The event, which is organised by the county’s technology accelerator BetaDen, is the culmination of nine months’ work for Cohort 5.0 on the programme and took place face-to-face for the first time since Covid-19 drove the popular accelerator online in early 2020.
Tony Seaton, client director at Jerroms who mentors BetaDen founders on investment readiness, was one of those in the audience and was impressed with the progress cohort founders had made since joining the programme. “It’s really great to see how the cohort has developed since we first met them back in March,” he explained. “What were initially rough ideas have now become polished products.”
It’s a view echoed by Cohort 5.0 founder and winner of the entrepreneur category at this year’s West Midlands Women in Tech awards, Paula Bedborough, whose digitally-enabled smart lockers provide a secure space for people to leave their valuables when out and about. She believes the unique nature of BetaDen has been key to helping her develop her idea from a very raw situation into a polished product.
Paula said: “Tonight has been amazing. There has been a fantastic diverse group of people here and to get the opportunity to speak in front of that audience was a great opportunity. I’ve made contact with people connected to the investment community, which will be a next stage for us, as well as someone who might be interested in our locker units and someone involved with biometrics, so I’ve made some really useful contacts.”
The seven companies pitching their businesses were:
- Bright Beams – an artificial intelligence enabled laser surface processing system
- Changemaker 3D – a digitally-driven 3D concrete printing technology delivering carbon benefits to the construction sector
- The Curiosity Museum – a digital careers programme providing an introduction to the world of work for students aged 12+
- Malvern Air – anew technology indoor air purification system
- Omnia 7 – a study skills app for children and apprentices managing additional challenges such as learning difficulties, mental health issues or other long-term health conditions •
- Remote Controllers – low latency remote control of broadcast media equipment
- Secure Socialising – keyless smart locker system for places where people meet and socialise
Donston Powell, communications manager at BetaDen, said: “We were really excited for the return of the in-person showcase, which provided an invaluable opportunity for founders to demonstrate their work and secure the customers, investors and development partners they need to support the next phase of their development.
“The seven companies who took part in this evening’s showcase are developing game-changing technologies here in the heart of Worcestershire, with several already receiving regional and national award recognition since joining the programme.
“It was fantastic to have the opportunity to share their work with a wider audience at this evening’s event and help them make the connections they need to help take their businesses to the next level.”
BetaDen was founded in 2018 and since then has supported 43 business founders in creating over 100 jobs and attracting over £6.1m investment. Its alumni have gone on to secure high-profile contracts with the likes of Royal Mail, the NHS, HS2, National Rail, United Utilities and Imperial College London. For further details, visit www.beta-den.com