BetaDen, the commercial technology accelerator based alongside one of the country’s first 5G testbeds in Worcestershire, has opened applications for the fifth cohort of businesses to join the programme.
The accelerator is unique in the sector, offering early-stage technology businesses a programme of support worth £50,000 over nine months to accelerate their route to market. This includes proof of concept grant worth £7,500, free office space, specialist business mentoring, and access to a 5G test and evaluation package that is delivered by a team specialising in IoT applications.
As well as supporting entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses, BetaDen also provides a space in which established organisations can develop their tech-related R&D activities.
Linda Smith, founder and CEO of BetaDen, said: “We’re really excited to open applications to join BetaDen Cohort 5.0. Since the first cohort joined the programme three years ago this month, we’ve supported 30 early-stage technology businesses, awarding over £750,000 in grant funding and raising over half a million pounds in investment.
“Most importantly, cohort businesses have secured contracts and delivered pilot projects for a variety of industry-leading organisations, including HS2, the NHS, RoyalMail and NetworkRail, delivering real tech-based solutions for real-world problems and accelerating their route to market.”
Just this month, Claire Owen, co-founder of DronePrep – a Cohort 3 alumni and now Entrepreneur in Residence at BetaDen – was recognised for her achievements in the tech industry, receiving the Innovator Award at the prestigious Women in Tech Awards.
Claire said: “BetaDen has played a central role in DronePrep’s success, giving us access to a network of business mentors and specialist advisors who have helped us hone our offer, prove our concept and make the connections necessary to commercialise our technology.
“Being part of a varied cohort of technology businesses also adds real value in terms of working alongside other entrepreneurs – learning from their experiences and bringing fresh perspectives that allow us to identify new opportunities and improve our business model.
“When we stop to think about it, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in such as a short space of time and that is thanks, in no small part, to the support we’ve received from BetaDen.”
Unlike many accelerators, BetaDen does not take equity in cohort businesses and is not aligned to any individual academic institution or Government programme. This gives cohort members the freedom to focus their acceleration on real-world commercial need.
Recent cohort members have launched a range of technologies; from autonomous vehicle software, 5G at Sea networks and Industry 4.0-enabling technologies to blockchain-based verification and registry services, biometric services, cyber security applications, sensor-based construction-site safety systems, and environmental performance monitoring.