Start-ups share Enterprise Fellowship cash
Published: 19 December 2012 at 12:32
Three Cambridgeshire businesses awarded £36,500 in Anglia Ruskin competition
Three fledgling Cambridgeshire businesses have been awarded CEDAR Enterprise Fellowships – and £36,500 in financial support – after impressing the judges of this year’s competition.
Run by the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR), which is based in the Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University, the CEDAR Enterprise Fellowship Scheme is open to anyone in Cambridgeshire with a great business idea.
Through funding provided by a private benefactor, the three CEDAR Enterprise Fellowships were awarded to Steve Marsh for Collide, a mobile application which helps bring people who are nearby together; Joshua Wies for Walkasins, a medical aid to help prevent falls in the elderly; and Gonçalo de Vasconcelos and Yutaro Kojima for Syndicate Room, a secure online place to invest in businesses.
Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, Director of CEDAR and chair of the judges, said:
“We received a number of high-quality applications this year and it is very exciting to be able to award prizes to three completely different business ideas.
“Steve Marsh’s Collide could actually be used in a number of different ways. He developed this technology himself and now has a good team around him to help transform it into a business. Joshua Wies has exclusive European distribution rights for the Walkasins product and with his great connections in the physiotherapy and osteopathy sectors, we have high hopes for this.
“In stealth mode until April 2013, Yutaro and Gonçalo’s Syndicate Room will offer a sophisticated solution for business angels to invest in start-ups based on crowd funding technology. They are both very impressive individuals and have developed this terrific idea which should help countless other businesses for years to come.”
In addition to financial backing, the quartet will 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.
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos said:
“The knowledge and experience, as well as the ideas and honest feedback, we received from our mentors, Walter Herriot OBE and Ben Mumby-Croft, was not only vital in helping us win the Enterprise Fellowship Scheme but will be invaluable in further developing and improving the business strategy for Syndicate Room.
“We aim to launch Syndicate Room in the second quarter of 2013 and, all in all, winning the competition was a great way for us to end the year.”
Steve Marsh said:
“The funding CEDAR has given to Collide will allow us to carry out the necessary marketing needed to give us a major presence and gain a critical mass of users, which is essential for our business.
“In 2013 we hope to gain 10,000 Collide users in the Cambridge area as well as initial roll-outs to the rest of the UK. We have already released the Collide app for both iPhone and Android, and believe we already have a really great product. This funding will help make the vision a reality and will allow us to continue providing our service for free!”
Joshua Wies commented:
“Winning the CEDAR Enterprise Fellowship Scheme will give Advanced Balance Systems a huge kickstart towards our 2013 product launch of Walkasins. Aside from the financial support, the business mentoring from Professor Roger Mumby-Croft and the prestige of being an Enterprise Fellow will allow me to accelerate my company’s growth in the UK and Europe.
“I expect to have Walkasins balance technology available through select private physiotherapy practices in the coming months and to have a large clinical trial for people with balance problems up and running by the end of next year. The support from CEDAR has certainly helped to make this possible.”
The Syndicate Room was awarded £16,500, while Collide and Advanced Balance Systems were each awarded £10,000. In addition to Professor Lloyd-Reason, other members of the judging panel included Walter Herriot OBE, Peter Taylor, Mark Layton, Julie Horne, Professor Roger Jeynes and Professor Roger Mumby-Croft.