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.
Co-Founder and CEO, Mendelian Ltd
In 2015, a group of technologists and clinical doctors founded Mendelian to better diagnose patients with rare diseases. Worldwide, there are over 6,000 rare diseases that 1 in 17 people will get in their lifetime. They are diseases that most doctors will only see once or twice during their career and so will not be readily able to detect.
Mendelian has developed a methodology for analysing clinical clues across medical healthcare records to speed up diagnosis of rare diseases. The MendelScan algorithm captures disease features from electronic health records across large patient populations. It aggregates data, finds patterns and digitises knowledge, so the results can be searched and found. It speeds up the diagnostic capabilities of clinicians and saves years of fruitless searching for individual patients.
Rudy Benfredj is the Co-Founder and CEO of Mendelian. Rudy joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021. He says: “I’m looking forward to experimenting with new professional development tools and techniques. In particular, I want to see how coaching can align my personal development with the growth of the company.”
To date, Mendelian has scanned nearly a million patient records in the UK searching for undiagnosed patients. It is now focusing its resources on establishing the technology internationally. Rudy anticipates that by 2024, MendelScan will be commissioned nationwide as the go-to digital health screening tool to diagnose rare diseases among GP patients.
Co-Founder and CTO of nPlan Ltd
Large scale infrastructure upgrades are complex and can cost millions, if not billions, of pounds, so nPlan uses machine learning to forecast the duration and risks associated with construction projects by analysing what has, and hasn’t, worked in the past.
The company’s technology works by collating and studying the world’s largest dataset of previous construction schedules – to date nPlan has gathered together over 600,000 projects worth £800 billion. By examining patterns in historical performance, its machine learning algorithms can predict potential bottlenecks and uncertainty while providing possible solutions and efficiency gains.
Alan Mosca is nPlan’s Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer . Alan leads on R&D, engineering and product strategy. He joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021 and says: “I can see that there will be networking opportunities where I’ll be able to learn from others whose companies are at a more advanced stage to ours. In return, I can guide and support others whose companies are up and coming, and we can all share together relevant advice and business lessons.”
The company’s market potential has been recognised: significant seed funding in 2018 was followed a couple of years later by a £13 million investment from GV, the venture arm of Google’s owner, Alphabet. Now, nPlan is looking to create insurance and assurance products that will generate sustainable and growing revenue streams. It will also scale up its products, series, operations, technology, and team size, to help clients address construction risks and opportunities.
For updates from nPlan, you can follow their Twitter channel here.
Co-Founder and CTO, Aceleron Ltd
Most batteries, whatever their size, are bought, used and then thrown away. Yet, when large-scale batteries that could power vehicles or homes are decommissioned, they still have 70% of their energy remaining. In spite of this, only 5% are recycled.
Electric vehicle batteries have components that are welded or glued together, making it extremely difficult to take the individual units apart for re-use. Birmingham-based Aceleron Ltd is challenging this unsustainable practice. The company manufactures advanced circular economy lithium-ion batteries that can be serviced, maintained and upgraded.
Aceleron’s batteries are put together using patented compression technology that places individual fuel cells into a circuit using a series of removable fasteners. The battery can then be taken apart so that parts can be replaced, or individual fuel cells fixed. The battery can then be serviced and replaced throughout its lifespan.
Carlton Cummins is a Co-Founder and the Chief Technology Officer at Aceleron. Carlton leads on technology strategy, product development and provides technical support. He joined the Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2021 and says: “I am looking forward to the mentorship, training courses and networking opportunities. It will enable me to develop effective communications skills for those non-technical parts of our business, as well as benefit from other people’s project management experiences.”
In 2020, Aceleron took over £1 million in revenue, raised £2 million in venture capital funding and increased its staff numbers to 30. Now, the company is looking to take on a strategic industry partner via a contract or licensee deal. Over the coming years, Aceleron will position itself as a market leader in sustainable battery manufacturing.
For updates from Aceleron, you can follow their Twitter channel here.
