A space launch system, escape rooms, accessible kitchenware and a technology solution for the hard of hearing are just some of the latest products and ideas being developed with the support of DigitalCity.

A total of eight start-ups have been accepted onto the most recent cohort of the DigitalCity Fellowship Accelerator.

The six-month programme works with entrepreneurs and offers funding worth up to £5,000, as well as workshops and bespoke consultancy as they develop their product or idea.

DigitalCity, which is led by Teesside University in partnership with the Tees Valley Combined Authority and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), was recently acknowledged as one of the key drivers of digital growth in the Tees Valley when Middlesbrough was listed in the Tech Nation 2018 report as being in the vanguard of the UK’s burgeoning digital and hi-tech economy.

It was also awarded Knowledge Exchange/ Transfer Initiative of the Year trophy at this year’s Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs), for its contribution to economic growth in the area.

Since DigitalCity launched there have been a total of 355 Fellowships awarded, some of which have developed into the Tees Valley’s most successful digital businesses.

The latest cohort of DigitalCity fellows are:

  • Stratobooster – a space launch system, to launch small satellites into low earth orbit.
  • Desifa – a socially responsible start-up enhancing communication for the deaf and hard of hearing through smart technology.
  • Ghost Innovations – a mobile app that enables people who have a terminal illness to create and schedule messages to loved ones posthumously.
  • Orion Aura – a multi-functional, ergonomically designed kitchen product.
  • Project Escape – live ‘escape the room’ experiences.
  • Gigrep – a marketplace platform where live music event organisers find bands and performers.
  • Admit Me – a price comparison site and search engine for enhanced entertainment/sports event experiences.
  • Silver Lining Animation – a 2D animation studio specialising in creating promotional and educational content.

Ben White, co-founder of Silver Lining Animation, said: “We’re exploring some new routes to market involving off-the-shelf animations and so we’re hoping that the Fellowship Accelerator will help us develop those products.”

Jody Morgan, whose business, Orion Aura, makes accessible kitchenware for people with disabilities, said: “The Fellowship will really help, not just because of the funding, but the support it will give me to make the products and test the market.”

Lynsey Robinson, Director of DigitalCity, said: “We’re delighted to welcome another diverse and exciting cohort of entrepreneurs onto the Fellowship Accelerator.

“The programme has an incredible track record of helping some of the Tees Valley’s most innovative companies to grow and thrive, and we look forward to helping these start-ups reach their potential and make a strong contribution to Tees Valley’s economic success.”

For more information on DigitalCity visit www.thedigitalcity.com