The Hub is delighted to be welcoming 15 ambitious engineering innovators to its Shott Scale Up Accelerator, its biggest cohort since the programme’s inception in 2016 (formerly known as the SME Leaders Programme). With the Hub’s support, they will be starting the process of scaling up a range of innovations, such as the utilisation of the world’s largest visual AI dataset to identify different types of recyclable refuse, and technology that can manipulate light at the quantum level.
Run twice a year, the Shott Scale Up Accelerator helps individuals develop the leadership qualities needed to navigate and tackle common challenges when scaling up in the UK. This cohort will benefit from a hybrid (virtual and in-person) offer of business support, including up to a £10,000 training grant for leadership courses of their choice, workshops and sessions such as roundtables, one-to-one personal development coaching and access to specialist mentoring from the Academy’s Fellowship. They will also enjoy free lifetime access to the Enterprise Hub’s Taylor Centre in central London, to use as a meeting facility and informal workspace.
The scheme has gone from strength to strength supporting 124 individuals since its inception in 2016. Upon completion of the programme, alumni have collectively raised £540 million and have increased their business valuations by £536 million in total. Last year, the Enterprise Hub was able to enhance its SME leadership offer following a funding injection from its founder and inaugural chair Ian Shott CBE FREng. This was then followed by a full endorsement from the Scale Up Institute, boosting the Hub’s credentials as the go-to place for engineering and technology SME leaders in the UK.
Alumni have made notable progress – Jessi Baker MBE, founder and CEO of Provenance, has recently managed to secure £4.1 million of funding. Last year she tripled her customer base and with this funding boost, she hopes to continue her product development and aims to reach even more customers – one billion people to be precise!
Arthur Kay, CEO and founder of Skyroom and Shott Scale Up Accelerator alumnus says he was able to better support and manage his team following his participation in the programme:
“There were multiple benefits, but the most impactful lessons have been the soft skills learnt through workshops, mentoring and coaching. This has benefited the business from the team and management side of things.”
Get to know our latest cohort here
Dr Andrea De Luca, Co-founder and CEO, Flusso Ltd
The semiconductor company, Flusso Ltd, has launched FLS110, the world’s smallest flow sensor. The device can measure mass flow, volumetric flow, differential pressure or air velocity. The FLS110 has been designed so that manufacturers can more easily incorporate reliable flow sensing into a wide variety of products. The device could be used for active filter monitoring in vacuum cleaners, air-conditioning units and other consumer appliances, as well as multiple industrial and medical applications. Dr Andrea De Luca is the co-founder and CEO of Flusso. Andrea joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. He is especially interested in using the networking, mentoring and training to meet other entrepreneurs, better understand his weaknesses, and develop new leadership skills.
Dr Cheng-Huan Zhong, Co-founder and CTO, Inductosense Ltd
Inductosense’s patented wireless and non-destructive (WAND) system is proving particularly effective in monitoring internal corrosion and erosion in pipework and vessels. Battery-free, the sensors can be permanently embedded underneath coatings and insulation for the lifecycle of a product. The non-destructive testing technology has been taken up by the petrochemical and oil and gas industries, and others. Cheng-Huan joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator in 2022 and would like to develop his decision-making, communication and influencing skills to help the company make the right decisions. Inductosense is now looking to expand its business into adjacent markets, such as mining and renewables.
Dr James Kusena, Vice President of Bioprocessing and Applications, MicrofluidX Ltd
MicrofluidX Ltd is tackling the problems of process control, scalability, and costs associated with cell bioprocessing, in particular for autologous cell and gene therapy. Its automated closed technology enables scientists to speedily carry out process development by running dozens of cell culture conditions in parallel, with extreme process control. This facilitates the scale up to several billion cells for manufacturing at a fraction of current costs. Dr James Kusena, Vice President of Bioprocessing and Applications at MicrofluidX, joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. He feels that the scheme will further develop his creative and strategic thinking, project management and decision-making skills.
