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Media Enquiries Please contact Tom Clarke
Tel: 01276 608513
Email: tom.clarke@thefsegroup.com

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions Secures New Funding

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions announces major new funding to support rental fleet development.

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions, the Reading, UK-based provider of temperature-controlled containers to the pharmaceutical industry, announces the completion of a £3m funding initiative designed to support the development of new stock, new sales support and new hubs.

TOWER rents its range of KryoTrans (KT) containers from hubs in Europe, the US and across SE Asia and has seen rapid growth for its KTM range of modular containers, offering flexible, powerful temperature control for palletised loads. Chris Pollard, CEO of TOWER, comments “2017 was a year of significant achievement for TOWER, on the one hand generating important new customers for the KTM and developing our global hub network, and on the other attracting strategic investment that backs the management team’s vision”.

Just Arne Storvik, a long-term shareholder in TOWER who has arranged and supported the funding round, said “Those of us who have been involved in TOWER have never doubted the ultimate potential for the company, but it has been the successful introduction of the KTM that has opened up the market for TOWER and made it possible to generate the kind of financial support that will be necessary to meet and maintain support for the rapidly-growing demand”.

Tor Erland Fyksen, a significant investor in this funding round notes that “TOWER is well positioned in the temperature-controlled transportation market with thoroughly tested products and services, which are environmentally friendly, and which can be uniquely scaled and adapted to meet most specific requirements whether at the start, middle or the end of the journey, adding to our competitive offering”.

Julie Silvester, Head of Equity Funds for the FSE Group, which manages the TVB Growth Fund on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said “We are delighted to show our continued support to Chris and the TOWER team. The company has grown significantly since our initial investment back in 2016 and it is great to see the success of the new facilities in China, Singapore and the United States. We look forward to working closely with TOWER to further assist them in achieving their full growth potential.”.

About The FSE Group:

The FSE Group provides tailored funding solutions and support for ambitious and innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to help them achieve their maximum potential. This includes the Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund, which is one of a number of Local Enterprise Partnership backed funds that The FSE Group manage. For further information about the range of products and services offered by FSE, visit www.thefsegroup.com

About TOWER Cold Chain Solutions:

TOWER Cold Chain Solutions’ range of passive KryoTrans thermal containers provides a solution to reduce the total cost of shipping. KryoTrans containers are not only flexible but extremely robust and are based on a passive system that effectively eliminates any risk of human error once conditioned. TOWER provides a developing global infrastructure, with hubs creating a flexible service across Europe, the US and the Asia-Pacific region.

New Technology Tackles Renewable Energy Inefficiencies and Helps Create Sustainable Buildings

A company aiding production of green energy in the commercial environment has successfully secured a £200,000 East of England Regional Development Loan to take advantage of growth opportunities in the market.

Cambridge based Arriba Technologies has been designing and building algorithm driven heat pumps for the commercial refrigeration market since 2003. Over the last two years the company has broadened its focus to encompass wider commercial energy integration and has developed its innovative Volt-Hub: an electronic, software controlled power drive box capable of moving electricity around an internal grid more efficiently than any other system on the market.

Arriba’s integrated offering connects the energy generated by solar panels and batteries to its unique hub and converts it without the standard 20% power loss experienced with traditional systems, meaning that more renewable energy can be put to use across a range of outputs.

Steve Connolly, Arriba founder and CEO, explains: “Our technology provides lower carbon and lower cost energy that can be used in a number of ways from commercial refrigeration to electric vehicle chargers. A big area for us is the drive towards zero-carbon buildings; by linking our Volt-Hub to the internal wiring system of a building, we can deliver sustainable energy for use within that building. Examples of this can be seen at installations in Cambridge and Chelmsford where our systems use energy generated within each building to provide cooling, heating, lighting and water pumping services. Carbon savings in excess of 70% can be attained and in the event of an external power failure, the stored power could maintain these services for up to 24 hours.”

With an increasing focus on the sustainability of commercial buildings, there is significant demand for an integrated product that can bring such significant carbon reductions. The company is already operating in the NHS, office buildings, supermarket and food manufacturing sectors and has received interest from a number of major UK and overseas buyers. In view of this strong and growing pipeline, the regional development loan will assist the recruitment of key employees to convert sales and meet operational demand as well as extend market traction and support ongoing product development.

Francis Kenealy, Fund Manager at Finance East which manages the Regional Growth Loan Scheme, comments: “Steve’s technical expertise and commitment to innovation has paid off with the Volt-Hub, which was developed in response to a clear gap in the existing technology.  As a producer of the only system of this kind, now commercially proven to deliver both lower energy costs and a significantly reduced carbon footprint, Arriba is on the cusp of exponential growth and we are delighted to be working with them to achieve their growth potential.”

The Regional Growth Loan Scheme (RGLS) is managed by Finance East, part of The FSE Group, on behalf of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East of England and British Business Bank. The RGLS is available to established, incorporated businesses based within the East of England that have a minimum annual turnover of £100k, show strong growth potential and have a medium to long-term funding requirement to deliver that growth.

For more information about the Regional Growth Loan Scheme contact Francis Kenealy on 07825 699435 or email francis.kenealy@thefsegroup.com.

Newbury Business Reducing Carbon Emissions with TVB Expansion Loan

A Newbury based business has secured a £200,000 loan from the Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Funding Escalator to help it expand into areas that will benefit the environment.

Torftech has been producing TORBED* processors for over 25 years and is highly regarded throughout the sectors where the processors are in use. The technology was originally developed to improve processing efficiency in the manufacture of vermiculite mineral. It has subsequently been applied across a broad range of industries, where the precision and control offered by the technology offer significant benefits. The greatest concentration has been in food processing, including snack food applications where the TORBED equipment allows the use of less fat whilst retaining superior flavour and quality.

Torftech has also been operating in the waste reprocessing and biomass sectors and it is specifically in these areas, with their potential for significant ecological impact, the company is looking to expand further. In the field of sewage, animal waste and sludge disposal, Torftech is leading the way with reactors that use energy from the waste itself to process the waste and in certain circumstances producing a biochar side product which has extensive uses in soil improvement and remediation.

In biomass the environmental effect can be even greater, as finance director, Andrew Bride, explains: “In addition to production of biochar from biomass, a key focus for us is rice-husk fuelled power generation. Our processors have proven technological capabilities that can offer significantly reduced carbon emissions over coal-fired generation. An assessment by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change forecasts emissions savings of over 50,000 tonnes per year from one plant. To put this into context, it is estimated that the average UK household’s carbon footprint is around eight tonnes. If we were to realise our current pipeline alone, we could reduce CO2 emissions by millions of tonnes per year.”

The green impact of the technology extends further with its elimination of the production of crystalline silica rice husk ash, which is highly carcinogenic – the only technology on the market with this capability. Combining this environmental superiority with enhanced functionality, compact design and long life span (one processor has been in continuous use since installation in 1989), Torftech is well-established to take advantage of the increasing opportunities it faces, particularly in light of ever tightening environmental legislation.

The expansion strategy focuses on a move away from bespoke solutions in favour of rolling out existing Torftech technology across key sectors where replication is appropriate. To realise this, the company is looking to grow its sales and supporting staff, increasing the team by two-thirds over the next two years. The TVB Expansion Loan will be used to enable this as well as marketing the existing TORBED products.

Cheryl Weeks, Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the TVB Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), says: “With a raft of proven, patented technology that can be applied across a broad spectrum of industries, Torftech now has a key opportunity to exploit its past experimental and bespoke activity for repeated applications. We are pleased to be supporting them as they realise their growth ambitions.”

The Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator is a £8.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support job creation and economic prosperity in Berkshire. The escalator, which includes four different loan schemes and a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – with loans and equity funding between £25,000 and £250,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

*TORBED is a registered trademark of Mortimer Technology Group Ltd

For more information about the Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Cheryl Weeks cheryl.weeks@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607303.

Recruitment Software Tool Completes New Funding Round

ThriveMap, a software tool that measures culture fit between people and teams, is the latest company to receive investment from the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund. The Croydon based venture completed a £281,000 funding round which includes £80,000 of angel monies facilitated by The FSE Investor Network.

ThriveMap originated from TalentRocket a recruitment marketplace that connected top talent to culture conscious organisations. As a marketing device they created a ‘culture fit tool’ to help candidates better understand how they liked to work and which companies they would be best suited to. This tool generated such significant interest from companies looking to recruit that the decision was made to make the tool the sole focus of the business.

It’s a big market opportunity with latest studies indicating that 46% of new hires fail within 18 months, however, only 11% of these are down to people lacking the technical ability to perform in the role. Most of the time it’s down to softer skills such as culture fit.

Chris Platts, CEO at ThriveMap, comments: “HR talks about ‘company culture’, but we know that each team works in a unique way.” ThriveMap goes beyond the usual screens for culture fit by actually measuring how teams work and comparing this to a candidate’s preferred working style. ThriveMap through its unique algorithm, is able to assist employers when making crucial people decisions, which in turn massively reduces the chances of a cultural mismatch. “This investment round comes at a hugely exciting time for the company, as we look to scale up our team and focus on driving market awareness of ThriveMap.” adds Platts.

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at the FSE Group commented, “We are thrilled to add ThriveMap to our portfolio of companies that we have supported through the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund. Chris and his team saw an opportunity to advance the recruitment and staff retention process and have grabbed it with both hands. By enabling companies to accurately plot their existing workforces’ culture, they can hire new employees with the best chance of seamlessly joining the team, which saves a company time and money. We wish them all the best for the future and look forward to helping them reach their future goals.”

About The FSE Group:

The Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Avent Bezuidenhoudt at avent.bezuidenhoudt@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608526.

For more information about ThriveMap visit: www.thrivemap.io

Basingstoke Business Secures Expansion Loan

MARsoftware Limited, the Hampshire based business which offers a medication adherence mobile platform, has successfully secured an expansion loan from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme. Established in 2009, MARsoftware provides bespoke software to assist pharmacies and care homes when dispensing medication, allowing greater safety when managing a patient’s medication.

Earlier this year the company released their new product, YOURmedPack. This is a small, discrete and fully-portable medpack. The pharmacy-dispensed pack contains all of a patient’s medication for a week, pre-organised into individual rounds throughout the day, based on their personal schedule. The medpack prompts users both visually and verbally to take each medication round, the pack can also alert a patients personal/community support worker in real-time if they ever forget to take their medication.

The £100,000 expansion loan will be used to scale-up the business, with the focus on a new sales and marketing division. The company will also be establishing a presence in the brand new DeskLodge facility, in the heart of the vibrant, innovative community, located in Basingstoke’s Enterprise Zone in Basing View.

David Appleby, Managing Director at MARsoftware, “Our new product YOURmedPack is an in-expensive way for pharmacies and care homes to easily monitor their patient’s medications. By enabling professionals to track when tablets are taken, and be alerted when they are not, there is peace of mind offered to patients and their loved ones. The ease this brings to the process of medication means less room for error. The secure and easy online ordering system safely cuts the time it usually takes to reorder prescriptions while the real time medication monitoring platform improves patient engagement. As well as health benefits YOURmedPack also saves money for everyone involved as there is no need for physical interaction for the pills to be given. With this funding we will look extend our market share in the UK and also look to replicate our success here by establishing ourselves overseas.”

