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A diverse mix of business solutions pitched to DBA at their April ’23 event

The ‘ultimate sunscreen for sport’, revolutionising dementia care and rentable domestic EV charge points – A diverse mix of business solutions pitched to Dorset Business Angels at their quarterly pitch event at the Bournemouth Carlton Hotel.

DBA welcomed entrepreneurs based across the South of England, two of them from the BCP area. The ‘Dragons type Den’ initiative sees each presenting business with a strict ten minutes to make a compelling case for investment, followed by ten minutes of investors posing questions to the presenting entrepreneurs.

‘Creating the ultimate sports sunscreen’

A Christchurch-based company whose mission statement is that it ‘strives to create the ultimate sports sunscreen’ has developed a sun protection product that delivers maximum protection for endurance sports enthusiasts, adventurers and professional athletes who have to deal with altitude, snow, and relentless seawater environments. The product is manufactured in Dorset.

The two founders relayed how they started creating their products after a chance meeting with an Olympic windsurfer who had explained how the sports sector lacks a trusted performance sunscreen, that skin damage from overexposure to the sun affects performance and how sports outlets do not generally sell sunscreen products.

The business has partnered and collaborated with Allingham Beck Associates to develop and test products, in order to create a sunscreen that has been designed specifically for the demands of sports in extreme conditions, that lasts as long as you need it to, using a unique hybrid blend of organic and mineral filters for optimum sun protection.

The marketing strategy is to focus on niche sports segments and retailers such as windsurf shops, chandleries, marinas, hotels, winter sports outlets and water sports shops.
Athlete partnerships have been built with notable sportspeople.

The founders advised how they are being mentored by local businessman, Jim Cregan (Founder Jimmy’s Iced Coffee), Dan Miles (Marketing Director Coca-Cola), and Michael Hall (Retired, International Financial Tax Adviser).

The business is seeking £150,000 for 10% equity and will use the funds to test and certify 3 new products, buy stock and enhance its marketing plan. There were several expressions of interest.

‘Revolutionising dementia care’

Impressing the investors was the founder and director of a business that has developed wearable technology to benefit people with dementia, learning difficulties or traumatic brain injuries, living in residential or nursing care in the community. SmartSocks, installed with sensors, help to detect unobserved/uncommunicated distress in people living with these kind of conditions and patients can be supported accordingly.

The founder explained his personal story behind the business, inspired by his great-grandmother who developed dementia. He described how people with dementia struggle to communicate distress and how unmanaged pain & anxiety can escalate into aggression and disruptive behaviour. If well-being declines, care costs can increase by up to £22,0000 per person.

The UK currently has 944,000 people with dementia, it is anticipated that 1.1 million will be living with dementia in 2030 and 1.6 million in 2050.

The business has been backed by the biggest names in dementia, including the Alzheimer’s Society, UK Dementia Research Institute and the University of Exeter Medical School.

With a UK patent pending, the business states that the SmartSocks are machine washable, with no need to remove the sensor or to recharge it. The investors learned how the soles of the feet are an excellent location for measuring stress, with the socks unlikely to be removed. The business model was described as providing either a one-off purchase of 7 SmartSocks per client with a unit value of £1,500, or a ‘Socks-as-a-Service’ with 3 new & 6 refurbished SmartSocks per year, with a unit revenue of £600.

Seeking £500,000 investment, which will unlock Innovate UK grants worth £850,000, investors were urged to support the business’ mission to revolutionise dementia care. Several investors expressed interest.

‘Rental of domestic EV charge points’

The final pitch came from a company solving some of the issues of charging your electric vehicle at home, by facilitating the rental of domestic EV charge points with neighbouring motorists on a regular, bookable, and affordable basis, with all searching booking, charging and payments managed in an app.

The founder described how only around half of UK drivers are likely to get a home charger and that 98% of EV sales are to those with off-street parking. People who can’t have home chargers aren’t buying EVs.

Describing the benefits for those who cannot have a home charge point;

  • Reduced dependency for fleet operators on public charging points, more dependable scheduling, cheaper charging
  • Cheaper, bookable, ‘off the clock’ charging for taxi and private hire drivers
  • Reassurance to the private motoring to switch to an EV, providing the benefits of a home charger, without a home charger.

The pitching entrepreneur advised how the solution was an excellent fit for a huge emerging market, with a model applicable across the world and that now was the right time to accelerate growth. Seeking a bridging investment of £100k until several strategic investors considering a major investment in the business come on board in Q2 2023. Again, several expressions of interest were received.

Don McQueen says, “We’ve had a packed and very successful day, kicking off with our DBA workshop which enabled participants to take their fresh knowledge and understanding with them into the live pitch event.

“The pitching businesses did not disappoint. It has been brilliant to welcome such an expanding group of experienced and high-calibre investors. We’ve had lots of interesting and insightful questioning and discussions, with investors drawing on their individual sector experience to probe further.

“We always encourage new guests to our pitch evenings. It’s worth coming along to find out what Angel investing is all about – we promise that you won’t be expected to get your chequebook out on the night!”

DBA was formed in 2013 and provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI). Any investments are in the form of an equity investment and not a debtor’s loan. Investments are made across all sectors.

Angel investment might come from a single investor, or it could be 2 or 3 Angels pooling funds together to support a company as a syndicate.

DBA is sponsored by Saffery Champness Accountants, Ellis Jones Solicitors and Investec Wealth and Investment. To book on to the pitch event on June 19th visit
www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk/events.