Ed Puddicombe, Co-founder and Director of Strategy and Business Engagement, NIAXO Ltd
NIAXO Ltd hosts a secure software ecosystem, underpinned by its Secure Platform for Analytics (SPA), which can be deployed on any public or private cloud. The company’s mission is to provide innovation, process improvement and software solutions, using its experience in delivering business analysis, data science, software development and business change. Ed Puddicombe, a co-founder and the Director of Strategy and Business Engagement at NIAXO, joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. Ed says, “I am really keen to learn from mentors and the other Shott accelerator candidates. My aim is for us to move from being a reactive ‘project team’ into being a strategy-led product delivery business.”
Dr Elizabeth Gilligan, Co-founder and CEO, Material Evolution Ltd
Material Evolution Ltd is using machine learning algorithms and patented geopolymer technology to turn waste, and by-products, into new materials. The company’s first success has been to use its pioneering chemical and manufacturing processes to produce a cement replacement made from 96% industrial waste, reducing CO2 emissions by 85% in the process. Dr Elizabeth Gilligan is a co-founder and the CEO of Material Evolution, and joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. She will use the scheme to hone her leadership skills, develop more contacts and establish the best way to inform people about the company and its products.
Peter Davies, Founder and CEO, Verv
Verv’s predictive maintenance technology aims to enable a new generation of smarter, longer lasting and more sustainable air conditioners, heat pumps and large white goods, by embedding machine learning technology into their inbuilt sensors. Peter Davies is the founder and CEO of Verv. Peter joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022 and will use it to improve his negotiation and people management skills. Verv is now looking to gain more investment, clinch a large order with a roll-out partner and find international companies that will be able to scale up its machine learning technology.
Peter Hedley, Co-founder and CTO, Recycleye Ltd
Recycleye Ltd has helped create the world’s largest visual AI dataset of over 3 million labelled images classifying waste materials. Used in a materials recovery facility, it can identify in real time different types of recyclable refuse. The company has also developed a robotic picking system that incorporates the dataset and is both more consistently efficient and accurate than human pickers. Peter Hedley, the co-founder and CTO at Recycleye, joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. He feels the accelerator scheme will give him the support to improve the company’s planning, culture and technical strategy as it rapidly scales up.
Soo-Min (Lucy) Jung, Co-founder and CEO, Charco Neurotech Ltd
Charco Neurotech Ltd has developed the CUE1, a small, non-invasive, wearable therapeutic device for people with Parkinson’s. Worn on the sternum, the instrument delivers two validated neuromodulation therapies at the same time. Patients who have tried the CUE1 say that their movements were smoother and better coordinated with the device. Soo-Min (Lucy) Jung is the co-founder and CEO at Charco Neurotech. Lucy joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator in 2022 and feels that the scheme will help develop her leadership skills in areas such as strategic negotiations and dealmaking. Charco will use £7.4 million of seed investment to continue the release of the CUE1 and strengthen their manufacturing structure.
Tom Birbeck, Co-founder and CEO, ARC Marine
ARC Marine is helping redress seabed habitat degradation by accelerating reef creation. Its Reef Cubes®, made from low-carbon concrete and composed from 98% recycled materials, are plastic-free and the only circular economy-based reef technology on the market. The cubes enrich marine biodiversity, becoming colonised and used as spawning and nursery grounds in real-world tests. Tom Birbeck is the co-founder and CEO of ARC Marine Ltd. Tom joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme and sees it improving his knowledge of finance-related instruments and metrics. He also hopes to meet mentors with scaling up experience who will help him take ARC Marine from a private to a publicly listed company.
Tom Robins, CEO, Switchee Ltd
There are five million social housing properties in the UK and many landlords struggle to know what is going on inside them. Switchee Ltd provides them with a scalable technology solution to reduce operating costs and improve the quality of lives of residents. The company supplies 90 of the biggest housing providers with insights and analytics from its tens of thousands internet-connected thermostats. Tom Robins is the CEO of Switchee, and joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. He intends to use the coaching and mentoring expertise gained from the accelerator to help his company stay ahead of the business curve and to manage both expected and unforeseen challenges ahead.
