New Investor-in-Residence to Support CRL Startups - Central Research Laboratory Skip to main content

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7 February 2019

There are many ways for startups to get funding, including grants, crowdfunding and investor networks. As with everything, some are better than others. Just working out what’s needed, when, and who from, can be a full-time job in itself… before they even get to the ‘how’.

With that in mind, the Central Research Laboratory (CRL) is pleased to announce that Arnold du Toit, founder and CEO for Drive Daddy and RolleyGolf Ltd, has joined the team, as Investor-in-Residence to lend expertise.

Arnold has spent over a decade developing smarter technologies in personal transport, for future landscapes. The technology’s most recent use is in a World’s first powered golf trolley that can be ridden and stored in a small car boot. Since starting Drive Daddy in 2008, at the age of 21, while still at university, he has won accolades including PC World’s Britain’s Best Young Entrepreneur and, at the end of 2018, his business was on target to turnover around £5 million.

Having led design and operational teams at RolleyGolf, he’s now applying his personal IP to many other sectors. He already acts as brand ambassador, advisor and investor for several startups, ed-tech businesses and hardware accelerators, and he’ll be a welcome addition to the CRL community.

Based in Hayes, west London, CRL is the UK’s first accelerator dedicated to tech hardware, and a co-working space. It was founded by regeneration specialists U+I, in collaboration with Brunel University London, and is supported by HEFCE and the European Regional Development Fund. The CRL programme team works with innovative start-ups to create high-tech jobs and economic growth.

Arnold joins the growing team of resident experts, including Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Jim Reeves, that supports the Accelerator and BOOST programmes for tech hardware start-ups at CRL. His role will be to help start-ups navigate the investment minefield, with a focus on hardware funding, at whatever stage they’re at in their journey.


Investment for early-stage startups

When startups get together, investment is a topic that comes up time and again. To help demystify the process, CRL will be running an event, Investment for early-stage start-ups, on 13 February, 17.00-21.00, at The Shipping Building, 252-254 Blyth Road. Arnold will be one of the speakers offering their insights on topics including: the best routes to market; getting noticed by investors; getting the story right; demonstrating growth potential; and how to become an investor. He’ll be joined by Rowan Minkley and Rob Nicoll of Chip[s] Board, who were on the Accelerator programme in 2018.

Attendees will have the chance to chat with Arnold, and the other speakers, over beers and pizza, after the event. For more information, and to sign up for the event click through to the following web page, or contact Genevieve Oller,


Notes for Editors

The Central Research Laboratory, located at the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, West London, is an accelerator, incubator and co-working space. CRL was founded by regeneration specialists U+I, in collaboration with Brunel University London, and is supported by HEFCE and ERDF. The team work with innovative start-ups to create high-tech jobs and economic

More information about CRL and the team can be found here:

The CRL project is receiving up to £800,000 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for
European Regional Development Fund.

Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit