Community 20.07.20

Wellbeing Accelerator June cohort – who, what and why

As with the April cohort, the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) Wellbeing Accelerator has provided an update on the June cohort – who they are, what they do and why they were accepted on the programme – to encourage applications from other start-ups in the wellbeing sector.

There are still places left in the July cohort and applications for the final two cohorts – in September and November – will be accepted soon.


Aseptika, a Cambridge-based healthcare business, have developed a remote monitoring system for patients with non-communicable diseases.

The start-up is partnering with an AWRC academic to analyse statistical patient data from a trial of their Active+me REMOTE Cardiac Rehabilitation service at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic when many Cardiac Rehabilitation services were forced to close, design a research protocol, publish a paper and jointly apply for funding for a larger trial with the NIHR.

We accepted them because:
• Their product is innovative, including remote delivery to patients during the pandemic
• Their product is highly innovative and fits the two of the accelerator eligibility themes
• They already had a relationship with an AWRC academic
• They have already deployed their technology into the NHS that confirms the concept is working
• We have the required academic expertise to meet their needs


hero are a Leeds-based health tech and services start up focused on evidence based strategic initiatives to impact preventative and holistic health, focusing on tools to support lifestyle, mental, physical, social and financial health.

They create organisation specific technology, services and communication strategies with its award winning and highly customisable Navigator Platform. This sees them supporting a wide variety of over 100 organisations from corporates to property developers, elite sports to retirement villages.

They joined the accelerator because they want to add clinical validation to preventative health and lifestyle habits as key interventions for mental, physical and social health.

We accepted them because:
• Their product is exciting
• Their product is highly innovative and fits the two of the accelerator eligibility themes
• They have successfully proved the concept of their product in elite sport with Premier League clubs like Manchester United and Manchester City
• They want to apply this to other areas like retirement housing
• We have the academic expertise to help them

JT Rehab

JT Rehab are a Sheffield-based rehabilitation device start-up.

They have developed S-Press, a novel rehabilitation device for preventing hospital acquired de-conditioning and improving leg strength to maintain crucial physical function. They want our help with pressure measurement and ergonomic design of their device.

We accepted them because:
• They fit two of the accelerator eligibility themes: healthy and active 100, and living well with chronic disease
• They have a track record of winning funding from organisations like Versus Arthritis to develop their device
• Their device is innovative and nothing like it currently exists
• They have worked previously with researchers from Sheffield Hallam University as well as the AWRC
• They will benefit from the cutting-edge equipment and laboratories at the AWRC


A Norwegian start-up, with a UK operation, that motivates older adults and those with dementia to do more physical activity.

They have developed Motiview, a motivational tool that stimulates older people and people with dementia to increased physical, mental and social wellbeing. Using a specially adapted indoor exercise bike, video and sound, the users can take cycle trips through familiar surroundings and childhood memories. The technology visually and mentally stimulates older people and those living with dementia.

They want our help to get better connected with, and understand better, the UK social care market to enable them to grow their UK business.

We accepted them because:
• Their technology fits two of the accelerator eligibility themes: living well with chronic disease, and technological and digital innovations to promote independent lives
• Our mentors and wider network have extensive links to the NHS
• We have the required expertise in digital product development


Shapemaster are a Holmfirth-based company who provide exercise equipment suitable for older adults.
They are a UK manufacturer of ‘Power Assisted Exercise’ equipment suitable for people who feel uncomfortable within a traditional gym environment, such as those aged 55+, to support active ageing in older adults and those living with a wide range of long term health conditions.

They want to adapt their products to allow user ID and motivation, digital connectivity, and preliminary usability testing.

We accepted them because:
• They already have a long-term strategic relationship with the AWRC and Sheffield Hallam University
• Entry into the accelerator programme strengthens this relationship
• They strongly fit into two of the accelerator eligibility themes: healthy and active 100 and living well with chronic disease
• We have the right academic expertise to deliver their needs

About the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre Wellbeing Accelerator

The AWRC Wellbeing Accelerator is a rolling programme running from April 2020 to March 2021 that supports start-ups, academics, and businesses working in wellbeing with mentoring, sector expertise and specialist facilities.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the first phase of the Accelerator programme will be delivered virtually, with technology used to provide mentoring and consulting support.

In this phase we will recruit 3 cohorts of 5 start-ups to the programme.

In the second phase, from September, we will recruit a further 9 start-ups to the programme across 2 cohorts: one in September and one in November.

The Wellbeing Accelerator at the AWRC is one of 20 University Enterprise Zones (UEZs), launched with a £20 million investment delivered by Research England, part of UK Research and Innovation. The Accelerator’s aim is to increase the likelihood of, and reduce the timescales for, innovations to be brought to market through a period of intensive testing and development.

The AWRC, which forms the centrepiece of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move. Its mission is to prevent and treat chronic disease through co-designed research into physical activity – whilst also attracting new jobs and investment to the region.

If you are a start-up working on a wellbeing innovation and want to apply to be on the AWRC Wellbeing Accelerator programme please apply here: application form.