Insights
Jan 4, 2024

Looking back: a reflection on our first Impact Accelerator funding show

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Our Impact Accelerator is designed to challenge and support sustainability focused startups to build stronger, more investable businesses for good. It’s not just about nurturing entrepreneurial talent; it’s about cultivating a community and building connections with those dedicated to making a difference. 

As we head into our second programme, we’re taking a pause to look back at our first Impact Accelerator. Early in 2023, shortly after launching our debut programme, we carefully selected 12 super promising start-ups out of over 80 applicants, to participate in this transformative initiative. Over 12 intensive weeks, the first cohort benefited from expert one-on-one mentoring sessions, exclusive events, speakers and networking opportunities, tailored advice, and a group of like-minded people to bounce ideas off, share and grow with.

From the 12 start-ups who completed the programme, five incredibly outstanding entrepreneurs progressed all the way through to our funding show - a moment of celebration and recognition, which also gave one of them the opportunity to secure a £50k investment from the digital product experts, ASquared, that they could spend however they chose to progress their business.

Kicking off the event was the esteemed keynote speaker, Paul Dunn, a four-time TEDx speaker, author and co-founder of B1G1. Paul inspired the audience with his insights into the entrepreneurial journey, emphasising the power of potential and urging aspiring founders to tap into theirs and make a meaningful impact.

The spotlight then turned to the outstanding five finalists. The purpose driven entrepreneurs were given five minutes to pitch their groundbreaking ideas and give insight into their unique startup journeys. 

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

AppDate Medical (now Clera Healthcare)

Founded by Alice Appleton and Jon Abeles, both junior doctors, Clera Healthcare is dedicated to closing the communication gap between healthcare professionals, patients and families. Their platform simplifies the process of communicating updates about their loved ones in hospital. 

Bezzelle

Bezzelle, founded by Heather Egan, aims to foster a sense of connection and presence within homes, combating loneliness - especially in the elderly - through a modular display system. Their approach is changing the way we interact with imagery in the home, by curating cherished memories, family connections, and reminders in a central home hub.

La Latch Club

Founded by Amdalat Jinadu, La Latch Club introduced feeding solutions that support breastfeeding, early development and inclusive parenting. Their innovation: a highly ergonomic feeding bottle coupled with intuitive AI technology, promises to revolutionise feeding practices, promoting bonding and reducing stress for parents.

TechNative Digital

Founded by Dan Wallman, TechNative Digital is the South-East’s hub for developing new tech talent. It is an initiative aimed at bridging the tech skills gap, promoting social mobility and cultivating diverse talent. Their 16-week online bootcamp in software development offers a pathway to employment, focusing on industry co-designed courses and recruitment based on potential aptitudes. 

Resolut (now Root)

Co-founded by Frederick Fabian and Freddie Stretch, Root is revolutionising how everyday investors engage with the companies they support. Their platform champions shareholder democracy, fostering a sustainable future through informed investor participation.

Clera Healthcare

Each pitch was followed by a 10 minute Q&A session from our panel of experts which included some of our Impact Accelerator mentors and ASquared CEO, Ant Stonham. After the pitches, democratised votes were taken from each member of the audience; where members of the public, the mentor team, the startups themselves and ASquared employees all pitched in to help decide which start-up would take the top spot.

The votes were close, but Clera Healthcare topped the leaderboard and came in first place.

Alice and Jon’s pitch won the hearts and minds of  the entire audience, by presenting a compelling solution born from their frontline experiences as NHS doctors. Their vision is to bridge communication gaps, and save clinical time through technology, giving loved ones the compassion and information they deserve, whilst not putting a further burden on healthcare professionals’ time. The impact they promise to deliver is set to transform the landscape of patient-relative-caregiver communication, elevating the standards of healthcare empathy and efficiency.

Given that wards are overstretched every day, with 60% of calls going unanswered and a lack of communication contributing to 173k NHS complaints over the past five years…there was a clear need for this revolutionary solution. We can’t wait to see where their journey takes them. 

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Fast forward a few months and here we are! Having recently announced our fantastic team of mentors for cohort two, we are now accepting applications from promising start-ups. We are so excited to see who joins this year’s cohort, and to witness another group of incredibly inspirational entrepreneurs who we can help on their journey to make our bit of the world a better place.

Tailored especially for high-potential UK start-ups who are committed to driving positive change; this 6 month, remote-first programme is for purpose-driven businesses who are creating positive impact for people, nature or the planet.

You’ll receive the personalised guidance of expert mentors from OVO Energy, Accenture, Angel Investor groups, other successful entrepreneurs and more, while connecting with a community of visionary founders. Plus, unlock your path to profitability and investment readiness through tailored coaching, workshops, and exclusive networking opportunities.

The Impact Accelerator is limited to 30 awesome start-ups. Seize the opportunity to grow your business and contribute to a better world, today: https://ia.asquared.uk/ 

Read more about Clera Healthcare in our Q&A here