Two Cambridge companies are in the mix at the UK’s first ever High Value Manufacturing Bootcamp where five technology businesses will showcase their innovation to potential mentors and investors.Wireless sensor specialist Omnisense and BioMedTech startup Drop-Tech vie with two North of England companies and one from Sussex at the Qi3 Accelerator event at Madingley Hall on July 24 and 25.
Qi3’s Nathan Hill said the selection process followed “fierce competition.”
All the chosen companies come from across the UK. They deploy a variety of advanced engineering and manufacturing disciplines, four being from the instrumentation sector and one in the energy market. The focus has been on early stage to established businesses, rather than pure concepts.
Qi3 Accelerator’s HVM Bootcamp is the UK’s fist accelerator programme to target the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) sector. The programme is designed to help accelerate capital intensive HVM entrepreneurial ventures to investment and early revenues.
The programme leaders and mentors are experienced professionals from the HVM sector and are passionate about accelerating business ventures, according to Hill.
The five finalists are Omnisense, Drop-Tech, Inova Power, Zinir and Croft Engineering Services.
Omnisense has developed wireless sensor network products with unparalleled ability to track and monitor position and behaviour of people, animals and all manner of assets, indoors and outdoors to high levels of accuracy, without the need for any permanent or pre-installed infrastructure.
The technology works through a new type of wireless sensor network in which each device or node knows where it is relative to other nodes and can easily be overlaid with a coordinate frame to provide absolute locations for all nodes in the network.
Inova Power has created hydrogen platform technologies that are sustainable and secure, for transport, marine, defence and instrumentation applications. Based in the North East the company is helping to lead a revolution in providing clean, efficient energy from low cost hydrogen infrastructure.
Sussex-based Zinir has developed novel monolithic chip-based and solo spectroscopy for environmental, medical and laboratory applications. It specialises in translating leading photonics research into useful, flexible products for industry and academia.
Croft Engineering Services, based in Warrington, has developed energy saving filters for motor racing, oil & gas and industrial applications. It has been established for more than 25 years.
Drop-Tech, a microfluidic company based in Cambridge, has created an automated screening system for detection in nanolitre assay volumes to revolutionise the way in which drugs are validated and characterised. Its solution is regarded as fast, miniaturised and information-rich.
The system integrates existing microfluidic devices with automated droplet on demand robotics which allow precise control of droplet size and spacing for continuous on-chip screening of multiple samples, controlled merging of droplets and single content droplet (single molecule of DNA, single cells, etc.)
Qi3 Accelerator has covered itself in glory this wek with a double victory in the UK Business Angels’ Association Awards. It won the Early Stage Team of the Year 2012 title against competition from major organisations.
Nathan Hill said: “This was in recognition of our novel business model, our staged evaluation process, the scale of the deals we have led and the extent to which we support companies in which we invest.”
LumeJet in Coventry, which has just closed a £1.88m round with substantial support from Qi3 Accelerator and of which Paul Anson is now CEO, won the Best Syndicated Deal of the Year 2012 Award against a strong range of other syndicated deals.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Nathan Hill