A Berkshire based business looking to tackle pool safety is the latest company to benefit from the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator.
Dolphin Alarms, which has been developing the current model of its hi-tech alarm for the last two years and secured £30,000 in March 2017 to enable final configuration of the product. With a successful development product, Dolphin Alarms are launching a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise production funding to bring their advanced Dolphin Aquasonic swimming pool alarm to market.
The unique system uses sonar technology to sound an alarm if a child (or other non-swimmer) wearing the Dolphin wrist or waist band, enters the water. Not only will the alarm sound at the poolside, but it will also transmit via wireless technology to a receiver placed elsewhere within its 80 metre range. The product is the only pool alarm to use sonar technology; other alarms on the market use wave detection or wireless technology which each has its own restrictions and disadvantages. This results in the Dolphin alarm being the safest pool alarm in the world.
John Barstead, Dolphin founder and CEO, says: “we have been working with a team at Newcastle University to develop a leading class product, offering comprehensive features and functionality that is unavailable elsewhere on the market. In the USA, our primary market, death by drowning is the highest cause of unintentional death for children aged 1-4 and remains the second highest cause up to 14 years old. For every death there are many more who suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in permanent brain injury. We hope that by providing a more effective product that addresses the flaws in those already available, we can help to reduce these figures and make pools safer.”
With 75% of children’s drownings occurring at a private residence, Dolphin will focus on the private pool and spa market whilst exploring opportunities in the hotel, resort and holiday villa sectors. Pool installation is a growing market with the USA seeing 5% growth, representing over half a million pools, in 2016. Other geographical territories with high numbers of private pools include Australia, South Africa and Europe, all of which will be targeted by Dolphin.
Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, comments: “Dolphin has invested heavily in research and development, resulting in a first-rate alarm system that has been endorsed by the Royal Life Saving Society and the Amateur Swimming Association. This loan will help the team take the next step towards commercialisation and position the company for further external investment. We look forward to supporting them at this crucial stage in their growth.”
The Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator is a £8.3m initiative funded by the Thames Valley Berkshire LEP. The escalator includes an Expansion Loan Scheme, Trade Finance Loan Scheme and a Growth Equity Fund, which provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £25,000 and £250,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.
For more information about the TVB Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator/ or contact Cheryl Weeks at firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 07866 835143.