Agriculture has a fatality rate 20 times greater than the industrial average. In real terms, this means that each year in the UK alone, 50 people lose their lives, 500 experience life-changing injuries and a further 5,000 suffer minor injuries.
Farms, quarries and other primary industry sites are some of the most essential, yet most dangerous places to work in the UK. With most incidents across these sites being caused by humans and machines coming into contact when they shouldn’t, Machine Eye aims to control these interactions, manage risks and make the primary industries safer places to work. Using advanced sensing and artificial intelligence, Machine Eye continually monitors humans in the vicinity of large machines. With an understanding of how the machine and humans are interacting pertinent to these specialised environments, Machine Eye uses artificial intelligence to automatically implement preventative action to reduce risk of workplace accidents.
Over the next 12 to 18 months, Brendan is looking forward to seeing Machine Eye enter live deployments across the UK. “It’s an exciting time handing it over to others, and we look forward to working with some fantastic partners throughout this period.”
Supported by Invest Northern Ireland.
Visit their website here.
Large corporates with properties dispersed across countries and time zones face constant challenges from extreme weather and human-made events, each of which can threaten the integrity of properties and, as a result, the delivery of business operations. The frequency and scale of annual property losses is undermining not only corporate resilience, but also profitability of insurers, particularly with the growing number of catastrophic events caused by climate change.
Balkerne helps property owners and insurers prevent losses from human-made and natural events through predictive, actionable and location-based intelligence. Its integrated technology augments private, open and governmental datasets to achieve real-time situational awareness of climate risk from the individual to property portfolio level.
In 2017, commercial property insurance losses totalled €1.6 billion, at an average value per loss of €4,200. Reducing commercial insurance losses by 3% would deliver financial savings of €48 million across the UK commercial insurance market. Through focusing on prevention led by technology and artificial intelligence (AI), major improvements in overall profitability for businesses and insurers can be achieved on a global scale.
Balkerne is building best in class application of AI for the risk mitigation to help SMEs and large corporates prevent losses. it is working with insurance partners to offer its technology with insurance products, similar to car insurance offered based on black box style telematics insights collected from people’s own car and driving habits. Examples include a warehouse using an upstream river gauge to deploy flood prevention or gaining intelligence on ATM robberies, by processing news and social media in order to identify sites at highest risk of attack.
Visit their website here.
In an exponentially growing population, demand for a continuous, reliable supply of meat can be expected to steadily grow. The livestock agriculture industry already fails to keep up with demand, single-handedly using 70% of our agricultural land, 27% of our fresh water and producing 15% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. This is more than the entire transport sector combined.
Such an industry is clearly not sustainable, yet the demand for meat never lessens. There is a clear lack of high-performing, food-grade, animal-free growth media (which supports the growth of cells or microrganisms) for affordable cultivated meat production.
Multus is supplying environmentally sustainable and ethically sourced growth media to the cultivated meat industry. Its products are low cost, so customers and their consumers can enjoy truly socially responsible products at an accessible price.
Using optimised ingredients, Multus produces next-generation growth media critical for growing meat. Through close collaboration with customers and cultivated meat companies, the team develops products to meet the cultivated meat industry’s specific needs. Its first product – Proliferum M – will be commercialised by the end of 2021.
The NHS spent £8.3 billion on wound care between 2017 and 2018, with £5.6 billion on chronic and complex wounds. Despite this investment, 51% of complex wounds failed to close after 12 months of treatment. This problem is growing, with associated markets demonstrating a 5.5% compound annual growth rate, a problem that is reflected worldwide and linked with rising incidences of diabetes, obesity and aging populations. There’s a clear market need for a technology that aims to address problems in the care of chronic and complex wounds, rates of infection and time to wound closure.
Corryn Biotechnologies’ novel technology allows the production and application of advanced micro and nanofibrous materials directly onto wounds at the point of care, without the need for any technical expertise. This will allow a new generation of materials, which have proven beneficial in academic literature, to be applied to wounds directly.
