who has helped me further develop my leadership skills, augment my strategic business skills, and make better decisions about growth and market focus.”
Since becoming an SME Leader, the company has raised £3 million in seed investments and been awarded a Horizon 2020 grant of £2 million, as well as increasing its workforce by a third. During the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for design teams to work from home, it became more important for remote workers to be able to integrate their work online. The increased adoption of immersive 3D technologies and cloud computing has benefited Gravity Sketch. The company is widening its customer base and increasing its direct-to-consumer sales.
“Not only has the Enterprise Hub opened me up to new professional networks, it has also helped me to readily access knowledge that is accelerating our efforts to bring our innovation to market."
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Arctoris
Arctoris offers fully automated experiments-as-a-service that helps researchers to accelerate progress towards new discoveries. The service increases accessibility in cancer research by making cutting-edge techniques available using just a laptop and internet connection.
Current data generation methods in cellular and molecular biology are inefficient and yield poor quality data. Arctoris enables efficient data generation with a high degree of consistency, precision and reliability. Leveraging the power of robotic experimentation, Arctoris makes it easier for researchers and biotech entrepreneurs, in cancer research and other fields, to generate, analyse and visualise data. The cloud-based platform removes many of the financial, technical and geographic barriers to cancer research, improving the accessibility of leading techniques to all.
Arctoris co-founder, Tom Fleming, brings significant expertise as a chemist and experience in leading clinical research to the role Chief Operating Officer. He is responsible for overseeing daily operations and directing strategy and development of new capabilities and technologies.
Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom has plans for the company to scale effectively and transition from small-team strategies to large-scale approaches for global distribution. Leadership training will help Tom to develop skills in measuring individual and team performance while creating an organisational culture that promotes collaboration, satisfaction and exceptional results.
Visit Arctoris's website here.
Since Bethan was 15 she has been fascinated by DNA, "I mean what could be cooler than understanding the code of life?" She wondered. Following her passion took her to University College London and gave her access to machines that could sample DNA - hugely expensive machines that only a few people could ever dream of using.
A college competition entered with friends started her on the road to creating the Bento Lab - a personal DNA lab that costs as much as a laptop and is not much bigger or heavier.
Now field workers can take their own kit with them rather than having to go back to their labs and anyone - not just professionals - with a passion for biology can sample their own genes or see what is in their beer. Or for the very brave, their burgers. Who knows what future Bethans armed with the Bento Lab will discover?
Her company, Bento Bioworks, is making learning and working with molecular biology orders of magnitude more accessible. The toolkit weighs only 3kg, fits on an A4 footprint, and contains all the equipment required to carry out basic research in molecular biology. This has widespread implications for science and engineering education as bento•lab users will be able to engage hands-on with genetic engineering and could potentially contribute to large-scale research projects. They are already taking orders after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
You can watch a video about bento•lab here.
“One of the challenges we all face is thinking that there’s a perfect time to start your own business. The harsh reality is that this mythical moment never arrives. There will always be challenges and excuses to delay making that decision, but at some point you need to get past those mental roadblocks and take the plunge."
CEO, Cambridge GaN Devices Ltd
Cambridge GaN Devices’ (CGD) new approach to designing high-performance Gallium Nitride (GaN) power electronic devices could transform the 600V semiconductor industry by offering a more efficient alternative to current silicon-based and GaN devices.
GaN’s physical properties mean it can operate at higher frequencies than silicon, resulting in circuits that are smaller, faster and more efficient. While GaN power devices already exist, CGD’s approach overcomes the stability issues associated with them, through use of a novel, patented transistor and adding smart functionalities. This new combination makes CGD’s solutions more accessible, allowing customers to leverage the benefits of GaN in a wider range of applications.
The University of Cambridge spin-out was co-founded by CGD CEO, Giorgia Longobardi who had a central role in engineering the core technology. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Giorgia is defining the company’s strategy while developing a rapidly growing staff. With an energy-efficient product that delivers from 5- to 10 times less power losses, Giorgia’s vision is to establish production partnerships and a customer-base that will allow CGD to target the £400 million GaN power device market.
What makes us different is the Academy’s Fellows and our wider Mentor network – an unrivalled community of the UK’s most successful industry leaders, technology experts and entrepreneurs. Find out more about our Mentors and their areas of expertise.
