Ten firms to run the gauntlet
HI-TECH firms from Suffolk and Essex are celebrating after making it through to the finals of an investment contest.Sudbury-based Coracle Online Ltd, an internet service company providing e-learning to the maritime sector, and Ultrasoc Technologies Ltd, of Colchester, which is developing de-bugging and system verification devices for embedded and computer systems, are among 10 finalists in the East of England Development Agency's (EEDA) Running the Gauntlet competition.
HI-TECH firms from Suffolk and Essex are celebrating after making it through to the finals of an investment contest.
Sudbury-based Coracle Online Ltd, an internet service company providing e-learning to the maritime sector, and Ultrasoc Technologies Ltd, of Colchester, which is developing de-bugging and system verification devices for embedded and computer systems, are among 10 finalists in the East of England Development Agency's (EEDA) Running the Gauntlet competition.
Competitiveness Minister Stephen Timms MP announced the final 10, which were chosen from a shortlist of 50, yesterday . Three hundred firms entered the contest this year.
Also among the finalists are four firms from Cambridgeshire, two from Norfolk, one from Hertfordshire and one from Bedfordshire.
“The 10 Running the Gauntlet finalists demonstrate vision and the determination to succeed,” said Mr Timms.
“Entrepreneurship plays a central part in our recent economic success and we must do all we can to encourage it to grow and develop. EEDA's Running the Gauntlet is an excellent example of how this can be achieved through public/private sector partnership, incentive and educational development.”
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The 10 now go forward for further scrutiny by the programme's four investors - CREATE, Low Carbon Accelerator, NW Brown and SEP. They will also be given access to advice on negotiating term sheets, building the right team, technology exploitation and media courtesy through Grant Thornton, Taylor Vinters, Bailey Fisher - Executive Search, Sagentia and BBC East.
EEDA chairman Richard Ellis said the diversity of sectors from which this year's finalists were drawn showed “the spirit of entrepreneurialism is very much alive and growing in the East of England”.
“Our finalists have demonstrated an enthusiasm and expertise that bodes well for the future of our region's economy,” he said. “While some may secure funding, all will have benefited from this process and I wish them well in their ongoing negotiations with the investors.”
The results of this year's competition will be announced at EEDA's flagship event, Destination Growth, on November 6.
The other finalists are: CT Innovations Ltd, Cambridge, a new firm aiming to exploit the commercial opportunities offered by a new way of representing geometrical information; Gameware Development Ltd, Cambridge, which designs and develops software products; House Revolution plc, of Norwich, an on-line estate agency; Juice Technology, of Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, which has created an integrated waterproof and controllable light and sound system; Oaklair Ltd, of Norwich, a food industry packaging provider offering a bio-degradable alternative to plastic; Pets' Kitchen, of Bedford, which sells branded natural pet foods; Layered Sound Technology, of Cambridge, a firm with worldwide patented loudspeaker technology; Tp24 Ltd, of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, which designs, develops, produces and sells dedicated domestic low energy light fittings.