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.
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.
Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Swytch Technology
Swytch Technology’s eBike conversion kit can be used to turn a regular bicycle into an electric bicycle. The lightweight, durable, hand-held kit is easy to fit, quickly removable and works on any make of bicycle.
Converting existing bicycles into electric ones is more energy efficient than building an electric bike from scratch. This makes Swytch’s patent pending technology a more accessible way to get the benefits of electric transport without the costs. Its system provides up to 250 Watts of power and a single charge can last up to 50 kilometres.
With over 5,000 customers across 40 countries, Swytch is well placed for a share of the global eBike market which is growing at over 50% every year. Swytch is now preparing to launch its new eBike system that aims to deliver industry-leading performance in a cost-effective way.
Dmitro Khroma, CTO of Swytch, is responsible for all aspects of the product development lifecycle including conceptual design, supply-chain management and quality control. Leadership skills gained through the SME Leaders Programme will support him in developing skills for high level strategy and leading a multidisciplinary team to ensure Swytch’s sustained success. Dmitro Khroma also plans to use networking and mentoring through the scheme. This will gain him benefits from a broad range of perspectives on some of the challenges facing rapidly growing business.
Visit Swytch Technology's website here.
There are approximately 1 billion people living with a neglected
tropical disease worldwide. Two of the main infectious diseases, visceral
leishmaniasis and cryptococcal meningitis, account for 220,000 global deaths
annually – most of these fatalities are children.
These diseases can be treated with liposomal amphotericin B nanomedicine (which measures ~100 nm), a safer and more efficacious version of amphotericin B. However, due to the difficulties and costs associated with large scale production, there is a significant global supply shortage of this crucial nanomedicine – around 60 million vials are needed with an estimated value of more than $6 billion. The current multi-step, batch-based process requires the addition and removal of water and organic solvents, which is inefficient. It also limits the potential scale of its manufacture.
Dr Justin Tian is one of the inventors of CommandNano technology. He is also a co-founder of the company that is aiming to overcome the manufacturing issues of the nanomedicine by creating a one-step, solvent/water-free continuous nanofracturing platform. This would enable scalable production by halving costs, reducing manufacturing time from hours to minutes, and allowing interactive integration of design and process. The new process maintains product quality and by eliminating the use of solvents or contaminated water, it generates no toxic wastes.
CommandNano is also capable of synthesising other nanomedicine systems such as solid lipid nanoparticles, nanostructured lipid carriers and polymeric nanoparticles. It can also encapsulate small organic molecules, large biological molecules and inorganic nanoparticles.
The technology has already received £500,000 of financial support and is now looking to form a partnership for pilot scale clinical manufacturing. In the coming years it intends to conduct a bioequivalent study on liposomal amphotericin B nanomedicine. It will also file an FDA application in the US for producing generic drugs.
Dr Tian says: “The Enterprise Fellowship has enabled to me to actively engage with companies and organisations within the nanomedicine supply chain. It has also identified the key challenges in relation to the scale-up and commercial production of liposomal nanomedicines.”
2016 NSF-SFI centre-to-centre research project on continuous manufacture of
2017 Invest Northern Ireland Proof-of-Concept project
2018 Ex-vivo nanomedicine comparison
2019 Innovate UK ICURe programme
2019 Dr Justin YW Tian was awarded an Enterprise Fellowship
2020 The company made an international patent application for its process platform and formulation
CEO, Mobilus Labs
Mobilus Labs is transforming voice communication with a wearable, hands-free, ear-free voice platform that enables teams of any size to communicate and connect in any environment from whatever distance.
Using innovations in bone conduction technology and voice recognition, Mobilus enables voice communication in extreme and noisy environments. Its two-way bone conduction technology uses micro-vibrations on the surface of the head to capture voice and transmit it directly to the inner ear. Its ability to isolate the voice makes the platform effective even when used in noisy environments, making it easier for teams to communicate in target industries such as construction, mixed reality and the emergency services, amongst others.
Building on over 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur building complex hardware and software platforms, Jordan McRae founded Mobilus Labs and leads the development of its technology. Jordan will use the SME Leaders Programme to support his vision of creating a diverse and inclusive team focused on agile innovation while delivering a return to investors. Working with experienced mentors, Jordan aims to triple the size of his team as the company scales up and builds on traction in the construction sector where the cost of poor communication costs an estimated £16 billion each year.
Visit Mobilus Lab's website here.