Dr Mike Short CBE, Chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “Enterprise M3 LEP area has a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs who keep pushing the boundaries of technology-enabled solutions and we are committed to supporting their growth ambitions. We are delighted that MARsoftware has secured our Expansion Loan and also established presence in one of our Enterprise Zone sites. This will no doubt support their aspirations to grow, continue to innovate and create more jobs.”

James Edwards, Senior Fund Manager at the FSE Group, “Through their bespoke software David and the MARsoftware team offer the only end-to-end solution for mobile medical packs. With an alarming third of people forgetting to take their medication, the MARsoftware medpacks offer a great remedy to reduce this significantly. They have an exceptional product that will not only benefit pharmacies and the care home sector but also have a huge impact on patients’ wellbeing. We are delighted to be supporting the company through their next phase of growth and are excited to be part of their ongoing journey.”

The Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator is a £5.5m initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. It includes a growth equity fund and provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding of £50,000 to £200,000 for activities delivering high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/enterprise-m3-funding-escalator or contact James Edwards at james.edwards@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608531.

For more information about MARSoftware visit: www.marsoftware.com

Notes to Editor:

“Local Growth Fund”

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information:

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

Some additional key facts:

There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England

The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.

LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

TVB Growth Fund Investment Helps get Communities Moving with Beat the Street

A Reading company developing initiatives to get the inactive more active has secured a £175,000 investment from Thames Valley Berkshire (TVB) Growth Fund. The investment is part of a £900,000 funding round to support the overall growth of the business.

As levels of obesity, diabetes and depression continue to rise, promoting physical activity is becoming an ever more central part of public health strategy. Led by Dr William Bird, MBE, a committed conservationist and practising GP who has been working to combat inactivity for more than two decades, Intelligent Health increases the physical activity levels of a town or city by engaging the community in its Beat the Street award winning programmes.

Beat the Street smart cards and fobs are distributed via schools, libraries, leisure centres etc., which can then be used to join in outdoor activity as part of a community-wide game, run in conjunction with local councils and other organisations. Participants score points for themselves and their teams by tapping the card against Beat Box Sensors placed on lampposts across the area. By targeting a whole community at once and encouraging team competition e.g. within schools, Intelligent Health has achieved high numbers signing up to its programmes and can demonstrate real impact in terms of increased activity levels.

Dr Bird explains: “The motivation to engage in and continue with a programme like Beat the Street is greatly influenced by peer activity. In schools for example, even the least active members of the class often want to be involved if their peers are taking part, which is then carried into the home where parents, grandparents etc. are encouraged to join in. This has proved highly successful in getting the least active individuals from more deprived areas more active.”

Involving harder to reach families is an important target for public health agencies and a key benefit of Beat the Street. Intelligent Health focuses on helping its customers to not only engage these groups, but also keep them active for longer. After the initial Beat the Street programme has acted as a catalyst to get people moving, Intelligent Health supports community stakeholders in transport, health, education etc. in making relevant policy and strategy decisions to maintain active communities.

The latest funding round will be used to scale the team, further develop the technology and support the move into territories, initially Europe, to be followed by the US and Middle East.

Simon Labahn, Fund Executive at The FSE Group which manages TVB Growth Fund on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comments: “We are thrilled to be part of this funding round which will accelerate the growth of Intelligent Health. The management team is highly experienced and dedicated to increasing physical activity and improving health on a mass scale. The company has good levels of repeat business and a strong pipeline within the UK, along with a number of successful programmes in Austria. They are now ready to take steps to expand this across Europe and we look forward to supporting them in this endeavour.”

TVB Growth Fund is part of Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, an £8.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support job creation and economic prosperity in Berkshire. The escalator, which also includes four separate loan schemes, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – 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 Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Simon Labahn simon.labahn@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608533.

Croydon Company Secures C2C Loan for Sports Concussion Management Tool Roll-out

A business helping to manage sporting injuries at grassroots level has secured a Coast to Capital Expansion Loan. Croydon based Return2Play (R2P) will use the funds to support full roll-out of their existing product as well as expand the offering across further sports and injuries.

