Biovale Pitch Event at Chem UK
Almost exactly a year ago I came to Biovale as Enterprise Manager, helping to support startups with their business ideas and more often than not helping them find investment to scale a concept which has already been proven on a theoretical or lab scale.
During my first few weeks, I learned about BioVale’s involvement in a yearly expo called ChemUK and plans to run a couple of sessions at the show in June 2023, which seemed like a very long way away. One of these sessions was to be a pitch event, where a number of companies would present their ideas to an audience including a panel of investors, supported by Bioeconomy Ventures.
Over the following months I had the pleasure of talking to a number of startups who wanted to pitch at the event, all working in exciting ways connected with the chemical industry (as an investor said on the day, everything is connected to the chemical industry). Additionally, we were kindly sponsored by Reddie and Grose, a firm of European and UK intellectual property attorneys who offered a free consultation to the winner, whilst the runner up, voted for by the audience, would win a super exciting secret prize*.
The founders had only three minutes to pitch to the audience. Anyone who has tried anything similar will know how difficult it can be to cram everything into such a short time, but the emphasis was to give us a sense of the problem that their company is solving, what makes their solution viable and what they need to do next in order to proceed. They were aiming to leave the audience and investors hungry for more information, which could be obtained by following up afterwards.
The companies who presented were:
Aerseeds Ltd – Nature powered solutions for full ecosystem recovery
Matterhorn Studio – Enabling your first step towards AI-driven materials discovery
LiquiBio Ltd – Edible scaffolding to simplify bioprocessing and create better tasting cultivated meat
Nova Biochem Ltd – Developing sustainable alternatives to traditional petrochemicals from pulping and agricultural waste streams for flavourings, adhesives, plastics
Mykor – Biotechnology and advanced materials company developing commercially viable and sustainable building materials made from waste and fungi.
Respiro Dynamics – pioneer innovative breath diagnostic applications
Algaecon – collectivise seaweed production and processing
Sustainable Sailing – applying advances in green chemistry and industrial biotechnology to develop circular economy solutions for the marine industry.
We were delighted to be joined on stage by Jonathan Tudor, partner at Clean Growth Fund, Geoff Mackey, UK manager of Plastics Europe and Stuart Ferguson, investor at Sustainable Ventures. They were on hand after each pitch to offer feedback and ask questions.
After a period of deliberation, Liquibio, pictured above, was chosen as the winner by the panel. Aerseeds, pictured to the left, were chosen as runners up as voted for by the audience.
All in all, the event summed up the range of innovation and energy around biochemical startups we have here in the UK.
*The runner up prize was a ChemUK Beach Towel
BioVale Enterprise Manager