Vicky De Groof, Chief Technology Officer, Holiferm Ltd
Holiferm Ltd has developed commercially viable, continuous biosurfactant and lipid production manufacturing processes. The company is looking to supplant petroleum-based chemical surfactants by developing and supplying sustainable, fermentation-derived ingredients for industrial and consumer products. Vicky De Groof joined Holiferm as a fermentation engineer and within a year had become the company’s Chief Technology Officer, responsible for a team of 10 people. Vicky joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022. She says she hopes that the networking opportunities and workshops will allow her “to meet others, create new ideas, widen my perspective, build my business confidence and lead to serendipitous findings.”
Wasif Mehdi, Chief Operating Officer, Unmanned Life
Unmanned Life’s software-as-a-service platform integrates different types of drones and robots to work together as autonomous fleets. The company’s Autonomy-as-a-Service platform works over the cloud with, or without, GPS and over radio, Wi-Fi, 4G or 5G. The collaborative autonomous fleet can be used in a variety of sectors including logistics, emergency response, surveillance, and warehousing. Wasif Mehdi is the Chief Operating Officer at Unmanned Life. He joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022 and says, “I see the accelerator as a critical source of knowledge, experience and skills which will feed into our business’s day-to-day operations and help smooth our scale up journey.”
Dr Yingjun Liu, Co-founder and CTO, Poro Technologies Ltd (Porotech)
Porotech has created a new class of semiconductor material: porous GaN, a composite of solid GaN and air. Thanks to its innovative process, monochrome and full-colour displays can be placed on a single indium gallium nitride material system at mass scale. This will be relevant to emerging markets such as micro-LED displays, metasurfaces, sensors, lasers, and quantum light sources. Dr Yingjun Liu is the co-founder and CTO of Porotech Ltd, and joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator in 2022. He feels that exchanging ideas with future industrial leaders and learning from leading entrepreneurs will help his company’s global business and technology progress.
Dr Carmen Palacios-Berraquero, Co-founder and CEO, Nu Quantum Ltd
Nu Quantum Ltd is developing technology that manipulates light at the quantum level to encode, process and communicate information. The company is developing solutions that will allow promising quantum computing technologies to break barriers of scale and accelerate their ability to transform markets such as finance, pharmaceutical and materials discovery, artificial intelligence and others. Dr Carmen Palacios-Berraquero is a co-founder and CEO of Nu Quantum. Carmen joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator programme in 2022 and asserts it will further develop her people management skill set and help build a world-class leadership team for the company.
Dr Amber Michelle Hill, Founder and CEO, R.grid
R.grid has developed machine learning-powered software that helps healthcare R&D. Medical institutions and researchers spend a lot of time and money on clinical trial administration. R.grid streamlines the medical research and patient engagement processes. The company uses an AI-powered, cloud-based system to automate the work, which increases efficiency and reduces the costs involved. Dr Amber Michelle Hill is the founder and CEO at R.grid. Amber joined the Shott Scale Up Accelerator in 2022 and is looking to master different communication styles and strategies for various negotiations, revenue building, marketing, public relations, and talent retention.
Notes for Editors
The Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub supports the UK’s brightest technology and engineering entrepreneurs to realise their potential.
We run three programmes for entrepreneurial engineers at different career stages. Each one offers equity-free funding, an extended programme of mentorship and coaching, and a lifetime of support through connection to an exceptional community of engineers and innovators.
The Enterprise Hub focuses on supporting individuals and fostering their potential in the long term, taking nothing in return. This sets us apart from the usual ‘accelerator’ model. The Enterprise Hub’s programmes last between 6 and 12 months, and all programmes give entrepreneurs lifelong access to an unrivalled community of mentors and alumni.
Our goal is to encourage creativity and innovation in engineering for the benefit of all. By fostering lasting, exceptional connections between talent and expertise, we aim to create a virtuous cycle of innovation that can deliver on this ambition.
The Enterprise Hub was formally launched in April 2013. Since then, we have supported over 290 researchers, recent graduates and SME leaders to start up and scale up businesses that can give practical application to their inventions. We’ve awarded over £8 million in grant funding, and our Hub Members have gone on to raise over £800 million in additional funding.
The Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with our Fellows and partners, we’re growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.
Together we’re working to tackle the greatest challenges of our age. For more information please contact: Chris Urquhart at the Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. +44 207 766 0725; email: Chris.Urquhart@raeng.org.uk.