Bristol Post 21st March 2018





Bristol Post

Bristol Post

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Robotics experts networking with South Korean car giant TRADE MISSION S TUDENT technology entrepren - eurs from Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL) have been se - lected to take part in an Innovate UK business trip to South Korea. Louie Hadley ALI ROHAFZA This is a rare opportunity to meet a host of South Korean companies pushing the boundaries of technology development.


Lord Sugar ’s Apprentice to share his climb to top

n A FIRM behind the world’s first floating exercise mat has attracted investment from Bristol Private Equity Club. Aqua Physical received £320,000 of funding from club members as its AquaBase exercise mat takes off in hotels and health clubs around the world. Leila Francis Coleman, man- aging director of AquaPhysical, said: “We are delighted that Bristol Private Equity Club has invested in AquaPhysical and are looking forward to working together to maintain a leading brand position and build presence in selected markets. “In order to achieve this, we will be focusing the investment on at- tracting talented staff, building capability and pushing hard for Private Equity Club, said: “Aqua Physical are the market leaders and inventors of the world’s first fitness float. It has taken off quickly online becoming something of an internet sensa- tion – and hotels are already buy- ing in to the concept. “They provide fun, innovative products that use water to trans- form fitness routines. It is a busi- ness with an exciting innovative product that needs to grow quickly to take advantage of the current interest and that is where funding like ours can help.” BPEC first became aware of Aqua Physical through their fin- ance director Peter Jowitt, who comes from Bristol. He said: “We have put this in- vestment in to help them cope with a surge in orders. “Scaling up operations is one of the biggest problems facing new businesses. “This funding will see them through the next 18 months as they catch up with the success of their product.” This is the 12th deal Bristol Private Equity Club has signed, bringing their total investment to more than £2m. the next few years’ growth.” Jerry Barnes, from Bristol

The founders of Altitude Tech, a start-up venture specialising in ro - botics and nanomaterials based in the BRL’s Hardware Incubator, will meet representatives from compan - ies including Hyundai and Samsung during the trade mission this week. Ali Rohafza, the company ’s CEO, said: “This event brings together companies andresearch-performing organisations working in key en - abling technologies to focus on the opportunities and benefits that in - novative solutions can bring to achieve more efficient and effective operational models. “The event features two key sec - tors where the UK and South Korea are particularly strong: advanced material and immersive tech. “This is a rare opportunity to meet a host of South Korean companies pushing the boundaries of techno - logy development. “We will be networking with car giant Hyundai, discussing our graphene progress with nanotech - nology specialists KAIST & Hanwha. We will also be dropping in for a visit to see Samsung’s Internet of Things branch, Samsung ARTIK, to further a relationship which was started last year.” Altitude Tech is following in the footsteps of several other successful start-up companies from the BRL Hardware Incubator selected for In - n PROPERTY company Urban Creation has pledged to breathe new life into a run-down, empty building in Bristol city centre by converting it into high quality, stylish student apartments. Urban Creation bought 50 Park Street, which was vacant at the time but formerly a nightclub, from a private landlord and has now been given planning consent to turn the property into boutique flats. The apartments will include all the modern touches including dishwashers, en-suite shower rooms and ultra-fast internet con- nections. The 50 Park Street site was cleared after a previous building was bombed during World War II but it was rebuilt in the 1950s. Urban Creation says it will bring back “traditional charm and char- acter” to the building by creating a mansard roof at the front of the

Louie Hadley

“2017’s Showcase attracted a range of prestigious brands and SMEs from in and around Bristol, eager to net - work, support one another and, quite simply, do business. “I’ll be talking about my journey in business – from coming over from Australia, to winning The Appren - tice, then working with Lord Sugar on the development of the business. “Lord Sugar has been there, bought the T-shirt and made a few billion pounds, so he knows exactly what he’s talking about when it comes to developing a successful business. “The Climb Online Bristol office opened inOctober 2016 and has had an exceptional first 18 months or so, proving that Bristol is an excellent City for Business development. I am, therefore, really looking forward to May’s event, and discussing the power of digital marketing for busi - ness growth.” The event is sponsored by several leading companies. The global office firm Regus has supported both the May and October events this year. John Ryder, director of Regus in the South West, said: “We are a com - pany that is wholly about supporting business and, as such, it’s a natural fit for us to get behind this huge celebration of the best in the South West! “I attended the previous event and decided that as a global company, with endless local connections

cost. Working at the forefront of nan - omaterials research, AltitudeTech’s founders believe its graphene sensor technology has the potential to make an impact in robotics, medicine and other sectors. The companywas founded by three students who were studying Robotics and Product Design at UWE Bristol who have grown a successful busi - ness and brought a range of products to market. The team is now made up of seven core members, all of whom studied at UWE Bristol. Altitude Tech has also found suc - cess in the Duke of York ’s Pitch@Palace initiative, which helps to connect entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters, including CEOs, influ - encers, angels, mentors and business partners. Their Pitch@Palace story began in 2015, when the business reached the boot camp stage of the competition. The company was subsequently invited to further events across the globe including one in Lebanon. Altitude Tech’s relationship with Pitch@Palace continues, with its founders attending alumni events.

