Elmwood LaunchPod, an accelerator programme run by Elmwood celebrated the drawing to a successful close of its inaugural programme with a presentation from the four participating consumer health businesses to a select group of entrepreneurs, investors, and partners from the Leeds region. The programme officially concludes in early December.
The accelerator is aimed at promoting the development of start-ups, offering support to entrepreneurs looking to scale-up their operations, while also investing in the economic prospects of the region. The intensive programme is helping shape the direction of four consumer health start-ups and scale-ups – Digibete, Engagify, Shift.ms and Dietary Assessment – and foster community collaboration with creativity and technology at the core. Elmwood’s inaugural programme is focused on innovating how people connect with their health and with the healthcare system.
Each week, participants received specialist insight from a world-class community of marketers and creative designers and free workspace at Elmwood’s creative and dynamic studio in Leeds. The programme covered areas that include a series of group-based workshops including design-thinking, business model canvas development, value proposition creation, brand storytelling and marketing. The cohort received 1:1 coaching and support from experts and mentoring in a real setting in collaboration with Elmwood and its partners.
The culmination of all this hard work was celebrated in an evening presentation on 27th November, where the participants had the opportunity to present their approach to their next stage of growth to a group of partners and supporters of Elmwood LaunchPod.
Feedback from participating businesses has been overwhelmingly positive. Reflecting on the Elmwood LaunchPod programme, Emily Thompson of Shift.ms, a free social network for people with multiple sclerosis, said: “The opportunity to apply for Elmwood LaunchPod came at a very good time for our business, as we were looking to implement our innovative platform for other long-term neurological health conditions, such as epilepsy and early onset dementia. It has provided a structure that allowed us to focus on our business planning as we scale, and it’s been particularly useful to have been able to interrogate our value proposition with expert mentors”.
“The chance to have access to an award-winning brand design company was also invaluable – through brand and storytelling sessions we started to rethink and redevelop an identity for our Relevant Reporters initiative”.
Rob Julian of Digibete, an award-winning, Type 1 diabetes video sharing platform and educational resource, added: “Elmwood LaunchPod has really enabled us to get underneath the skin of our brand and explore what makes us unique.
“Each session has been led by industry leaders and has given us invaluable and incredible insight into design thinking and brand awareness; making us much stronger in our mindset and aims. It’s made us examine every aspect of our business and given us the tools to continually improve and re-assess what we’re offering”.
Sarah Dear, Managing Partner of Elmwood said: ”We feel incredibly privileged to have been able to work with this amazing group of talented entrepreneurs who share Elmwood’s passion for innovative thinking and design. These organisations are using the power of STEAM to address real health problems and shape the future of healthcare and consumer health experiences. We’re really encouraged by the impact that our inaugural programme has had on these businesses and I truly believe that each of them has an incredibly bright future ahead. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Engagify, Digibete, Dietary Assessment and Shift.ms and seeing them develop and grow.”
“We’ll now be evaluating our inaugural programme, with a view to making an announcement on the possibility of a 2019 LaunchPod in January”.