The brainchild of Dr Sam Barke – a sports doctor – and Nick Somers, Return2Play was developed as a web-based tool to manage incidences of concussion in amateur Rugby Union. Both keen former players and now with connections to the youth sport, their own experiences left them concerned about the welfare of players, particularly children, following head injuries. Despite comprehensive guidelines issued by World Rugby in how to manage a suspected concussion, it was evident that no single system existed to monitor the traumas occurring across all sports in schools and clubs.

Sam explains: “The Rugby Football Union guidelines give a clear pathway to be followed after a concussion to ensure symptoms are recognised and players don’t return to the game too soon. However, the logistics of making sure the relevant people are kept informed, the right advice is received at the right time, tracking symptoms during recovery and being certified fit by an appropriate person can be hard to keep on top of, particularly when an individual is playing in more than one setting and, in some cases, more than one sport. Our software provides a platform where these details can be easily entered by players or parents and made available to coaches, teachers etc. across all relevant environments.”

The concussion recovery pathway are now followed by many sports with a significant risk of concussion and across the education sector. The R2P platform has been developed to reflect this pathway, ensuring players take all of the necessary steps over the required timeframe to allow them to resume play safely. As well as helping to make sure player health comes first, the platform also gives a clear audit trail for compliance purposes.

The Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme is funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Having already been awarded a grant from Coast to Capital LEP to develop the product for other concussion risk sports, the company will now use its loan to take on new staff, capitalise on opportunities in the pipeline, further develop the multi-sports product and look at the potential to expand across different injury types.

Nick Somers, CEO, explains: “Return2Play created 2 new full-time roles in 2017 in response to increased membership numbers from UK schools and clubs. We announced this week that we had expanded internationally and partnered with our first overseas National Governing Body and I look forward to confirming similar arrangements in a number of countries in the coming months. I have every confidence that our innovative work will see some strategic alliances formed in 2018 with firms which also have an interest in supporting grassroots sports to thrive. The FSE Group has invested a great deal of time to understand exactly what Sam and I want for Return2Play and I’m certain that the Coast to Capital loan is the right solution for us. I would urge any company seeking to capitalise on opportunities and requiring funding to approach Jon Cornell.”

Jon Cornell, Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the expansion loan scheme on behalf of Coast to Capital LEP, says: “With an excellent depth of knowledge and contacts within Rugby Union, the Return2Play team has developed a unique product to fill an evident gap. They are already working with Hong Kong Rugby Union, some senior clubs and a number of prominent schools to promote transparency in concussion management. We look forward to continuing to work with them as they seek to replicate this success across other sports.”

The Coast to Capital Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital LEP. The escalator, which also includes a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region.

For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Jon Cornell at Jon.Cornell@thefsegroup.com tel: 07786 912674.

Find out more about Return2Play here: www.return2play.org.uk and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund Client, Yocuda, Bought by OneMarket

Yocuda, creator of the world’s leading email receipt product for offline retailers, has been sold to OneMarket, part of the Westfield group of companies.

Since the company was formed in 2011, Yocuda, led by founder Andrew Carroll, has developed its offering to provide offline retailers with a sophisticated technology platform to engage with customers, based on their transaction data.

During this time the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund has participated in two funding rounds, which have enabled the business to accelerate growth and recruit new staff in the Coast to Capital area. Equity funding to aid Yocuda’s growth also came from investors from FSE’s angel network, who invested alongside Coast to Capital’s Growth Equity Fund and were delighted with their successful investment. Under the terms of the sale, all Yocuda staff will transfer to OneMarket.

Avent Bezuidenhoudt, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group, which manages the Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund on behalf of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), commented:

“Over the last three years The FSE Group has provided ongoing support, alongside our investments, to Andrew and the Yocuda team to help them reach their strategic goals. When you work closely with a young, ambitious company such as this, it is extremely rewarding to see it live up to its potential, the future of this innovative product now is in the hands of one of the globe’s most well-known and respected retail giants. We wish Andrew and his colleagues every success at OneMarket, where we are sure the product will further flourish.”