M ARKWright got ‘hired’ on the hit BBC TV series The Ap - prentice in 2012 and has since gone on to create the most successful business by any winner. Mark will be appearing as a key - note speaker at the 7th Business Showcase South West in Bristol on Wednesday, May 16, from 10am-4pm. The exhibition, which is free to attend, is being held at Ashton Gate Stadium. Seeing Mark speak is also free thanks to the event sponsors. The Business Showcase will have 260 exhibition stands taken by busi - nesses from across the South West and the organisers are expecting more than 5,500 plus attendees. First West of England are running a free bus service from Temple Meads station and shuttles from around the city, helping to keep the Business Showcase free to travel to whilst the official car parks are free to use. The event is supported by the Bris - tol Post, Bath Chronicle and Gloucester Echo who will be hosting the special networking cafe. Talking about his return to the stadium, Mark said: “The Business Showcase South West is an excellent event, and one that I am delighted to be speaking at for a second year running.

n Apprentice winner Mark Wright, who will be speaking at this year’s Business Showcase, with mentor Lord Sugar

He said:“I like seeing people come to together and do well. “We welcomed 5,542attendees last October and expect to shoot past that this May. “Mark is hoping to inspire busi - ness people from across the South West at this free event, with his experience and insights. “Google are once again offering two workshops on social media for businesses and cyber security, whilst seven expert-led, info-packed free lec - tures are being hosted in the Trinity Mirror Seminar Zone.” Jamie added:“The Business Show - case South West is a day-long busi - ness opportunity – you can have lunch in the Trinity Mirror Net - working Cafe, attend expert-led workshops, take part in speed net - working and meet thousands of busi - nesses”. n To book free delegate tickets read- ers can go to showcase-deleg- .

n The Altitude team

novate UK/Department for Interna - tional Trade-funded International Business Exchange Programme trips. In recent years Reach Robotics, Open Bionics, Agilic and Aralia Sys - tems have visited the USA, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan, as part of the 'Innovation is GREAT' campaign. Based at Bristol Robotics Laboratory,

Altitude Tech benefits from access to world-class technology expertise and state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment. With recent advances in sensor technologies, the company is devel - oping a new range of gas sensors using machine algorithms which could significantly drive down their

look forward to a year of partner - ship.” The Business Showcase South West was founded by TV presenter and SundayMirror columnist Jamie.

through our business centres across the region, that this would be a great event to sponsor. We ’re proud to be associated with organiser Jamie Breese and the Showcase team and



“This property caught my eye as I could see it had the potential to be transformed from a vacant, somewhat dilapidated building in- to a vibrant, characterful space for students to live in and make the most of city life,” he said. “These high-quality apartments will meet a known demand from both UK and international stu- dents who are keen to embrace everything this buzzing city has to offer, with the student scene right on their doorstep.” The scheme will include 13 beds in total, including two three-bedroom flats, five one-bed- room duplexes – with an upper bedroom area – and two studios. The addition of an asymmet- rical pitched roof to the rear two-storey element of the build- ing will house the duplexes, re- flecting Urban Creation’s focus on creating cleverly-designed spaced. A commercial unit on the

ground floor will also be up- graded for use by a new tenant. The new apartments at 50 Park Street are expected to be ready for occupation from January 2019. Urban Creation is also behind boutique student accommodation recently created at Charlotte’s Rise on Charlotte Street in Clifton, and The Manor House, off St Michael’s Hill, by the University of Bristol campus. The property company also launched a new venture last year, Beech House, offering boutique serviced apartments in Clifton for those visiting the city for business or pleasure. Jonathan, who lives in the city with his family, has many years of experience in developing historic and complex properties into homes that are stylish and prac- tical, with attention to detail at the heart of his approach.

This Ad is supported by our Partner ExterionMedia THE SOUTH WEST’S BIGGEST FREE BUSINESS EXPO



n Owner of Urban Creation Jonathan Brecknell


four-storey building, as well as in- corporating features such as peri- od-style sash windows into the design. Jonathan Brecknell, director and owner of Urban Creation, which develops and manages property developments, ex- plained what motivated him to choose this particular area of Bristol and the potential he saw in it.

Unit B, new production/distribution building with yard 25,132 sq ft

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