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 Chief Scientific Officer, Sixfold
Sixfold Bioscience has developed a patented technology for the safe and effective drug delivery of cell and gene therapeutics. Its programmable oligonucleotide delivery system (PODS) provides a cost-effective way to deliver a diverse range of therapeutic cargo with high targeting specificity.
There is currently a lack of safe, efficient in vivo delivery systems for cell and gene therapeutics. Many cell and gene therapies show great potential for achieving this, but their wide implementation has been limited by both complex and expensive manufacturing processes, and an inefficiency in reaching their targets. PODS is an efficient, non-viral, RNA-based drug delivery technology that has shown promising early in vitro and in vivo results.
Based at the Translation and Innovation Hub at Imperial College London, Sixfold Bioscience has been awarded funding by Innovate UK to support two projects that will help in accelerating the pre-clinical development of the PODS platform.
Anna Perdix Rosell, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, leads Sixfold Bioscience’s R&D team and is helping to devise its long and short-term strategy for preclinical research. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, she aims to strengthen skills in strategic product development to support Sixfold’s goal of revenue generation through pharmaceutical collaboration. This will help the company make an impact on the global drug delivery systems market which is currently valued at £/$3.2 billion and is projected to rapidly grow.
Visit Sixfold Bioscience's website here.
CEO, Kalium Health
Kalium Health aims to make it quicker and easier for patients to monitor and manage unstable blood electrolyte levels that can become life-threatening, especially for those with kidney disease. Its first product is a handheld test device for monitoring blood potassium level with clinical accuracy.
The University of Cambridge spin-out is developing the device in response to patients’ request for an alternative to current methods, which involve hospital-based tests requiring a venous blood sample. These are often considered inconvenient, expensive and can lead to delays with treatment. In contrast, Kalium’s device will provide users with real-time results in any setting.
Tom Collings, CEO, is responsible for setting the company’s overall strategy and overseeing operational activities. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom aims to gain skills in areas such as recruitment, effective leadership and financial management to build a motivated team and drive efficiency as Kalium’s operations rapidly expand.
Networking with peers and support from a mentor will help Tom as he seeks to raise the company’s profile and develop the right commercial partnerships to help Kalium towards its goal to launch its first device in Europe and the US in the next five years.
Visit Kalium Health's website here.
AssetCool aims to improve the efficiency of power networks, and reduce power losses by up to 30%, with a photonic coating for power lines that helps them to manage temperature more effectively.
As electricity lines operate, their heat increases because of incoming solar radiation and the current running through them. This increased heat makes power lines less efficient. AssetCool’s solution is an easy-to-use durable coating for overhead power lines that improves their ability to reflect solar radiation while also allowing infrared heat to escape more easily. This creates extra network capacity by improving conductive efficiency resulting in up to 40% more power down the line and reduced carbon emissions.
Niall Coogan, SME Leader and CEO, is responsible for overseeing developments with the technology, while also focusing on industrial scale up, IP portfolio development and gaining commercial traction in key markets. He aims to use support from the SME Leaders Programme to develop leadership skills that will help with setting a clear strategic vision for a global business.
Training and support in effective management and communication skills will also help Niall to grow his team while directing technological and operational developments as AssetCool scales up to meet service market demand.
Visit AssetCool's website here.
Spotta’s technology tracks and monitors insect pest populations for industries where they can be an issue. Insect pests are estimated to cause up to £320 billion of damage globally every year, impacting industries such as agriculture, forestry and the domestic and residential sectors.
As insect populations grow exponentially in the right conditions, early warning is essential to minimise damage. Using ultra-low power imaging and image processing, Spotta’s solutions allow their customers to detect insect pests at the earliest stage so that they can efficiently intervene to reduce treatment costs and the impact of lost revenue.
Spotta’s first product, the Bed Pod is currently being used in hotels, hospitals and rented accommodation to detect bed bugs. It has been on the market since 2018 and has a 95% success rate for customers. Further products are in the pipeline to support other industries in tackling insect pest issues.
Robert Fryers, CEO, was awarded a place on the SME Leaders Programme as Spotta aims to increase its commercial focus. This will involve strengthening its existing customer base while also expanding into new markets with new products. Support from the programme will help Robert meet the challenge of leading a team of mixed commercial and technical talent that is expected to rapidly increase in size as Spotta moves into European and North American markets.
Visit Spotta's website here.
Co-founder, Head of Innovation and Director, OXSIGHT
OXSIGHT develops smart glasses that enhances the residual vision of people with visual impairments. Visual impairments can be caused by a range of degenerative eye diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The glasses enable people to see their surroundings in more detail.
Over 50 million people worldwide are registered as having a visual impairment. OXSIGHT’s patented technology aims to promote independence, inclusion and opportunity by drawing on advances in machine learning and augmented reality. Its smart glasses combine style and functionality and make use of embedded cameras that can operate in a wide range of lighting conditions. These cameras collect video data that is processed using machine learning algorithms to detect faces, text and other objects.
