Three ventures from the Entrepreneurship Institute’s King’s20 Accelerator, including one from the current 2019-20 cohort, have been successful in securing funding from Innovate UK in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Innovate UK, the government body that funds businesses and research collaborations to accelerate innovation and drive business development into R&D, has been offering funding to start-ups that have proven potential to drive forward new technological advances, develop new projects and services designed to boost economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and to support the future of work’s learning needs.
Vivisco, currently part of the King’s20 cohort, is a medtech startup focussed on developing the next generation of medical devices and consumer products to leverage the potential of photosensitisers. In May, they announced that they were one of 800 successful recipients (out of a record 8600 applications) in the government’s Fast Start Competition, designed to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the COVID-19 crisis and support the next generation of cutting-edge start-ups.
Founder, Alastair Kirby (MRES Biomedical and Translational Science (MRC DTP), PhD Neuroscience) hopes that their innovative technology will serve as a treatment to support the reduction in viral infection levels within a patient’s body, to allow other targeted treatments, or the body’s own immune system, to take further effect.
Another recipient of Innovate UK’s Fast Start was Musemio, founded by Olga Kravchenko (MA Arts & Cultural Management), a member of the King’s20 2017-18 cohort. Musemio was selected to support the development of ambitious and innovative products and services which will help society or industry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Musemio is an app that supports children to access art, culture, and history with the help of virtual reality technology and provides them with the opportunity to explore their curiosities in culture through gaming and podcasts. Musemio had previously focussed on digital experiences delivered through mobile VR, accessible with only a smartphone and cardboard headset, but found that in the current COVID-19 crisis, their audiences required wider access, and sought funding from InnovateUK to create more innovative ways to distribute content beyond just a smartphone and VR headset, while keeping the locomotion style and interactions as engaging as in VR mode.
Both for Musemio and for cultural institutions around the UK, this funding provides the opportunity to create fascinating educational narratives available on different platforms without the need for additional development. In turn, it means that the access to arts and culture will be provided at a bigger scale, becoming the unique device-agnostic solution for cultural engagement and maximum impact.– Olga Kravchenko, Co-founder and CEO, Musemio
OBRIZUM® Group, from the King’s20 2018-19 cohort, founded by Dr Chibeza C. Agley (M.Sc. Human and Applied Physiology, PhD Adult muscle stem cell biology) have recently announced that they have received £1 million funding from Innovate UK as part of a £1.4 million project focusing on developing new cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology to redefine the future of corporate digital learning to extend the UK’s reach into the Future of Work market.
One of the post-COVID challenges will be to provide high-quality training to large workforces without the need for face-to-face training, a challenge that OBRIZUM® Group is addressing with its automated and fully adaptive AI-driven learning platform OBRIZUM®. The aim of this project is to provide our clients with the opportunity to remotely train their workforces in fully adaptive and immersive digital training scenarios. – Dr Juergen Fink, Chief Operating Officer at OBRIZUM® Group Ltd.
After experiencing accelerated demand for the technology company’s innovative offerings, OBRIZUM® Group has begun its international expansion by establishing business entities in the United States, mainland Europe and in South Korea.