A group of 22 Bristol-based entrepreneurs have invested
their money in a growing business that is looking at new ways of using advanced
materials, including the development of an “electronic nose”.
The group, all members of Bristol Private Equity Club have
invested a total of £222,000 into Anaphite, based in Unit DX in St Philips
Bristol as part of a total fund-raising package of £425,000 by the business.
Anaphite was founded to look at ways to exploit the
potential of graphene by Sam Burrow and Alexander Hewitt after they left
university. Their impressive work so far in the Unit DX incubation space has
also attracted grants totalling over £500,000 over the last year from Innovate
Chief Operating Officer Alexander Hewitt said: “The fact
that people with a wealth of diverse business experience believe we can
succeed, makes us excited and optimistic about the future. They see the
scalability of the business and the potential impact it can have.
“We will be specifically using much of the funding from BPEC
to develop our work in using advanced materials in gas sensors. We are
developing an ‘electronic nose’ that could be used to detect hazardous gases;
to monitor harmful pollutants in our cities; in food safety by indicating when
food has gone off; and in health care by detecting certain gases in breath.
“The rest of our funding will be used to further our work on
batteries. We are using a powerful material called “graphene” for this , as it has got high electrical conductivity, high
strength and high thermal conductivity so we are looking at how it can be used
to prolong battery life and improve charging speed, so that devices do not have
to be charged for as long or replaced so often.”
Bristol Private Equity Club has matched the pilot Regional
Angel Investment Accelerator (RAIA) Innovate UK Grant that is part of a
programme managed by SETSquared in Bristol that is designed to encourage angel
investment into South West businesses.
Jerry Barnes, founder of Bristol Private Equity Club said: “This
is an exciting business that has got so much potential to develop materials
that will influence life in many areas in the future. The fact that so many of
our members were interested shows the fantastic potential of Anaphite.
“We look for Bristol businesses that have scalability and can
make a real difference to the way we live our lives in the future.”
BPEC has 90
successful entrepreneurs and business people from the Bristol area with capital
to invest as club members. Since it was founded three years ago the club has
invested more than £6 million into 21 different businesses.