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Sound-shaping tech start-up wins £10,000 backing fund

Professor Hugh Brady (The University of Bristol's Vice-Chancellor and President) with Dr Mihai Caleap (Metasonics co-founder and University of Bristol Mechanical Engineering Senior Research Associate)

Press release issued: 24 November 2017

Metasonics, a revolutionary sound technology company founded by two University of Bristol academics as a joint venture with the University of Sussex, has won this year’s New Enterprise Competition [NEC] and £10,000 funding.

The NEC is a business start-up competition which allows students, staff and alumni to pitch for a share of over £40,000 to accelerate their vision for a commercial or social enterprise.

A world-first, Metasonics will give people and brands the ability to manipulate sound, allowing advertisers to target individuals in a crowd, noisy neighbours to mute themselves and fitness enthusiasts to monitor the body’s health with high-accuracy ultrasound.   

Metasonics co-founder and University of Bristol Mechanical Engineering Senior Research Associate, Dr Mihai Caleap said: “We are over the moon to have won. This support will give us an invaluable start in bringing Metasonics to a mass market and open up a new world of technology.”

The annual competition run by the University of Bristol aims to provide winners with a launch pad for success. Following investment from the competition, last year’s student-winner Julian Laval is about to move to Silicon Valley to grow his virtual assistant and diabetes management solution ‘Center Health’.

Student runners-up this year include ‘Go.For’ who’ve been awarded £5,000 to launch a digital tool designed to make dining out with dietary requirements simple.

Futuristic vertical farming concept ‘Lettus Grow’ also won £4,000 plus consultancy, to help them take their technology to market and ease farmers’ lives by delivering consistently higher crop yields with controlled irrigation systems.

Commended finalists ‘Ode to Oat’ are a mobile porridge food stall that offers nourishing take-away hot breakfasts for the Bristol community and are to receive £1,000. While ‘Complia’ will receive 12 months SET Squared membership to launch a music technology startup focused on developing novel interfaces for electronic music controllers. Their flagship product is a novel music controller combining hardware and software allowing musicians to create their electronic music in a completely new way.

Testimony to Bristol students’ shrewd entrepreneurial minds and creative flair, the NEC has already given away £14,260 to 36 fledgling ideas this year.

Other shortlisted business ideas include:  

  • Rinsed Cleaning, a socially responsible cleaning company, who offer home and office cleaning services and provide employment and support to refugees. They offer fairly-paid jobs to refugees trying to make their way in an unfamiliar country.
  • Kobble designs and locally manufactures bespoke furniture for the mass market. The furniture is custom-made to fit the dimensions of your space. The design is contemporary, the impact minimal and the process of acquiring your bespoke piece is made easy and accessible.
  • Nima Composites develop and manufacture specialised products from composite materials. Using a unique manufacturing process, their aim is to produce a range of lightweight, protective and stylish products from cases for electronic devices to unconventional paddles.
  • Vestibility aims to provide coastal and lake-shore communities in Africa with access to affordable, high quality marine safety equipment. The mission is to increase marine safety and reduce the number of deaths caused by drowning in Africa.
  • Wrek is an online market place which connects employers with trusted recruitment agents. The website will allow employers to select high-quality recruitment partners based on key metrics enabling employers to lower recruitment spend and get better quality candidates.

Assistant Director of Careers at the University of Bristol, Neil Coles, said: “The University’s New Enterprise Competition enables our University community to take their ideas forward with thanks to our sponsors Motorola, Santander, Veale Wasbrough Vizards, IP Group, SETsquared, Wyvern and Watertight Marketing.  In total this year the competition has funded 41 fledgling business ideas. I would like to congratulate all of our winners and runners up and we look forward to seeing how their businesses develop." 

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