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Innovating for success

Four highly innovative early stage companies have graduated from Southampton Science Park’s Catalyst program with enormous potential for significant commercial success. 

Peter Birkett, Co-Founder of Catalyst, commented: “I’m immensely proud of the achievements of our latest Catalyst cohort.  All the companies that we have worked with in recent months worked really hard and accordingly, have taken big strides forward on their business journeys.  They all have enormous potential in their various fields and I - along with the rest of the mentors and coaches - look forward to witnessing their future development with high expectations.”   

C2 Visions created a fast, highly secure, cloud-based system to give manufacturing organisations complete visibility of their production line processes and outputs.

Founder and Managing Director, Dr Zhonglun Cai, reflected on his Catalyst experience. He said:  “Starting a business from scratch, the Catalyst program converted us from a bunch of technical-orientated heads to value-creating entrepreneurs - crucial in a competitive business world. Catalyst has really boosted our chance of success. We really enjoyed all the workshops and the stories told within the sessions – both those that inspired and those that told cautionary tales. Without Catalyst, we’d probably still be running the business but we’d definitely encounter many more learning curves!”

Optomel developed a breakthrough technology which gives customers precise, customisable optical filters at a price and scale which empowers new applications and markets in photonics. It has embarked on a joint business development and technology partnership with San Francisco based Artemis Optical.

Signly enables the 250,000 people in the UK that use sign language in their daily life to access literature through augmented reality on their smartphones. The technology is on trial with Lloyds Bank and several other household names ahead of planned major roll-outs.

Founder Mark Applin commented: “From Signly’s perspective, the whole Catalyst process over-delivered. As a collection of ‘dragons’, the team struck the balance between challenge and support perfectly at a crucial and difficult time for us when Signly had just me - no members of staff. They are so switched on as you would expect but, more than that, what’s been great is to see their passion for the product grow and them really getting behind the whole idea of deaf culture and what we’re trying to achieve. The transformational effect on my business has been epic and I would highly recommend joining Catalyst if you’re lucky enough to have the chance. The experience has been way above and beyond what I ever dreamed of and I’m delighted to now be moving onto Catalyst Plus.”

YouSeq manufactures high quality consumables for DNA sequencing applications based on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology but with a simplified experimental work flow and unparalleled customer support to effectively deskill the process. Whilst it has many uses, NGS is regarded as the key to driving breakthroughs in cancer treatment.  The company won a substantial contract to develop and supply its unique next generation DNA sequencing laboratory kits to a major private diagnostic company in the United States and continues to attract global attention. 

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