Former Inaugural Chair of the Enterprise Committee and a long-standing Academy Fellow, Ian Shott CBE FREng has played a prominent role in establishing the Enterprise Hub. His track record of helping businesses in the engineering and life science sectors transform their approach and improve their vision, ambition, business models and enterprise value is an invaluable resource.
Ian is the Founder and former Executive Chair of contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company ARCINOVA, which he sold to Quotient Sciences in February 2021 and continues as Senior Advisor to the board. Ian is also the Managing Director at investment and advisory firm Shott Trinova. Prior to his specialist investment work at Shott Trinova, Ian was the founder and CEO of Excelsyn, which was sold to an American multinational in 2010. Earlier in his career he held numerous senior executive positions at multinational life science companies across the globe.
Ian has a wealth of experience with major industry bodies. He is formerly the Chair of the UK government’s Leadership Forum for Industrial Biotechnology and a Governing Board Member of Innovate UK. Ian is also Visiting Professor at Oxford, Nottingham and Newcastle universities.
“Apart from a deep-seated passion to change the entrepreneurial landscape in the UK and rediscover our legacy from the industrial revolution, I am highly excited by the prospect of engaging with new young talent and using my experience to accelerate and amplify their success. I’ve been involved in mentoring for over a decade but believe the Hub offers a very special opportunity to work with the brightest and best”.
Andy’s career in industry has involved co-founding over a dozen spin-outs and start-ups, three of which floated on stock markets. Virata floated on NASDAQ and at its peak had a market capitalisation of $5 billion.
His most prominent successes have come through RealVNC, which won the prestigious MacRobert Award in 2013, and Ubisense plc. Collectively, these two organisations have received five Queen’s Awards for Enterprise.
In academia, Andy heads the University of Cambridge’s Computer Laboratory and is an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall and Corpus Christi College. Elsewhere, he served as President of the IET between 2012 and 2013, and in 2007 received a CBE for services to the computer industry.
Andy is co-founder and Chairman of pioneering remote access software developers RealVNC and is also Professor of Computer Technology at the University of Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1996.
“My own career experiences have demonstrated just how important it is that the bridges between academia and industry are present and robust, and also what can be achieved when the relationship works to its potential. The Enterprise Hub offers an invaluable opportunity for exceptional academics to work with experienced industry figures and bring truly exciting new technology businesses to fruition.”
Naeem Alvi is an award-winning brand strategist and the founder of Notepad. After years of helping fast-growth SMEs and big brands such as Nike, Adidas and RBS Natwest to better leverage their brand, Naeem founded Notepad to connect big brand experience with ambitious tech companies that want to define and scale up their brands effectively and affordably.
Recent achievements include:
John is Professor of Optoelectronic Systems and Dean of transnational Education at the University of Glasgow.
He moved to Glasgow in 1986, where he established an internationally leading research group addressing linear and nonlinear integrated optoelectronic systems. He developed new integration technologies for photonic integrated circuits based on quantum well devices and quantum well intermixing, which ultimately led to the formation of the spin-out company Intense Ltd in 2000.
Intense developed the world’s most advanced integrated laser systems, bringing monolithic laser arrays together with electronic ASICs and optics for precise energy delivery in a range of applications from printing to material processing. The monolithic laser arrays pushed reliability and manufacturing yields to new levels.
John has extensive experience of operating in both academic and high-technology industrial environments, and as a result has an excellent understanding of spinning out IP and creating commercial value from an academic base.
He has been involved with several start-up companies including Kelvin Nanotechnology Ltd (1997-2000); Compound Semiconductor Technologies Ltd (1999-2000) and Intense Ltd (now Intense Inc) (2000-2009).
John was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) in 2007; Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) in 2000; Fellow of IEEE (FIEEE) in 2000 ‘for contributions to development of integrated optics based on semiconductor quantum well devices’; and Fellow of the Optical Society (FOSA) in 2016 for ‘for contributions to quantum and photonics technologies and systems in III-V compound semiconductors’.
Alastair is Head of Analytics and Machine Learning at MDRxTECH, Mishcon de Reya's digital transformation consultancy.
