On 24 September The Central Research Laboratory (CRL) welcomed a fifth cohort of startups to its 6 month Accelerator programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The eight businesses selected bring with them exciting new products and expertise from wearable, health tech and sustainability-related fields.
The CRL is building a reputation for expertise in these areas through its previous support for startups such as BrightSign (smart glove that translates sign language to speech), Chip[s] Board (innovative MDF-like material made from potato waste) and Mimica (smart packaging to reduce food waste) and Aceleron (Re-use of Lithium Ion battery cells).
CRL’s Accelerator Programme is led by Inty Grønneberg, a serial entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in innovation and manufacture in Europe, Asia and South America. The programme will continue to benefit from the support of Alex Peet (Head of Product Development) and Alice Johnson (Accelerator Lead). Jim Reeves – Founder of GravityLight and Product Design Consultant joins us as Entrepreneur in Residence.
We continue to see the majority of applications coming from the UK’s leading Universities including our strategic partner, Brunel University London, which is a strong source of entrepreneurial talent. We are proud by the increasing diversity of our cohorts, something of great importance in the technology industries.
If you would like to support the startups in some way or find out more about the programme, please get in touch. An expression of interest page will be available on our website shortly. In the meantime, please contact Inty@centralresearchlaboratory.com and Alice@centralresearchlaboratory.com.
The inspirational eight startups in our fifth cohort are listed below. Please feel free to contact them directly.
Vitamin D deficiency is a global silent epidemic, the associated health problems include osteoporosis, depression, child birth defects, cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Una by Stealthy is the first modular UV sensor enabled jewellery collection designed to tackle Vitamin D deficiency in women. “Una” is the first collection developed under the Stealthy brand, and is designed with inclusivity, modularity and sustainability in mind. Our goal is to unite women in the quest for better health and wellbeing. The “Una” coupled with the Stealthy Woman lifestyle app is designed to raise awareness of Vitamin D deficiency and facilitate healthy conscious behaviours.
Stealthy is the brainchild of Nadiya Siddique – In 2015, Nadiya lost her academic scholarship and place to study a Masters in Fashion having sustained two broken ankles during a hiking accident later discovering she was critically vitamin D deficient. In 2017, Stealthy was born after months of research and Nadiya’s passion to create an innovative product to bring Vitamin D deficiency awareness to women globally. Stealthy won the London College of Fashion / Set Squared Partnership Hackathon in July 2017 and NYU Abudhabi Hardware Launchpad in December 2017. Subsequently, in January 2017, Stealthy won a prototyping grant from WEAR Sustain funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Innovation Action ICT-36-2016.
The Moment Pebble
A pocket-sized must-have for busy people who want to experience the benefits of meditation or mindfulness. The Moment Pebble provides a focal point to help you appreciate the moment and bring mindful attention to your life.
Taking a moment for yourself a few times a day can reduce stress, increase energy and boost the immune system. Unlike many mindfulness practices, the Moment Pebble has been carefully designed with today’s modern lifestyles in mind – offering an accessible entry point to mindfulness and meditation.
Brahman Design are made up of three designers who design beautiful stationery products which last your lifetime. With their already successful product Høvel, a new take on the pencil sharpener, they are hoping to grow their business. Høvel was designed whilst at university as a side project and then initially funded through a Kickstarter campaign. Currently, Brahman Design are expanding sales of Høvel, as well as designing innovative analogue stationery products which will be cherished for generations to come.
Instagram: @brahmandesign / www.brahmandesign.com
Many working women wear high heels at work and a third of women wear trainers on their commute and change into heels at their desk. This requires women to carry an extra pair of shoes with them every day to and from work.
Y-Heels is an adaptable, multipurpose shoe that allows women to interchange the heel height and style to provide comfort and suit individuals unique styles.
Y-Heel when you can also flat?
Cosi is a business dedicated to designing for children with Eczema in mind. 1 in 5 children have Eczema, and suffer the main frustrating symptom of itching. Cosi is a concept that aims to offer a fun and engaging alternative to Eczema symptom management. Offering a tool for parents and children to use to soothe the itching sensation and ultimately avoid being trapped within the frustrating itch-scratch cycle. Instant symptom relief at hand in any situation, disguised as a fun toy to reduce stigma and embarrassment.
Instagram: @eczematoys / laurenbelldesigns.com
We are recommended to take 10,000 steps per day, in those ten thousand steps lies a wealth of information about who we are? how our body works? and when it works best? At Nxsteps they want to bring that information to your fingertips. Through foot data, they want to create a health and wellbeing ecosystem helping you walk, run and perform better than ever before.
Agile planet was founded to help solve some of the biggest challenges we are facing as a species. Their founder Connor Lascelles discovered the world of Biochar during his final year product design degree and it has led to the creation of Agile Planet. Biochar is a way of turning waste into a carbon negative soil fertiliser.
Their first product is Ember, a kiln for small scale gardeners to create a smokeless fire, burning their garden waste and producing Biochar. When Biochar is added to soil, it increases plant growth by up to 200%.
Dorota Grabkowska is a product and graphic designer, mountain biker and the director of Fanatic House Ltd. She is developing a range of new sports body protectors, that will offer excellent fit, comfort and unrestricted movement, while providing high safety standards for impact protection.
She is currently working on a mountain bike protector vest featuring lightweight, flexible design and high impact absorption technology. Her long term goal is to create a leading body armour brand designed for riders, by riders.
Dorota’s idea has been so far backed by KTN and Innovate UK through the Infocus Women in Innovation Award in 2016.
About the Central Research Laboratory (CRL)
The CRL is an innovation hub specifically tailored for startups building physical product businesses. It was founded in 2015 through a partnership between U+I Group Plc (a regeneration-led property developer) and a consortium of Universities led by Brunel University London. Based in Hayes, West London, on the former site of EMI Records headquarters, it rekindles the spirit of design, innovation and manufacture that once was the hallmark of the area, helping startup founders to bring their ideas to production and to market. It is part funded by grants from HEFCE and ERDF.