Alumni Showcase in the Innovation Zone
Imperial’s alumni community of innovators, entrepreneurs and inventors share their journey from original idea to successful start-up. From kids’ toys to life-changing machinery, explore the exciting range of companies produced by some of Imperial’s most enterprising graduates.
Learn how Imperial’s alumni are using environmental data to help farmers combat climate change. Find out how a simple spray is revolutionising how we deal with bacterial infection. Discover how design-led technology, inspired by the study of the relationship between the body and the mind, can be used to change how we feel, think and behave.
Take a look at the all the exhibitors to feature at Alumni Weekend below.
Alumni Showcase 2017 exhibitors
Climate Change is devastating tropical agriculture world wide, but with Climate Edge's services, farmers can build a sustainable farming system resilient to this adversity and unpredictability.
Climate Edge's approach combines farm-level environmental data collection with front-line research, providing farmers and agricultural organisations with meaningful decision support insights. These insights ensure that farmers maintain high yields and quality despite the hazards which Climate Change presents.
Climate Edge started its life in academia, during the Environmental Technology MSc at Imperial College London. James Alden and Paul Baranowski were working alongside the respected scientist Dr Peter Baker with the goal of conceptualising a tailored decision support system for smallholder coffee farmers. They envisaged a system which would be both scalable, helping millions of farmers, but also bespoke, taking into account the preferences of individual farmers and the microclimate of their farm. At the end of their thesis it became increasingly clear that the foundations for such a system already existed:
- Sensor prices are decreasing, in the past 5 years it has become economically viable for climatic data to be collected at the farm level.
- Mobile phone usage is increasing, with 40% of farmers owning a phone the infrastructure is present for every farmer to receive customised insights.
- Finally, organisations from Fairtrade to the FAO are heavily investing in agricultural research to help farmers adapt to Climate Change.
What was needed was for someone to put the pieces together and package it in a way which was accessible, user friendly and affordable. With this opportunity to make their ideas reality James, Paul and Peter founded Climate Edge in November 2015 and have taken their work to Nicaragua, Guatemala, Hondura, Panama and beyond.
The last year has been incredibly exciting for Climate Edge, from the first teetering steps towards working full time at their own business the team has rapidly expanded - Gabriel Brueckner Climate Edge's lead designer and we are being joined by a full time developer and electrical engineer. Climate Edge has been privileged to have worked with some talented partners from Fairtrade International to Neumann Coffee to Lutheran World Relief and has had the opportunity to present their work around the globe. Please come visit us at our stall during Imperial College's alumni weekend to see the tech we are creating and hear more about our work.
Alumni connections: James Alden (Biology 2014, MSc Environmental Technology 2015) | Paul Baranowski (Biology 2014, MSc Environmental Technology 2015)
Clouder is the first 1 hour vape delivery, delivering to your home or office from the trendiest vape shops in town. We also feature UK's first vaping marketplace.
Alumni connections: Tomas Zalatoris (MSc Management 2015) | Vsevolod Mineev (MSci Physics 2016) | Mark Varin (MSc Management 2015).
Being present online and getting engagement on marketing content has a huge impact on the bottom line of every business. Most businesses can’t afford a dedicated marketing team, nor do they have the time or expertise to create effective marketing content.
Creative AI gives every business, big or small, the power to join the global conversation, at the right time. They use cutting-edge machine learning technologies to automatically generate engaging marketing content that is personalised to any business. Their technology takes information from business sources like a Facebook page or product inventory, and combines it with global sources like recent news or trending topics.
The Creative AI team is unique. Yazan Al Alami has founded and grown two marketing companies, where he helped local and global brands 10x their reach and engagement on social media. He graduated with a Master’s in engineering from Imperial College London. Lukas Dirzys is an expert in optimised image and text generation and he won the Google Prize for the best Master’s dissertation at the University of Edinburgh.
Alumni connections: Yazan Al Alami (MEng Civil Engineering 2012)
Find out more: Visit Creative AI's website
Lack of access to clean water is predicted to affect 47% of the world’s population by 2030. Contamination of water supplies by industrial micropollutants such as metal ions, and man-made synthetic chemicals like pesticides, pharmaceuticals and high performance chemicals is a major contributor to the lack of clean water. These micropollutants are persistent in the environment and dangerous to human health. These chemicals make their way from industrial wastewater discharge to be found in the blood of babies, breast milk and adults (OECD 2013 report), a significant unmet water challenge.
CustoMem tackles this problem by targeted capture of micropollutants from industrial wastewater that are challenging and energy intensive to remove with current technology. We then responsibly repurpose captured micropollutants into high-value products.
Our products are developed with our world class expertise in wastewater treatment, biomaterials and synthetic biology from experience at Whatman, Alcan, Imperial College London, Cambridge and UC Berkeley. Using our expertise, we offer customised solutions for the most problematic pollutants.
Customers benefit from a simple, cost competitive, plug-n-play solution that is low maintenance. It operates as a drop-in to existing infrastructure (low CapEx), with 99% reduced energy requirements compared to membrane filtration (low OpEx). When products are used up, we supply a new unit and repurpose captured pollutants from the used one in a responsible manner, sharing potential revenue from recycled pollutants 50/50 with our customers, after cost recovery. Ultimately, we provide peace of mind for our customers as they fulfil sustainability commitments and regulations.
Alumni connections: Henrik Hagemann (MEng Biomedical Engineering 2015) | Gabi Santosa (Biochemistry 2015) | Ben Reeve (PhD Bioengineering 2016) | Shayne Petkiewicz (MSc Chemical Engineering 2016) | Amanda You
First Steps Limited
First Steps is a provider of educational support and consulting. Its areas of business activity include the solution of technical problems and provision of short courses and distance learning in ground engineering, software for decision making, equipment for public engagement in science and engineering, and business mentoring for those starting small companies.
On display there will be a jigsaw puzzle that marries art, science and engineering which has been designed to arouse curiosity in engineering and science, and direct interest to Learned and Professional societies and institutions. There will also be a decision tree on display.
Alumni connections: Dr Michael de Freitas (PhD Geology 1966) | Dr Christine Butenuth (PhD Geology 1989)
Find out more: Visit the First Steps website
Fresh Check is revolutionising the way we deal with bacterial infection by identifying contaminated areas with a simple blue to orange colour change.
We are working with an international cleaning company and a major UK airport to develop a spray that can be used to prove the cleanliness of their facilities to customers and employees. In particular though, we're excited to develop our smart use-by date that can let consumers know exactly when their food has spoilt to prevent food wastage, but also help to reduce the cases of food poisoning.
Alumni connections: Alex Bond (MRes Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2014) | Robert Peach (MRes Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2014) | John Simpson (MRes Chemical Biology of Health and Disease 2014)
Kidesign is an educational company specialising in designing intelligent toys, pioneering creative 3D printing workshops for children, and creative curriculum materials for CAD and 3D printing projects to encourage student engagement in Design and STEM subjects enabling learning through making using technology as a creative tool to reconnect the digital and physical worlds by teaching practical 21st century skills.
On this occasion, we would like to present Kidesign's new project The Densters. Densters are a set of flexible toy monsters that attach onto furniture and allow children to build their own dens and forts at home, really unleashing their creativity through play! Each Denster is a characterful toy, which also serves a function in the house (eg. bookmark, door stopper, phone stand), but once they connect, they assemble to make magical hideaway dens!
We are inviting families & children to join our stand for a drop-in workshop and get their first introduction with these incredible monsters!
Alumni connections: Dejan Mitrovic (MSc Innovation Design Engineering 2010)
Kodama - the toy is the game controller.
Kodama is a learn through play platform, composed of physical toys and a digital content platform. We take the free form fun of traditional toys and combine that with the guided fun and learning of digital games, sprinkle with the magic of our unique physical input technology, and create an ecosystem of accessory content and physical products. Kodama is a combination of physical and digital environments. The physical environment is a playground - a mat that defines the play area, small patent-pending 3D trackers, and the toys that the trackers click into. When you click a tracker into a toy, you bring the toy to life in the virtual world on iPads, Android and smart TVs.
Alumni connections: Antoni Pakowski (MSc Innovation Design Engineering 2016) | Charles Leclercq (MSc Innovation Design Engineering 2016) | DaEun Lee (MSc Global Innovation Design 2015)
MercyCrowd is the first real estate property crowdfunding platform to focus its business around uniquely ethical principals:
- 100% equity based business model: MercyCrowd provides an alternative to the present financial intermediation system which relies on debt and interest.
- 100% real assets: It is the company’s core belief that sustainable growth can only stem from real assets that generate real increments and tangible benefits to a society.
- A business that improve society: MercyCrowd actively promotes donations and is committed to donating a percentage of its profits to local charities on an annual basis.
Real estate equity crowdfunding is one of the fastest growing alternatives to bank funding and is where individuals invest in an unlisted company in exchange for shares in that company. It is a way to match individuals or companies who need funding with individuals or companies who wish to invest. Investors become shareholders and have partial ownership of a company.
MercyCrowd enables people to invest in Europe, making international real estate investment easy to access and 100% equity based. It aims to provide a hassle free service, making the purchasing and letting a smooth process within a highly secure environment at an accessible level – from 50EUR/GBP. This makes crowdfunding a realistically viable option for those looking to purchase their homes or seeking an ethical investment option.
The company is FCA regulated and offers some of the lowest fees on the market. MercyCrowd is part of the Elite International Asset Group, an established international company promoting real estate investment in Europe with a specialty in the French and UK market.
Alumni connections: Anouar Adham (MBA 2013) | Tarek Shehab (Executive MBA 2015)
David Graham (MSc Industrial Design Engineering 2009) graduated from the Industrial Design Engineering double Masters course at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London with distinction, creating the multi-award winning Move-it cardboard box shifter as a final project.
In working to mass-produce the product Graham improved tolerances and coatings in the manufacturing process, allowing a break-through in low impact product design to occur. Move-it Products Ltd was created to commercialize and develop Move-it and subsequent products, including the Move-it industrial cardboard table, which has the best strength / weight / cost / CO2e ratio of any mass-produced furniture product.
The products have gone on to achieve commercial success in both retail and industrial sectors including Move-it furniture used for store display throughout the UK and Ireland in Argos stores.
David lives in London with his wife and small daughter and restores historic buildings as a hobby.
Alumni connections: David Graham (MSc Industrial Design Engineering 2009)
Find out more: Visit Move-it's website
Over the past six years Andrea Guzzoni (MSc Strategic Marketing 2014) has lived and worked in ten different cities around the world. Repeatedly he has been faced with the issue of purchasing things that he only needed for a short period of time, meaning that he would search for lower quality products for a cheaper price, and ending up throwing them out or having to store them somewhere.
Now he is back in London with a new business model, created to tackle overconsumption and overproduction of goods - Rentuu. Rentuu is a London-based online rental service platform, designed to make renting goods online quick and easy. It will take you only three clicks to find a product you want to rent (whether it's a barbecue, stroller or even a coffee machine), select the delivery and collection time and location (min. rental time starting from 24 hours) and pay. Rentuu will do the rest.
No hidden costs, no hassle - just high quality household goods for short-term rent online. With Rentuu we want to encourage a 'sharing economy' where the usage of goods is optimised, eliminating consumerism and overproduction of cheap low-quality products. We help you save time, money and space, by providing an efficient online rental service.
Alumni connections: Andrea Guzzoni (MSc Strategic Marketing 2014)
Find out more: Visit Rentuu's website
Tradico is a fintech startup and was founded in 2015 to address the problem of insufficient and inefficient access to bank credit for SMEs. Our proprietary credit scoring algorithm and online platform enables us to offer businesses quick and simple access to liquidity for their trade finance needs.
Within 30 seconds SMEs can gain access to €20,000 for up to 120 days with larger amounts available on request. Unlike factoring services we offer 100% financing of all approved transactions with no hidden costs or lock-in period.
Everyday we are working hard to improve our risk management and online platform so we can offer a faster, cheaper and effortless service to help more customers across Europe speed up their business.
Alumni connections: Nathan Evans (Physics 1997)
Walk with Path
Walk With Path Ltd. (Path) is an award winning company seeking to reduce the risk of falling for people with mobility issues caused by injury, ageing and serious diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Path's products aim to prevent injury, increase confidence for the wearer, and create greater independence by providing tactile feedback and visual cues to aid walking.