Alastair is a UCL Computer Science PhD with a background in computer vision, analytics, machine learning, blockchain, strategy, and technology innovation. He is an experienced manager and entrepreneur who has built teams in both large and small organisations. He is regularly called upon to audit, evaluate and provide guidance to large scale technology programmes for MDRxTECH clients. An entrepreneurial and dynamic problem solver, Alastair co-founded Satalia, which builds and applies AI technology to solve efficiency problems for organisations such as Tesco and PwC. He also co-founded the venture backed WeArePopUp.com, and helped establish the IDEALondon innovation centre with Cisco Systems.
Alastair continues to maintain an active teaching role in the UCL School of Management (MSc Business Analytics) and Peking University, Beijing (MBA Technology Strategy). His research interests include technology strategy, blockchain, smart contracting and computational law.
Brewster Barclay has been selling, marketing and product managing for more than 40 years in a wide variety of high technology industries including printed circuit boards, both manufacturing processes and capital equipment, 3D circuit boards, online advertising, optical sensors, military chip packaging, radar tubes and software engineering services. Brewster has worked at Zuhlke Engineering, e2v technologies, Clicktream Technologies, Orbotech and PCK Technology Kollmorgen.
The experience of launching new products and almost six years running an internet advertising startup led to Brewster giving back in the form of mentoring early stage and growth startups. He identified a massive gap in business development, sales support and strategy that angels, accelerators and VCs give to startups. He has focused solely on sharing his experiences in business development sales, sales techniques and the practicalities of day to day sales and lead generation.
He has mentored at the Royal Academy of Engineering for the past seven years as well as for Accelerate Cambridge, Seraphim Space Capital and many other groups.
Vida is a behavioural change coach with over seven years’ experience helping people think differently and positively change lives. She helps people to build connection and balance in order to create a sustainable future for themselves, others and the world. Vida does this as a speaker, trainer and coach, focusing on wellbeing, self-care, belief change, and motivation.
Having worked in prisons and schools as well as the public sector with non-clinical NHS staff and private sector for companies such Telefónica and Wavin, she has a unique insight to share.
Professor Alison Noble is the Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering, in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, and Associate Head of MPLS Division. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2017), the Royal Academy of Engineering (2008) and the President of the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI) Society, the international society in biomedical image analysis.
Alison’s research interests are in computer analysis of clinical and biological images and the development and translation into clinical practice of novel methodologies that provide new diagnostic and therapeutic image based biomarkers and software tools for image-based quantification and decision-making. Her research group works in close collaboration with clinicians and industry players. She is also a Founder and the Chief Technology Officer of a university spin-out company that is commercialising research from her laboratory (Intelligent Ultrasound Ltd).
She returned to Oxford as a University Lecturer in 1995 to set up a biomedical image analysis group. Biomedical image analysis has since grown to be the largest biomedical engineering activity in Oxford.
Alison has played a leading role in setting up the biomedical engineering undergraduate and postgraduate biomedical engineering teaching and training (MSc and CDT) programmes at Oxford over the last decade. She is a member of both the Oxford University’s Research and Education Committees (from Oct 2013), and has served or currently serves on a number of committees of the Royal Academy of Engineering and other national organisations as well as numerous research funding agency panels.
Bill is a leading scientist worldwide in the field of Medical Materials. His major research contributions have been recognised by numerous international awards, medals and memberships.
He has been the Professor of Medical Materials at the University of Cambridge; served as Director of Cambridge Pfizer Institute for Pharmaceutical Materials Science; Cambridge Director of CMI Interdisciplinary Research Cluster in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering and Director of University of London Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) in Biomedical Materials. He has been Head of Department, Dean, and Governor at Queen Mary University of London.
He has been the editor of the Journal of The Royal Society: Interface, the Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Medicine, the Journal of Materials Science, and of the Journal of Materials Science Letters.
Bill is Emeritus Professor of Medical Materials in the University of Cambridge. He is internationally recognised for his pioneering research contributions to biomaterials for medical devices, with awards including the Royal Academy of Engineering Prince Philip Gold Medal; the Royal Society Armourers and Brasiers Company Medal; the Kelvin Medal; the European Society for Biomaterials George Winter Award; the Japanese Society for Biomaterials Medal; the Institute of Materials Griffiths Medal and Chapman Medal; the UK Society for Biomaterials President's Prize; the Acta Metallurgica H.H. Holloman Award and the International Union for Physical Sciences and Engineering in Medicine Award of Merit.
Professor Bonfield's exceptional interdisciplinary contribution has been recognised by his election to all three UK National Academies as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci).