· 12 engineering innovators win £10,000 training grants to support the growth of their businesses
· Next round of the SME Leaders programme is open for applications – due by 11 May 2020
Innovators developing handheld kits to convert bikes into an eBikes and technology to track and monitor insect pest populations, are among our new cohort of 12 SME Leaders. They will be joining the Enterprise Hub to develop the skills needed to manage the challenges of leading and scaling up their growing companies.
The SME Leaders programme supports individuals in leadership positions within engineering and technology companies, by offering a bespoke package of funding and training to help them take their businesses to the next level. This includes leadership training courses, personal development coaching and mentoring from Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering, who have themselves run world-leading companies. They will also have access to the Enterprise Hub’s Taylor Centre in central London, to use as a meeting facility and informal workspace for the mentoring, one to one coaching, and private business meetings.
Current SME Leaders are going from strength to strength - Pierre Paslier and Lise Honsinger from bioplastic alternative startup NOTPLA, have recently raised £2.01m and have a sustainable food packaging partnership with Just Eat.
We’ve also seen impressive results from our SME Leaders alumni. Upon completion of the programme, alumni typically double their staff numbers and raise around £800,000 to £1 million within 12 months of joining the programme. Furthermore, alumni have collectively raised £177 million in total and increased their business valuations by £100 million in total.
Niall Haslam, CTO of Axial3D and an alumnus of the programme, said:
"The SME Leaders Programme helped me immensely by offering an opportunity to reflect on my leadership style and […] concrete steps to improve. As a result, the Axial3D team has grown both in number but also in culture and effectiveness.”
Find out more about our newest SME Leaders:
Co-founder and CEO, INSPHERE
INSPHERE develops new measurement technologies for use in advanced manufacturing. Its solutions enable precision measurement and control to allow companies to optimise manufacturing performance to improve quality and profitability. Its technologies can be used in environments such as car production lines where failures can lead to costs of up to £10,000 per minute while issues are resolved. Ben Adeline, CEO, is developing a strategy to increase sales of existing products while developing a new product for continuous monitoring and control of industrial automation systems. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Ben aims to strengthen leadership skills for managing a growing team as the company extends its product range and scales rapidly.
Chief Product Officer, Mirada Medical Ltd
Mirada Medical uses deep learning technology to develop medical imaging software to improve treatment and care for patients with cancer and other diseases. Its accessible software solutions automate processes in a range of clinical work, including diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy and interventional oncology. Installed in over 2,000 sites worldwide, Mirada Medical’s products help clinicians to make better decisions and deliver personalised care. With support and training through the SME Leaders Programme, Sarah Bond, Chief Product Officer, aims to increase Mirada Medical’s revenue and market share. This is part of an ambitious plan for growth that includes developing products to help the company retain its competitive advantage.
CTO, Humanising Autonomy
Humanising Autonomy develops software solutions targeting the human-centred implementation of autonomous technology in the road safety sector. The company combines expertise in artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioural psychology to better understand the range of complex human behaviours and predict the actions of vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. This provides real-time data that can be used in different automated driving systems to make roads safer. Raunaq Bose, CTO, leads the development of Humanising Autonomy’s core technologies. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, his vision is for the company’s solutions to be integrated into real vehicles on the road in urban environments and lay the foundations for industrially scaling the technology.
Dr James Carpenter
Technologies developed at SurePulse help advance the care of newborns by providing easier access to data helping make better clinical decisions in time-critical situations. Around 10% of babies need some form of stabilisation and resuscitation at birth and heart rate is the best indicator of resuscitation success. SurePulse Medical’s first product, the SurePulse VS, is a vital sign monitoring system, recently launched in Europe, that improves clinicians’ ability to make timely decisions about care pathways. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Dr Carpenter, CEO, aims to use training and networking opportunities to help with product commercialisation and to lead a talented, driven team at a critical stage in the company’s growth.