Alumni connections: James Cunningham (MSc Biomedical Engineering 2016) | Lise Pape (MSc Innovation Design Engineering 2014)
Alumni Showcase 2016 exhibitors
Deus Ex Technology has innovated the first fully integrated ‘touchless’ smartwatch technology utilizing biomedical tendon analysis to control smartwatch features via simple, customizable hand gestures. The company recently announced that in addition to its first two products: a watchstrap designed specifically for the Pebble SmartWatch and a universal Bluetooth clip that works with Android watchstraps, it will begin production of a watchstrap for the Apple Watch. The Pebble strap and Bluetooth clip are available to backers via the company’s Kickstarter campaign, which reached its $100K goal in less than 5 days, while the Apple Watch strap will soon be available for pre-order at ariawearable.com.
Deus Ex’s technology measures body signals originating from the tendons of the wrist to recognize distinct finger movements. The technology is so small it integrates seamlessly with any smartwatch strap.
However Deus Ex Aria's capabilities extend beyond smartwarch control. The Deus Ex Aria clip is a stand-alone Universal Bluetooth Gesture Remote which can be worn under any bracelet, wristband or classic watch band, and allow users to add gesture control to virtually any Bluetooth smart device.
Users can program customized gestures to answer/refuse calls, check email, play music, control their phone’s touch screens and applications, interact with the Internet of Things, call for help, and send GPS rescue information using subtle gestures. Athletes can use Deus Ex wearable smartwatch straps/clips to control their GoPro cameras from afar. The London-based company has plans to apply its technology to other fields, including robotics and rehabilitation.
Alfredo Belfiori (MSc Biomedical Engineering 2014), did his Master’s project within the Human Robotics Group under the supervision of Prof. Etienne Burdet in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. He studied motion tracking machines and image processing. He then attended the Venture Catalyst Challenge at Imperial Innovation where he founded the Deus Ex Technology company.
Carv is the world’s first wearable that helps you ski better! Carv analyses your skiing technique in real-time providing feedback on the slopes and detailed analysis between runs.
The device is inspired by Olympic technology and gives the kind of feedback and knowledge previously only available to elite skiers.
Using a smart boot insert and a clip on tracking device, Carv measures motion and pressure distribution and relays feedback through to earphones in real-time.
The device connects wirelessly to a smartphone, providing information and analysis ranging from simple, actionable feedback for casual skiers to detailed metrics and analysis for advanced and professional users.
The team behind Carv, called Motion Metrics, is Jamie Grant (Business School), Pruthvikar Reddy (Mechanical Engineering) and Bo Xuan Hon (Aerospace Engineering), and Samit Patel. They are currently based in the Imperial Incubator. Read more about their story on Imperial News.
doppel keeps you calm and focused.
doppel is wearable technology that works with your body’s natural response to rhythm to change how you feel. You feel doppel’s heartbeat on the inside of your wrist. Like listening to music, a fast rhythm helps you to feel more alert, a slower rhythm is calming. But with doppel you can focus, there’s no noise and no distraction.
doppel's award-winning technology has been scientifically tested and has been independently shown to improve focus. doppel has also been trialled by hundreds of people who have used it to focus at work, to stay calm in stressful situations, to set a pace while exercising, and much more.
doppel was created by four founders: Nell Bennett (Design), Andreas Bilicki (Technology), Jack Hooper (Strategy) and Fotini Markopoulou (Research and Testing) in October 2014 after they met on the Innovation Design Engineering joint MSc/MA course at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art. Their company creates science and design led technology that empowers people to naturally change how they feel, think and behave
The story begins with two university friends Imran and Taz Basunia (Mathematics 2000). Both with respectable careers in the city, in chartered accounting and banking. They couldn’t deny the temptation to escape the city and do something that would make others jealous.
Armed with a belief in a life less boring, the pair created the Jealous brand – with a mission to create irresistibly enticing products and set out first to tantalise the tastebuds of adults around the world with their Jealous Sweets.
Everyone loves to be given something precious – a thing of beauty to be admired. Jealous have created a range of mouth wateringly moreish treats to tantalise your tastebuds. All Jealous Sweets are beautifully crafted and like jewels they’re irresistible.
