Leeds consultancy's accelerator programme is looking towards a healthy future

Leeds brand design consultancy Elmwood's managing partner Sarah Dear writes for Digital City following the start of the company's Elmwood LaunchPod business accelerator programme.

Sarah Dear.
Sarah Dear.

Some of the most innovative ideas are found among start-up businesses. But for those ideas to take hold and become viable, they need to be nurtured, tested and refined.

That’s why we created Elmwood LaunchPod, to shape the future direction of regional organisations and help position Yorkshire as one of the UK’s leading innovation hubs contributing to the region’s economy.

The team at Elmwood prides itself on being at the intersection of creativity and innovation.

So, in an ever-evolving consumer driven world where the average, the safe and the familiar don’t make the cut, we recognise the impact small, agile, scaling companies are having and the important role they play in creating new jobs and prosperity in the region.

We have been headquartered in Leeds for 40 years and have played an integral role in helping regional businesses grow, as well as generating income for the region and attracting international brands.

Regional development efforts, in which Elmwood has been an active participant, through LeedsBID, have made Leeds one of the UK’s foremost smart cities, recognised for its path-finding work, particularly in bringing together an integrated approach to creating a healthier city.

With the region taking a lead role across the academic, public and private health sectors, driving cutting-edge research at its five universities, being home to more than 250 medtech companies and 22 per cent of the UK’s digital health jobs based in Leeds, our Leeds studio is ideally placed to advance and promote the development of consumer health entrepreneurs.

This is one of the reasons we chose our inaugural programme to focus on start-ups who are developing the next generation of consumer health experiences that help improve people’s lives.

By bringing together talented entrepreneurs with breakthrough ideas propelled by the power of design with creativity and technology at the core, we want to invest in where the future is headed, outpacing the rate of change, delivering human impact, while creating commercial success.

Working with the teams at Engagify Ltd, Dietary Assessment Ltd, Shift.ms and DigiBete, we are in the early stages of our 12-week programme and the feedback we’ve received so far has been positive.

By providing access to office space, mentorship, workshops and client and investor networks, we want to give these organisations the opportunity to expand their skillset, build their own infrastructures, emphasise their core competencies and identify their competitive strengths and use these to take their early-stage ventures to the next level.

Ultimately, we want to make a real difference by bringing emerging ideas to market and importantly, play a fundamental role in boosting productivity by investing in skills, new products and processes, research and development. Enabling these innovative companies to thrive and grow in turn will help us to further enhance the region’s reputation as a centre for industry and innovation.