Dr Amrit Chandan
CEO and Co-founder, Aceleron
Lithium batteries are often discarded with up to 80% of life left. The way they are manufactured limits their capacity for being repurposed. Aceleron aims to change this by manufacturing batteries and delivering services that make it easier to repair, re-manufacture, reuse and recycle lithium batteries leading to less waste and reduced lifetime costs. Its lightweight, robust solutions can be used at home or in commercial systems, including for solar energy storage. Dr Amrit Chandan, CEO, will use support from the SME Leaders Programme to scale up an international team with commercial and technical expertise, while maintaining a company culture that has a focus on strong results and progress.
CEO, Kalium Health
Kalium Health is a University of Cambridge spin-out that is developing a handheld test device for monitoring blood potassium levels with clinical accuracy. Current testing methods are hospital-based and require a venous blood sample. In contrast, Kalium’s device will provide real-time results in any setting, making it possible for patients, including the growing number with kidney disease, to monitor and manage unstable potassium levels before they become life-threatening. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Tom Collings, CEO, is developing leadership skills to support a rapidly growing team to help bring Kalium’s device to market within the next five years.
AssetCool aims to improve the capacity of power networks, and reduce power losses by up 30%, with a photonic coating for power lines that helps them to manage temperature more effectively. AssetCool’s easy-to-use, durable coating enables overhead power lines to reflect solar radiation while also allowing infrared heat to escape more easily. This leads to increased power-carrying capacity, reduced power losses and reduced carbon emissions. Niall Coogan, SME Leader and CEO is overseeing technology development and industrial scale-up to meet market demand. With support from the SME Leaders Programme, Niall is developing a clear strategic vision for AssetCool to become a global business.
Spotta has developed a technology for tracking and monitoring insect pest populations for a range of industries where they can be an issue. Using ultra-low power imaging and image processing, Spotta’s solutions allow customers to detect insects at an early stage and intervene to reduce treatment costs and the impact of lost revenue. Its first product, the Bed Pod, is currently used in hotels and rented accommodation to detect bed bugs and is has a 95% success rate. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, Robert Fryers, CEO, is developing a rapidly growing team to help product innovation and expansion into European and North American markets.
Dr Stephen Hicks
Co-founder, Head of Innovation and Director, OXSIGHT
OXSIGHT develops smart glasses that enhance the residual vision of those living with visual impairments caused by a range of degenerative eye diseases including macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. 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 to help people to see their surroundings in more detail. The technology builds on research by Dr Stephen Hicks, Co-founder and Head of Innovation. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, he aims to expand OXSIGHT’s technical base and expertise as the company explores new ventures and product development at a time of rapid growth.
CEO and Founder, Biorelate Ltd
Over 80% of data is unstructured, which can make it harder to access and seek insights from. Biorelate’s platform, Galactic AI, can organise, analyse and connect large volumes of data to help drug discovery companies gain deeper insights to the innovations they are seeking to develop. It also saves time and resources when solving complex research problems. Its processing power provides insights in real-time and ensures that drug companies keep pace with the latest research outputs and developments. Support from SME Leaders Programme comes at a pivotal time as Daniel Jamieson, CEO, leads the company through a significant phase of growth.
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, instantly removable and works on any bicycle type to provide up to 250 Watts of power, with a single charge lasting for 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. Dmitro Khroma, CTO, leads all aspects of product development. Supported by the SME Leaders Programme, he aims to develop skills for managing his multidisciplinary team as Swytch launches a new product and develops a high-level strategy for continued growth.
Anna Perdix Rosell
Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, SixfoldBioscience
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. The non-viral, RNA-based drug delivery technology has shown promising in vitro and in vivo results and has been awarded funding from Innovate UK to support its development. Anna Perdix Rosell, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, aims to use support from the SME Leaders Programme to strengthen skills in strategic product development. This includes developing collaborations for revenue generation and impacting the global drug delivery systems market which is currently valued at £/$3.2 billion.