Dublin-based science club Junior Einsteins and London-based AI company Therapy Box were crowned winners of the Virgin Business Voom competition 2018 in May by Sir Richard Branson, taking a joint share of the £1 million prize fund.
Linguistic solutions firm Therapy Box, which won the Scale & Grow category, said it has saved the NHS £6 million so far with its AI solution to help tackle development language disorder (DLD) in children.
Founder Rebecca Bright MBE, said the business had cut the cost for the NHS from £5,000 to £159 by replacing the older system with an app which is said to be able to detect DLD more effectively. The disorder currently affects two children out of a class of 30. Rebecca Bright MBE, co-founder of Therapy Box told judges, which included Sir Richard Branson and Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed, that its AI technology can pick out tell-tale signs in a child’s speech that show that they have the disorder. The app is currently live in 35 countries in 11 different languages.
Franchising model for the Middle-East
Jane Cassidy, founder of Junior Einstein and a scientist herself, wants to bring ‘hands on, interactive learning’ to schools and after-school clubs such as teaching children how plastic is made and how the military protects themselves. The company plan to use a franchising/master franchising business model and aims to export its business overseas. Cassidy told GrowthBusiness that schools in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UAE had expressed strong interest in the business. ‘We are hearing that they want the science to be taught in English and that’s very important for them,’ she said at the event in Tobacco Dock, East London.
Peter Kelly, MD at Virgin media business said, ‘Congratulations to today’s worthy winners, These dynamic businesses symbolise the vitality and potential of start-ups and small businesses that Voom is helping to unleash. We wish all of our finalists the best of luck for the future.’
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin group founder, said, ‘I’m blown away by the quality of the pitches and the incredible passion today’s finalists have demonstrated. Congratulations to the fantastic winners and to our runners up who worked extremely hard to get here.’
The other finalists were Castify, a video casting app, Action Petz, a franchised indoor dog park, eco-tech company Gobbler Boats and Rejuce, a bottled juice company.