Sheffield Hallam launches new Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator with Government and Barclays

31st October 2023

Sheffield Hallam University has launched its latest Wellbeing Accelerator programme, with the application window now open for both UK-based and international businesses to join the next cohort

Now in its third year, the Accelerator has supported 40 SMEs to date and provides dedicated innovation, investment, growth and R&D support for high-potential startups and scaleups across advanced health and wellbeing. 

The programme, which is match-funded by Sheffield Hallam University and Barclays Eagle Labs via the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology-funded Digital Growth Grant, will be delivered through the University’s world-leading Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Up to 12 companies will be selected to join a tailored six-month programme offering: 

  • Bespoke mentoring from over 100 professionals across investment, academia, healthcare and industry 
  • A curated schedule of workshops on key topics like NHS adoption, regulation, communications and pitching 
  • Facilitated connections to Sheffield Hallam's research expertise for R&D collaborations 
  • Up to £25k of non-dilutive funding towards the most promising R&D projects on the programme 
  • Access to accelerator delivery partner products and services 
  • Assessments and coaching to improve investment readiness and NHS procurement compliance 
  • A high-profile Demo Day to showcase to investors, customers and partners 

The Accelerator aims to advance development, secure investment and drive commercial success for participating startups and scaleups, while embedding companies within South Yorkshire's rapidly growing cluster in digital health and wellbeing. 

Paul Scully MP, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, said: "Health and wellbeing tech start-ups in Sheffield are paving the way to breakthroughs in digital health, and we’re excited to be able to help out. 

“The Digital Growth Grant will allow Sheffield Hallam University's Advanced Wellbeing Accelerator to nurture high-potential businesses, solidifying Sheffield's emerging status as a hub for digital health tech innovation.” 

Jason Brannan, Deputy Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, said: "The University has seen fantastic outcomes from previous Wellbeing Accelerator cohorts, including millions raised in follow-on funding, NHS adoption, strategic partnerships, international expansion and jobs growth. The Accelerator connects ambitious founders with the full breadth of expertise and facilities needed to rapidly progress their innovations and really does underpin the AWRC’s mission of Transforming Lives Through Innovations That Help People Move.” 

With South Yorkshire set to become the UK’s first Investment Zone, creating an expected 8,000 new jobs and bringing £1.2bn of private investment by 2030, the Accelerator is well-timed to build on momentum within the region’s fast-evolving cluster of digital health and wellbeing companies. 

Brannan added: "We are seeing major investment into new facilities and infrastructure focused on child health, sports innovation, advanced diagnostics, business incubation and inward investment. The Accelerator can play a crucial role in realising the Investment Zone's potential as a UK hub for startups and scaleups across the advanced health and wellbeing sectors. As well as advanced manufacturing, we want to drive job creation in these transformative areas.”  

Barclays Eagle Labs have been awarded a £12m Digital Growth Grant by UK Government to support tech businesses in all corners of the UK. Through the grant, Barclays Eagle Labs aims to amplify on-the-ground support and boost the growth of UK tech and digital businesses for the next two years. 

Matt Corbidge, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs said: “The opportunity to match-fund this programme with Sheffield Hallam University will help start-ups and scale-ups in the health sector continue the development of their research, and ultimately support future advancements in the NHS. 

“The programme is an exciting chance for selected businesses to gain access to bespoke mentoring, funding and curated workshops – all whilst accessing the state-of-the-art facilities situated at the world-leading Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.” 

The cutting-edge Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre forms the centrepiece of Sheffield Hallam’s Health Innovation Campus, a health cluster dedicated to transforming lives locally and globally through research, innovation and skills development in health, sport and sustainability. 

The deadline for applications is Thursday 30 November. Visit the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre website for further details: www.shu.ac.uk/advanced-wellbeing-research-centre/accelerator

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