CEO and Founder, Provenance
Provenance uses blockchain technology to help brands and retailers build customer trust through greater transparency. Its software platform helps brands to promote conscious, low-impact consumption by providing a digital history that makes it easy to trace and verify the origins, attributes and impact of a product.
Ethical spending grew by 3.2 % to £81.3 billion in 2016 and it has been suggested that products marketed as sustainable grow more than five times faster than those that aren’t. With openness and trust as key drivers to a brand’s success, Provenance leads the movement for greater transparency. Its novel data systems assemble and verify supply-chain information using blockchain technology. This allows information to be stored securely while remaining accessible but unchangeable. The software can be embedded into existing business systems making it easier for a company to provide accessible, trustworthy information about the origin, journey and impact of its products.
CEO and Founder, Jessi Baker leads a team that has more than tripled in size over the past year. With further growth anticipated to meet consumer demand, Jessi will use support from the SME Leaders Programme to help scaling up Provenance while navigating the challenges of establishing a new product in an emerging market.
Visit Provenance's website here.
COO, mOm Incubators Ltd
Cost-effective, electronically controlled, inflatable incubators, developed by mOm, could help to improve the survival rates of prematurely born babies.
The World Health Organization estimates that there are 15 million premature births each year and highlights that preterm birth complications are the leading cause of deaths in children under the age of five, responsible for one million deaths in 2015. Three-quarters of these deaths are said to be preventable with current, cost-effective solutions. Compact, robust inflatable incubators, created by mOm can provide an accessible solution in places that need it.
The incubators have been designed in close collaboration with clinical specialists to ensure that it is both user-friendly and meets clinical quality standards.
Chief Operating Officer and co-founder, Matthew Khoory, has a significant role in leading strategy and business development as the company finalises development and testing of its product. This includes conducting clinical trials to gather the data needed for regulatory approval.
Using training from the SME Leaders Programme, Matthew will develop skills for managing a team that is growing significantly. Mentoring and coaching through the programme will help as Matthew strengthens skills in negotiation and project management to create and foster the partnerships that will support the company’s continued growth.
Visit mOm Incubator's website here.
Tracking items in shops, hospitals, factories and warehouses can be difficult. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) to detect and track passive (battery-free) tags placed on objects can be problematic - hand-held readers can take a very long time, but static/fixed readers often have dead spots and detection accuracy can be as low as 80%.
Dr Sithamparanathan Sabesan is the CEO and Co-Founder of PervasID. PervasID provide the most accurate passive RFID technology available using its patented, ground-breaking innovation. Using advanced signal processing techniques to overcome dead spot challenges, its technology can achieve a detection accuracy of more than 99% over an area of 400m² with a single reader and unlimited coverage with multiple readers. This has enabled the company to establish fixed readers, often in the ceiling, that capture the progress of a passive tag from the moment it enters a building to when it leaves. This ability to pinpoint items, even when they are tightly packed, has led to inward investment for the company of over £4.5 million.
PervasID’s technology is already used in industrial locations to enable tool-tracking in mission-critical applications and in hospitals to track medical devices, PPE and patient flow. In warehouses, shops and factories it provides a record of items from portal to checkout and has additional uses in logistics and supply chain settings.
“The SME Leaders programme provided leadership training that has enhanced my business skills and enabled me to take the company to the next level. We are no longer a startup, we are now a scale-up company. Over the next two years we plan to scale up our business while expanding our innovation and technology.”
Chief Financial Officer and Head of Commercial, Notpla
50% of plastic packaging is used once and thrown away with estimates suggesting that plastics can take several centuries to decompose. Notpla is a plastic alternative, made from plants and brown seaweed, that biodegrades naturally in 4-6 weeks.
Notpla’s sustainable materials can reduce plastic waste and lessen the carbon impact. It is estimated that they have 85 % less associated carbon emission than equivalent plastic packaging. The company’s first product, Ooho, is a flexible biodegradable packaging for beverages and sauces that can even be eaten!. Ideal for products with a short-use life, Oohos can replace plastic cups at sporting events and sachets in take-aways. Oohos recently replaced 40,000 Lucozade bottles at the Virgin Money London Marathon. Notpla’s future packaging solutions include heat sealable films, take-away boxes and nets.
Chief Financial Officer and Head of Commercial, Lise Honsinger, is responsible for business development, strategy and financial planning and leads the company’s transition from development to commercial operations. With a fast-growing team, SME Leader Lise aims to use mentoring and coaching through the programme to help establish operational structures and a culture that promotes growth as Notpla enters new global markets.
Visit Notpla's website here.
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).