Local businesses receive CEDAR windfall

Published: 15 January 2014 at 13:16

Anglia Ruskin enterprise scheme awards £120,000 to start-ups in first three years

Three fledgling Cambridgeshire businesses are starting 2014 with a welcome boost after receiving funding from the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) at Anglia Ruskin University.

Thomod, Nowomics and Ocean Array Systems impressed the judges in the final of CEDAR’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme and shared £30,000 of funding. 

By combining the fun of LEGO with the practicality of flat-pack furniture, Thomod is a bespoke, flexible shelving system (http://www.thomod.com).  The judges awarded Thomas and Alanna Lawrie-Fussey £12,500 to further develop their versatile interior design product.

Nowomics founder Richard Smith received £10,000 to help grow his company, which is an online aggregator of biomedical data to deliver real-time updates to researchers working in the life sciences (http://nowomics.com/).  Subscribers can follow specific genes, diseases or keywords for a feed of the latest papers and data relevant to their research.

The judges also awarded £7,500 to Tom Clark and Nicola Pearson of Ocean Array Systems, which helps developers of wind, tidal and wave devices to substantially reduce operational risk and cost of energy (http://oceanarraysystems.com/).  A fourth finalist, Oxy-Sens, will receive £5,000 if they can achieve £5,000 of sales by the end of March.

Funded by a private benefactor and organised by Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School in Cambridge, CEDAR’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme has now given away £120,000 to local entrepreneurs since it began in 2011.

In addition to financial backing, successful businesses receive mentoring support; entry to the CEDAR Enterprise Fellowship network; specialist training and development support; access to Anglia Ruskin’s StartupLab; academic and business advice from the CEDAR team; and legal support.

Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, Director of CEDAR and member of the judging panel, said:

“This is the third year we have run the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme, which has grown and become stronger each year.  In total we have helped 12 Cambridgeshire-based businesses grow with mentoring support and awarded £120,000 of funding. 
“In addition to the businesses that win funding, we assist all of the finalists with their business ideas through mentoring and connecting them to other appropriate funders.  We will continue to help all CEDAR Fellows realise their business dreams and look forward to watching their ventures grow.”

Fellow judge Walter Herriot OBE said:

“The 2013 Enterprise Fellowship Scheme was the strongest yet with some excellent business ideas and applicants.  The judging panel had extremely difficult decisions to make on how to use the £35,000 funding to best help the finalists.”