East Midlands innovators win awards


Five East Midlands technology companies were last week announced as winners in the Connect Midlands £5 Million Investment Challenge.


Nottingham-based CellAura Technologies and Pacemaker UK, SAKS Electronics from Derby, SynchroPulse from Lincoln and Daventry-based Green Energy Options all scooped awards.


The competition, sponsored by BT Business, offers up to £5m in equity funding for high-growth and technology businesses. It is backed by Catapult Venture Managers, East Midlands Early Growth Fund (managed by E-Synergy) and supported by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), GINEM and Advantage Business Angels.


CellAura Technologies, which provides innovative screening products for the drug discovery industry, is seeking just over £500,000. Pacemaker UK, which has developed a new material for pre-school toys, is seeking £1m. SAKS Electronics, which has worked with some of the best known names in the industry to design the ultimate MP3 player for visually impaired users, the VI-Player, is seeking £350,000. SynchroPulse, which designs and develops high efficiency electronic motor and controller technology, is seeking around £1m. Green Energy Options, which makes energy visible in homes and businesses helping customers reduce their carbon emissions, is seeking £1.5m.


All five companies will now enter into formal negotiations with the backers and, where appropriate, complete the due diligence process.


Each company entered the competition by completing the online assessment tool, ‘The Gauntlet’, developed by Doug Richard, formerly of Dragon’s Den. The Gauntlet acts like a virtual investor, seeking the crucial information that investors need and ensuring the business is investment ready.