The technology builds on research by Dr Stephen Hicks, Co-founder and Head of Innovation. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Dr Hicks aims to expand the company’s technical base and expertise in areas such as user-interfaces, mobile computer vision, personalised machine learning and wearable technology. He will use training and mentoring in systems such as change management to support him as he leads the company in exploring new ventures and product development at a time of rapid growth.
Visit OXSIGHT's website here.
Trade workers are at risk of long-term knee damage caused by kneeling. Existing knee pads lack flexibility, durability and sufficient support, further increasing this risk .
Victoria Hamiliton created Recoil knee pads following conversations with her father, a carpenter, about the need for trade workers to have access to better knee support. Victoria’s patented design sandwiches springs between two layers of support so that pressure is better absorbed and spread more evenly.
Developed by a team of biomechanical engineers, Recoil knee pads provide a 76% pressure reduction on the knee – a 20% improvement over existing competitors. The advanced cushioning provides trade workers with greater comfort while helping to prevent knee damage.
By incorporating a 360° pivot mechanism, Victoria has created a knee pad that moves more naturally with the knee. User-tests and feedback have helped the company to improve its design and achieve greater levels of protection and durability.
Recoil officially launched to market in 2016 and has since grown into an international business with sales in over 20 countries worldwide.
Victoria was awarded a 2017 RAEng 1851 Royal Commission Enterprise Fellowship to further develop the business by recruiting to her team and expanding capacity for manufacturing Recoil Knee pads in Scotland, UK.
CEO and Founder, Biorelate Ltd
Over 80% of data is unstructured, which can make it harder to access and to develop insights from. With global scientific output doubling every nine years, biomedical innovation is limited by a company’s ability to make use of the large volumes of data at its disposal. Biorelate’s solutions overcome this challenge by creating a high-performance platform for curating biomedical knowledge that can be used to accelerate innovation.
Biorelate’s platform, Galactic AI, improves access to data and information. This enables drug discovery companies to gain better insights to develop new innovations. The cloud-based computing platform they have developed can organise, analyse and connect large volumes of data to save time and resources when solving complex research problems. Its high-level processing power provides real-time insights and ensures that companies keep pace with the latest research outputs and developments.
Daniel Jamieson, CEO and Founder, has set a vision for Biorelate’s growth that includes expanding product sales in existing markets and gaining traction in the US. Support from SME Leaders Programme comes at a pivotal time as he focuses on business development, product innovation and sales. He will be able to use training through the programme to further develop leadership skills, in areas such as negotiation, as the company enters a significant phase of growth.
Visit Biorelate's website here.
A child dies of malaria every two minutes, often because they arrive at hospital too late to be saved. The disease is one of the world’s most deadly, with approximately 207 million infections and more than 600,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance is spreading globally and many strains of the disease are untreatable.
George developed the MediSieve system to tackle this terrible situation. MediSieve uses haemofilter technology which ‘sieves’ the blood rapidly and safely reduces malarial parasites from a patient's system. This novel technology requires no drugs or chemicals and can be used to treat any malaria patient, including drug-resistant and other untreatable cases, keeping patients alive and symptom-free indefinitely.
Used either in isolation or as a stand-alone treatment, the haemofilter removes malaria infected cells directly from the bloodstream in a dialysis-like process.
In severe cases, MediSieve could reduce mortality and recovery times; in non-severe cases, patients could recover in hours rather than days as the efficacy of drugs is increased and their side-effects eliminated.
Following extensive trials, MediSieve products will be commercially available in the next couple of years.
Simultaneous localisation and mapping (SLAM) is essential for robots to explore and understand their environments. Nearly all autonomous vehicles or robots, from driverless cars to robot vacuum cleaners, use SLAM technology in some way. SLAMcore Limited, a spinout from Imperial College London, has developed spatial AI by using algorithms to generate reliable positioning and mapping intelligence on low-power, cost-effective hardware.
SLAMcore’s technology can calculate an accurate and reliable position without the need for GPS or any other external structure. Its software can enhance the capabilities of off-the-shelf sensors that enable commercially-viable solutions for applications such as warehouse robots, inspection drones, delivery and service robots.
Owen Nicholson is co-founder and CEO of SLAMcore. Owen became an SME Leader in 2020. He says that the programme can help SLAMcore: “I’m very excited about meeting and working with my mentor and coach. The former will hopefully help address some of the challenges of being a first time CEO of a deep-tech startup. The coach will guide us towards relevant tools, resources and best practice. The timing is right with us transitioning from a team with great tech, to a company with a great product.”
After three years of development and fundraising that has garnered millions of pounds backing, SLAMcore is now gaining commercial traction and developing product-market fit. If all goes according to plan in the coming years, the company will have thousands of robots using its spatial AI technology to calculate their positions, understand unfamiliar surroundings and navigate with consistent reliability.
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.