Over the next 18 months, the company will initiate and complete clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and usability of the technology, as well as beginning to quantify the benefit of this approach and materials over existing technologies.
There is no shortage of hazardous work environments that require inspection, monitoring and surveying to maintain their operation, all of which are requisite for customers that seek to provide efficient asset management. One such example is the nuclear sector, which in the UK alone spends £2.3 billion annually on decommissioning activities. Many current techniques are primarily manual and put human workers in harm’s way, having to wear restrictive PPE and access a range of dangerous environments, such as radioactive or confined spaces. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has set four grand challenges, one of which is to reduce human decommissioning activities by 50%, by 2030.
Ice Nine offers autonomous mobile robots to gather inspection and survey data. This data includes geospatial, visual and radioactive information. Ice Nine’s software architecture is modular in design, so that additional sensing capabilities can be integrated based on customer requirements. The robots can position accurate and reliable gathered data in environments with no prior, or out-of-date, CAD drawings, providing a digital twin of the customer’s assets.
Ice Nine’s robotic technology will be deployed in active nuclear decommissioning sites Dounreay, Magnox and Sellafield, with feedback gathered from these trials used to improve the technology and value proposition. Backed by these active trials and early adopters, the company will pitch for private investment.
Over the course of the Enterprise Fellowship and the following six months, Ice Nine will develop its innovation from TRL6 to TRL9, with CE marking of the system a primary goal.
Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide. Today, over 12 million people in the UK are aged 65 and above and one in three of them will suffer a fall each year. With life expectancy rising globally, these numbers are likely to continually rise.
Wrist and hip fractures are the most frequent result of falls, but the consequences also lead to a loss of independence, limited mobility, isolation, and fear of falling again. These injuries alone cost the NHS over £2.3 billion pounds each year.
Physical protection aids always offer a trade-off in mobility. Current supportive and protective equipment is bulky, rigid, reduces agility, and can also lead to time- and cost-intensive rehabilitation and physiotherapy following muscle loss caused by constant support. These problems exist across multiple industries including sports protection, medical rehabilitation, industrial work safety, and defence applications.
SCALED is the world’s first nature-inspired material innovation that maximises mobility and protection by combining a parametric algorithm with 3D printing. SCALED is flexible in one direction and interlocking in another, preventing any motion exceeding a healthy range while providing full mobility. Additionally, the innovation provides collision support, as when each scale is impacted, it dissipates the force across its three neighbouring plates.
SCALED is mass-customised by its parametric algorithm. Each individual scale’s geometry is unique and facilitates a custom degree of flex, providing protection for any body area or joint, and any body shape, for any type of activity. SCALED improves rehabilitation and protects against injuries, with a vision to ultimately predict injuries through sensors, motion tracking and artificial intelligence (AI). Key milestones to reach over the Enterprise Fellowship include laboratory, material and user testing.
SCALED is currently working with professional athletes and physiotherapists in the UK to gain key insights and iterate through a user-centred design approach. The company currently has a patent pending in the UK for its algorithm, materials used, manufacturing method, and application areas.
Key partners to date include:
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.
James uses storytelling to help innovative businesses reap the rewards of putting purpose at the heart of their business. Ranked in The Drum’s top 10 UK marketing influencers, he is a published author (Humanizing B2B), mentor and speaker. He’s passionate about helping technology and engineering companies achieve their potential to change the world for good.
James started out working in tech before moving into marketing, as he felt there was a real gap in the industry’s understanding of the fundamentals and potential of technology. After a prestigious grad role at Saatchi and Saatchi he joined Tidalwave in its newly formed strategy department, which shortly thereafter was ranked in the Financial Times’ Fasttrack top 50 fastest growing privately owned companies in the UK at the time. In two of his four years there he was recognised as the agency’s MVP.
He ran award-winning agency Mason Zimbler - recognised as ‘UK Agency of the Year’ by B2B Marketing, and then successfully sold it to a US marketing giant.
