BUSINESS LEADER – 24 APRIL 2017 April 2017
LEARNING DISABILITY TECHNOLOGY SPECIALISTS CLINCH FUNDING
Bristol-based technology company, Inclusive Media Solutions, is to further develop its products that help people with learning disabilities and other cognitive impairments following funding from the Bristol Private Equity Club.
Based in Engine Shed, they developed AutonoMe, a support system that combines the power of video and mobile technology to help with everyday tasks.
Users can access videos that show them tasks such as making a cup of coffee or using a washing machine through their mobile or tablet simply by scanning household items.
The firm has secured £150,000 of funding to help it develop the product, which was incubated with SETsquared in Bristol.
Jerry Barnes of Bristol Private Equity Club said: “We have successful entrepreneurs with some spare capital who want to support businesses in the Bristol and Bath areas. As well as being a source of funds we have a tremendous pool of talent with experience that can help businesses grow.
“The AutonoMe project appealed to our members as it is innovative and ambitious and has the potential to be very successful and provide real support in the care sector.”
William Britton, founder and CEO of Inclusive Media Solutions said: “To have the support of local business people is so much better than dealing with anonymous banks or funds in London. We have plans to add a variety of additional features to the product and recruit staff to support our expanding users and clients.
“AutonoMe came about in 2015 because after years of teaching as a lecturer and Assistive Technology specialist for students with learning disabilities I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of cost effective, 21st century mobile technology available to students.
“Within the first year AutonoMe had clients in housing, education, local authorities and support providers across the South West.”
From https://www.businessleader.co.uk/learning-disability-technology-specialists-clinch-funding/25102/ 24th April 2017
OPTOMETRY TODAY – 27 APRIL 2017 April 2017
A PREVENTATIVE TOOL
An instrument that could help identify individuals at risk of developing a common eye condition that can cause blindness is being designed in partnership between Azul Optics, the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund and a group of entrepreneurs.
Azul Optics is in the process of developing the ophthalmic instrument, which it says will enable the “rapid and cost-effective screening” of patients to determine their susceptibility to age-related macular-degeneration (AMD).
The device was the idea of Dr Shelby Temple from the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Science, and it is hoped that in the future the tool could be used in optical practices as a preventative eye health method in the same way that screening for retinopathy and glaucoma is used today.
Chief executive of Azul Optics, Joseph Cefai, highlighted that AMD is the leading cause of incurable blindness in the western world, affecting up to one-in-10 people over the age of 65. He explained that: “By screening for low macular pigment density, opticians could advise people to make lifestyle changes early that can help prevent the problem developing.”
A prototype of the instrument has already been developed and evaluated by Dr Temple, with Azul Optics’ aiming now to develop the tool and make it commercially available to opticians, Mr Cafai told OT.
Recognising the instrument’s potential, Azul Optics has invested £310,000 into the development project, while the Bristol Private Equity Club has provided £160,000 and the University of Bristol Enterprise Fund has boosted this further still with £150,000 contribution.
“We hope that with this funding we can bring the device to the market within 18 months,” Mr Cafai added.
Article from https://www.aop.org.uk/ot/industry/equipment-and-suppliers/2017/04/27/a-preventative-tool 27th April 2017