Entrepreneurial Spark is the world’s largest free business accelerator offering support, coaching and mentoring to those companies that want to grow and scale. There are now 12 accelerators across the UK, including the South East base in Brighton

For the ‘Chiclets’ (as the entrepreneurs are known), it is an intensive process with weekly enablement sessions, workshops and mentoring. The Brighton hatchery opened in August 2015, and now some of the fledgling companies are seeking investment to really grow and scale their business to the next level. On these pages, they explain why investors should take notice.

OMGTea

Founder Katherine Swift

1. Please describe your business 

In 2010 my mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Watching her fight the disease made me realise that the most important thing in life is family, friends and health. I decided that I wanted to do something positive and became involved in supporting the ground breaking research of one of the world’s leading genetic and cell biologists, whose research was highlighting the benefits of antioxidants in our diets.

Green tea is renowned for its healing properties due to an abundance of antioxidants and I wanted mum to drink a quality green tea with the highest level of antioxidants. With its amazing health and healing properties and an astonishing level of these antioxidants, I created OMGTea - Organic Matcha Green Tea, with a percentage of OMGTea’s profits pledged to The Healthy Life Foundation, a charity I founded that funds research into age related diseases.

2. Are you looking for funding or investment and if so, how much?

Yes, £100,000

3. What would the money be used for?

To develop a Ready to Drink (RTD) product to add to the OMGTea range

4. Why should an investor invest in your company?

After centuries of relative obscurity, matcha is now exploding onto the global beverage market in a way that was truly incomprehensible a few years ago. Matcha market value was $2.5 billion in 2013, retail sales surged 55% in 2014, RTD’s increased by 253% and the annual growth is forecast to be 25% until 2019.

The proposed OMGTea RTD product will be combined with alkaline water (first to market) making it a genuinely healthy drink. OMGTea is doing what it can to validate the health claims of green tea and particularly matcha, and has commissioned its own research with two exciting papers due to be published in January 2017.

JOOSR

1. Please describe your business

Joosr is a new way to learn. We produce 20 minute summaries giving the key insights from the world’s best performance-boosting books. With a carefully curated library spanning leadership, entrepreneurship, health, parenting and much more, Joosr summaries bring out the most actionable aspects of books by the world’s leading thinkers.

2. Are you looking for funding or investment and if so, how much?

Joosr is seeking funding to support our international growth plans and platform expansion. We are offering £500k of equity investment opportunity during the next two months. We’re also continuously looking to support our research and development through grant funding support.

3. What would the money be used for?

As a new offering within the ebook summaries space, we’re focused on raising awareness and driving traffic to our products. We’re growing our brand in the UK and internationally which requires significant investment into marketing. A key focus area is also accelerating the expansion of our platform and library of content for our users. Much of our operating costs go into hiring great people.

4. Why should an investor invest in your company?

The global e-learning market is worth $255bn per annum globally, and with 516 million ebook readers globally by 2020, Joosr aims to be at the forefront of the bitesize mobile learning market, providing learning and self-development for the millennial generation. With over 30,000 Joosr ebooks sold in over 75 countries and 2,000 app users to date, there’s a strong appetite for Joosr’s bitesize, mobile content.

Joosr is the only UK-based company in this growing market and has the purpose to help people learn who can afford it, and to help those who cannot. 1% of our annual subscription revenue is pledged to the World Literacy Foundation, keeping young people out of crime and boosting local economies.

PictureMyDay

Graham Bromelow, Company Director

1. Please describe your business

PictureMyDay is a start-up interactive design website which enables users to virtually design their wedding reception rooms and explore them in 3D. The design functionality is easy to use, simply choose an item from the wedding themed library and drag and drop it into an authentic venue, which has been remodelled to scale. At any point during the design process you can change from  2D mode to 3D mode and walk through your design as if you were there in person. PictureMyDay allows wedding venues, wedding suppliers and couples to collaborate in an interactive real time way to effortlessly design beautiful room layouts and styles.

2. Are you looking for funding or investment and if so, how much?

We are looking for £150,000 investment. PictureMyDay Ltd is already SEIS approved as of May 2016.

3. What would the money be used for?

The majority of the investment will be used to hire a world class software company to develop version two of the design tool. They will upgrade the functionality; implement new features and craft an amazing user experience. We will also use the money for a marketing budget, which will fund advertising, SEO and operational costs.

4. Why should an investor invest in your company?

PictureMyDay is bang on trend with the emerging overlap between the wedding industry and the tech industry. Visualisation tools are more accessible and enhanced than ever before and are already used as a sales tool in other industries. PictureMyDay is also scalable into different markets – corporate events, trade shows and exhibitions would all benefit from an interactive design tool. Potentially the most exciting prospect for PictureMyDay would be delving into the virtual and augmented reality markets to enhance visualisation and wedding planning even further.

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NatWest