As Co-Founder of Rooster Punk, he helps ambitious companies achieve sustainable growth and profitability through a more human and meaningful approach to the way they build their brand. Rooster Punk works with startups like Currencycloud (now a unicorn), scale-ups, VCs and platforms like Crowdcube as well as corporates such as Tata and Samsung.
James is also an advisor, mentor and investor in several other businesses and charities.
Lisa has been building productive teams, driving change and helping people get organised for twenty-five years, working in multi-national corporates and investment banks before starting her own coaching business in 2017. She has extensive experience of hiring, managing and retaining great people and now works with founders and business owners across multiple sectors and industries to help them create inclusive cultures and strong, diverse teams.
Lisa is the bestselling author of The REAL Entrepreneur: How to simplify, grow and enjoy your business, and believes passionately that people management is a core skill for today’s entrepreneur. From her experience working with fast-growing businesses, she’s learned that while you can build a product without a team, it’s impossible to build a business without understanding how to build an inclusive culture and get the best from a diverse group of people. As an operational business coach, Lisa’s focus is always on the fundamental building blocks of business: people and processes.
Professor Norman Apsley OBE FREng recently retired from 18 years as founding Chief Executive of Catalyst Inc (formerly Northern Ireland Science Park), steering the organisation from idea to reality. The NI Science Park was a key first step to transform the near derelict H&W shipyard into the innovation district for Belfast. He had spent the previous two decades at the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (now QinetiQ Malvern), where he had researched a wide variety of microwave and optical devices, publishing some 70 scientific papers and patents during his scientific career. He joined management in 1990, rising to Director Electronics and Site Director for the Malvern cluster in the then Defence Research and Evaluation Agency by 1995.
In 2011, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, just as he finished his term as Vice-President (Business and Innovation) of the Institute of Physics. He has been an active Enterprise Committee member from the beginning and continues to contribute to its various programmes as reviewer, mentor and on steering groups, most lately the SME Leaders’ Award.
Norman also supports the international work of the Academy. In 2018, he became Chair of the Academy’s Newton-funded project, Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF), which works in all 16 Newton Fund countries. Alongside in-country partners, LIF helps innovators with technology to tackle their country’s sustainable development goals launch startups. Over the past few years, LIf fellows have been built into a thousand strong, peer-to-peer support group across the world.
At home, Norman chairs the Local Economic Development Company serving South and East Antrim and consults occasionally for both public and private sector. In 2012, Norman was awarded an OBE for his contributions to science and economic development. In 2019, the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Econ Sci) was conferred by Queens University Belfast. In the same year, he was awarded the Max Rainey Medal for service to the Polymer Industry of Northern Ireland. He is looking forward to Belfast becoming the first (of many) spokes to the Enterprise Hub.
"(Engineering) entrepreneurs are typically rich with ideas, energy and enthusiasm but cash poor. They cannot afford the quality help they need to find the right business model for their idea, discovery or invention. Pro Bono support from Fellows from their experience and from their “black books” helps speed the process and leads to increased innovation.”
Benedikt started his entrepreneurial journey during his undergraduate and has since built multiple companies across renewable energy, enterprise software, deep tech, drug discovery, and healthcare. As an experienced entrepreneur, he has raised millions in venture funding, scaled winning teams across multiple geographies, and closed over 100 deals, including with some of the largest global organisations.
Benedikt also supports several early stage companies, where he helps with fundraising, company strategy and founder journeys. He has mentored more than 50 early stage companies, many during a trip across the African continent.
In his latest venture, Sanome, aims to build a human digital twin to help people understand and maintain their health.
Lavaniya currently works as a Marketing Partner at bp Launchpad, where she serves as a strategic and tactical marketing advisor for portfolio companies.
Though her expertise and experience cover brand marketing, sales enablement and to marketing automation, she is most passionate about content, creative campaigns, and implementing blue ocean strategy. Whether the budget is small, big or non-existent, Lavaniya is able to adapt and utilise available resources to their highest potential and counts herself lucky to have learnt her craft through small failures rather than big successes.