Devour Jealous Sweets – others will be envious, even jealous, of those who have experienced the irresistible. Give Jealous Sweets and they’ll be appreciated far more than boring toiletries, chocolate or flowers but be prepared to be slightly jealous when they won’t share their gift with you.
All Jealous Sweets are 100% vegetarian, gluten free, full of natural fruit juices and free from artificial colours and flavours.
There are nine different jewel boxes in the Jealous Sweets range – all created for those with an eye for something special.
The Mu Classic is an award-winning charger incorporating an innovative folding-plug design, launched in 2012. It has been a roaring success, winning accolades across the board including the UKTI SmartUK Mobile Innovation award in 2013.
Its maker, Made in Mind, is a UK start-up company based in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Made in Mind was founded in 2009 by Matthew Judkins (MBA 2008) and Min-Kyu Choi. The duo met on the campuses of Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art and formed the company to commercialise the folding plug design concept that Min-Kyu developed during his studies. Numerous individuals and organisations joined Matthew and Min-Kyu along the way to contribute to the development, funding and marketing of the concept which was realised in 2012 with the launch of the Mu. Made in Mind, now consisting of a diverse team of industry and technical professionals, are in the process of extending the product pipeline and placing the Mu on the global stage.
The exceedingly popular Mu Classic charger is now a cult favourite with design and tech enthusiasts alike. Updated versions of the Mu followed in 2014, including the Mu Duo and the Mu Tablet and a colour edit of the original classic charger. Made in Mind continues to combine commercial thinking with excellence in design, working with homegrown talent to bring brilliant local ideas to a wider audience.
Matthew has led and founded a number of start-up companies. His particular area of expertise focuses on creating products from concepts and commercialising the output. He has won awards for entrepreneurship and venturing, is a named inventor and has raised multiple rounds of funding for his ventures.
Christian Cook (MSc Management 2012) founded Néit with the ambition of revolutionising the way we store and carry our things through the design and manufacture of space-optimized, tech enabled lifestyle products.
Néit’s latest product is the world's first smart, collapsible hard-case luggage; the case is made from a combination of polycarbonate & aircraft-grade aluminum and can collapse down to just 3 inches when not in use. A carabiner is embedded into the handle to allow for hung-storage as well as to attach additional bags while travelling. The case has 4 collapsible spinner wheels that create a low profile when the case is collapsed and better optimise space while in transit.
The luggage has an embedded GPS chip which connects to Néit’s Travel App, where they provide all useful travel information to make your journey simpler when on the road. Through the app you are able to:
- Locate your luggage anywhere in the world
- Book additional flights & accommodation
- Be (push) notified about the status of your flight and when you need to leave for the airport
- Store your boarding pass digitally through the app
- Map your route from the airport to accommodation & take offline
- Learn about curated travel tips on the area that you're headed to: what's going on today (within a 10 mile radius), what are good bars and restaurants in the area etc.
Néit raised $120,000 on Kickstarter in pre-orders earlier this year, have been featured in The Sunday Times, GQ, Daily Mail, Fast Company & USA Today, to name a few. They came runner-up in the British Invention of the Year 2016 at The Gadget Show Live & have been shortlisted for Check-in Bag of the Year 2016 by Carryology.com in their annual Carry Awards. Néit has been invited to showcase at the prestigious Founders Forum event in London, June 2016.
onefinestay is pioneering handmade hospitality by offering guests the chance to stay in distinctive private homes, in the world’s greatest cities, while the owners are out of town. The selection of homes – each of which has been seen and selected by onefinestay’s team for space, character and comfort – ranges from playful townhouses to curious brownstones. They’re attentively tended, with a friendly face to meet you, beds made with pristine sheets, the towels and toiletries taken care of to exacting standards, and an iPhone for local calls, data, and 24/7 guest services. The ever-growing portfolio of welcoming homes currently spans London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome.
Alumnus Tim Davey (Theoretical Physics 2008) co-founded his first venture backed business at the age of 19, becoming one of youngest founders ever accepted into the y-combinator programme. Most recently, he co-founded onefinestay a hotel business which was acquired in a $240 million deal, after growing the team to over 600 people across 5 countries. He is an active member of the Big Change & Privacy Internationals advisory boards.