Andrew Carroll, now Director of Business and Corporate Development, Europe at OneMarket, said:

“Working with The FSE Group has been a pleasure; we have found Avent and the team highly supportive and knowledgeable with a desire to really understand our business. They understood our goals and those of our shareholders and were able to assist us in meeting these aspirations. The relationship has always been about more than just the money – it has been both a collaborative and transparent experience that has benefited Yocuda enormously.”

The Coast to Capital Growth Equity Fund is part of the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator, a £5million initiative funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes an expansion loan scheme, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £500,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities across the Coast to Capital region. The FSE angel network typically invests between £50,000 and £400,000 in a company, alongside FSE’s managed equity funds.

For more information about the Coast to Capital Funding Escalator please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/coast-capital-funding-escalator or contact Avent Bezuidenhoudt at avent.bezuidenhoudt@thefsegroup.com, tel: 01276 608526.

Behavioural Change Technology Helping Move towards a Healthier Future

A company that has developed software to support the health and environmental benefits associated with a more active lifestyle and making positive choices around travel has secured a £120,000 loan to fund further technology development as well as additional marketing and operational activities.

Reading based BetterPoints has created a technology platform including a web portal and smartphone app to help drive behaviour change in two key areas: public health and sustainable/smart travel. Unlike many other health and fitness apps monitoring physical activity, BetterPoints offers a rich reward mix including real-world incentives, such as shopping vouchers for high street stores, to effect a shift in the behaviour of its users. Using a reward points system, BetterPoints encourages increased walking, running and cycling activity as well as car sharing and public transport use.

By teaming up with public and private organisations targeting health and travel behaviour campaigns such as local authorities, NHS trusts, corporates and health insurers, BetterPoints can create tailor-made programmes with measurable results for wide-ranging goals. Using its innovative behavioural change technology, the company has successfully delivered programmes which engage users and drive a sustainable change in activity as Dan Gipple, Betterpoints Founder and CEO, explains:

“The Birmingham Parks programme, developed for Birmingham City Council, produced some fantastic results which we were able to report clearly and confidently to the client. They included a 200% increase in average activity amongst regular app users and 80% of those tracked moving from an inactive to active status, as defined by Sport England. Alongside this we provided evidence that 50% of users were from the top 30% of health and income deprivation bands. Combining the available data the client estimated that if expanded city wide, the programme would save the local authority £13 million over a ten year period.”

It is estimated that the costs incurred across Europe due to inactivity is equivalent to over 6% of all European health spending, with this figure set to rise. This could be avoidable if individuals were to participate in an average 150 minutes per week of simple, inexpensive activities such as walking or cycling. Benefits of BetterPoints programmes include lower employee absenteeism rates, reduced health insurance claims, a decrease in GP visits and a reduction in carbon emissions.

The company’s next move is to integrate Machine Learning into its software architecture. This will enable an even more sophisticated offering to the client, allowing fast analysis of complex data on a very large scale. Crucially it will also enhance the personal user experience by automatically customising the offer, messaging and rewards as the system ‘learns’ from past behaviours. The £120,000 from Thames Valley Berkshire Expansion Loan Scheme, funded by Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will help fund this development alongside the creation of resources to support expansion.

Ian Baker, Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the loan scheme on behalf of the LEP, says: “there is growing worldwide demand from private health care providers, corporates and insurers for digital solutions that can move service users towards improved wellbeing through self-care. BetterPoints has already demonstrated its pan-European capabilities with successful programmes in Bologna, Italy and Wroclaw, Poland and is now well-positioned to capitalise on the global opportunities as it moves behavioural change interventions away from resource-heavy engagements and qualitative measures towards a fast, scalable, customisable digital solution with the ability to deliver meaningful quantitative results.”

The Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator is a £8.3m initiative funded by Thames Valley Berkshire LEP to support job creation and economic prosperity in Berkshire. The escalator, which includes four different loan schemes and a growth equity fund, provides eligible companies – from start-up to established – 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 Thames Valley Berkshire Funding Escalator, please visit www.thefsegroup.com/thames-valley-berkshire-funding-escalator or contact Ian Baker ian.baker@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 608517.

Life Stream Healthcare Secures Expansion Loan

A New Forest medical communication solutions company has received funding from the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme. The funds will assist the company in taking advantage of the increased opportunities it faces following the use of its products across a number of NHS facilities.

Life Stream Healthcare was introduced to The FSE Group by Rosemary Penn-Newman at FPN Ltd.  The company was established by John Cooper in 2007 who, whilst running a video conferencing business, was approached to develop a solution that could send live images from one hospital to another. Existing systems could not transmit in high enough definition for diagnostic purposes and were generally not fit for purpose.

John developed the Life Stream products to meet the specific and challenging needs of its target market.  Providing a unique medical communications system, comprising both hardware and software, Life Stream allows real time interaction between consultants and other healthcare professionals whilst live streaming high definition video of medical and surgical procedures directly from medical equipment.

Life Stream’s exceptionally powerful software allows the transfer of the huge quantities of data generated from procedures such as a complex coronary angioplasty or angiogram, capturing each frame with every pixel, to ensure a premium image quality is received at a remote location. There is no other system capable of this anywhere in the world and it makes the Life Stream solution ideal for remote consultation, diagnosis and discussion.

Several NHS sites are currently using the system within their cardiology departments, as John explains: “hospitals are increasingly operating across a number of sites or in partnership with other hospitals. Where Life stream is already being used in a cardiac environment, it means that multiple sites can interact, with discussion between cardiologists and cardiac surgeons at remote centres taking place whilst a procedure is relayed from the cardiology centre, allowing surgeons to view and even manipulate images whilst discussing them in real time.”

Life Stream is currently installed at 11 NHS facilities and these sites are already seeing the benefits to patient care and management; efficiency is enhanced, operational costs are reduced and patient diagnosis, referral and treatments times are improved.  As a result, the company has a growing reputation within the sector which it is keen to now optimise. This will be aided by the Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan which will be used to build new demonstration units, further invest in the technology and recruit additional staff to support sales and installation.

Dr Mike Short, CBE, Chairman of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), comment: “Our LEP area is a powerhouse for science and innovation and we are building on this sectoral strength by ensuring that innovative businesses like Life Stream get the infrastructure, business support and access to finance they need to scale up. We are pleased that Life Stream has secured funding from our Expansion Loan Scheme to innovate further, grow their business and contribute to the economic prosperity of our area.”

Derek Ellis, Fund Manager at The FSE Group which manages the Expansion Loan Scheme on behalf of the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership comments: “Life Stream has succeeded in developing a truly unique solution, endorsed by senior surgeons and consultants and with proven benefits and cost savings that are able to be transferred across the healthcare sector and beyond. The system has global appeal, giving the team a fantastic market opportunity as first movers in this area. We are delighted to be supporting them at this early stage in their development and look forward to helping them achieve their growth plans.”

The Enterprise M3 Expansion Loan Scheme is part of the Enterprise M3 Funding Escalator, a £5.5million initiative funded by Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership. The escalator, which also includes a growth fund, provides eligible companies with loans and equity funding between £50,000 and £200,000 for activities that will deliver high-growth and employment opportunities.

For more information about the Enterprise M3 expansion loan scheme please visit http://www.thefsegroup.com/fund/enterprise-m3-expansion-loan-scheme/ or contact Derek Ellis at derek.ellis@thefsegroup.com tel: 01276 607302.

About Local Growth Fund:

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.

Further information:

If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.

Some additional key facts

  • There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
  • The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
  • LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.