After emigrating to Sweden, Lavaniya started her own media production company at the age of 21. She worked on feature films that never saw the light of day, TV programmes that did, and has produced around 2000 educational YouTube videos for a charity that teaches mathematics after school.
Lavaniya has worked with a diverse range of clients and businesses, spanning private and public sectors, and has lived in six countries across four continents.
After completing her MBA at HEC Paris, she worked in eSports (Fnatic), SaaS, and Telecommunications (at Croatia’s first unicorn company, Infobip) before jumping into the new world of Energy and tackling the energy transition. Outside of work, she’s writing her novel, participating in charity runs, and volunteering as a Trustee at the RSPCA in North London.
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”.
Roy Williamson has been helping companies see how their new innovations can disrupt markets for over 20 years.
For the past six years has been successfully helping early stage companies identify and define their strengths, enhance their uniqueness and develop their storylines to engage investors. Roy’s background is in engineering and cleantech and since 2013, he’s been supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs across a broad area of technologies and innovative business models.
Roy is an aeronautical engineer and started his career at Alstom, developing algorithms and models to estimate hardware costs of power generation gas turbines based purely on, often novel, thermodynamic cycles. He has assessed innovation ecosystems of the UK, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He has also co-authored guides to support technology developers in the UK automotive sector assess technology readiness levels and help those in the biofuels sector to review pathways for second generation biofuels. He’s appraised novel technology solutions for blue-chip clients, developed proof of concepts and carried out due diligence activities to support investor decision making. He is passionate about the UK and knowledge-intensive companies, from software to deeptech.
Roy is Head of Origination at the Department for International Trade with relationships across the department’s teams, government and the UK’s innovation and investment ecosystem.
Formerly the UK Innovation Director for Atkins, Elspeth is the CEO and Founder of IAND, a digital platform that helps major enterprises manage multiple suppliers.
Initially graduating as a chemist, Elspeth later turned her hand to transport and urban design, demonstrating business and technical leadership on over 100 transport planning projects both nationally and around the world.
Elspeth chairs the Enterprise Hub’s Innovators Network and is a judge for the Hub’s Launchpad Competition. She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
In 2017, Elspeth was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Engineering and Enterprise.
“I believe that collaboration within our industry is the key to driving innovation faster. I am so proud to be involved with the Enterprise Hub, as a Mentor, and as Chair of the Innovators Network and to support young entrepreneurs as a Judge on Launchpad competition.
It is rare to find a place which brings together startups and established companies to exchange ideas and learn from each other. We have a shared goal which is to fast track the growth of engineering enterprises in the UK. The Enterprise Hub has helped me grow my business and it is helping young engineers build the businesses of the future.”
James Ashe first graduated in electronics and electrical engineering from the University of Glasgow. His postgraduate education was sponsored by The General Electric Company and he spent five years as Principal Research Engineer at the GEC-Marconi Research Centre. His research interests included: high-power, high-performance VLSI structures and devices, monolithic microwave integrated circuits and electronic interconnection and packaging.
He then joined Cambridge-based Anamartic (A Tandem Computer and Fujitsu Company) working on fault tolerant WSI (Wafer Scale Integration) devices. Jim was one of the first employees of Xaar PLC and was heavily involved in IP Licensing and fundamental in developing Xaar’s microfabrication facility on the Cambridge Science Park. He helped found Intense Photonics (a spin out based on IP in the field of quantum well intermixing - owned by the University of Glasgow) where he led the commercial activities. Intense Photonics raised over £56 million in private venture funding. Prior to joining the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics as Director of Commercialisation and Industry Engagement, he led the commercial activities in IP Licensing at the commercial arm of DSTL (Defence Scientific and Technical Laboratories). Jim is also the Director of Innovation at the Bayes Centre – the University of Edinburgh's innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence.