One year on: Innovation and Impact in East London

By June 29, 2018Blog, Featured Article

It’s been one year since the Allia Future Business Centre opened in Hackney, East London. In that time there has been a significant impact made on the local area, most importantly creating employment opportunities for people living locally.

Through the Allia Serious Impact accelerator and incubator programmes which run from the centre, local entrepreneurs and existing businesses are supported to grow, develop local economic opportunities and create employment for people in East London.

The programmes have had a huge impact on people’s financial wellbeing and are helping to transform communities. Over the year over 100 ventures have been supported, and a total of 15 new jobs have been created so far by ventures supported by these programmes.

Hear about some of the ventures on the Allia Serious Impact incubator programme over the past year, and the impact they have made in East London:

Smart Separations
Who are they?

A microfiltration technology company with the mission to ‘Improve quality of life through innovation’, in the areas of health, the environment and human causes.

What impact are they making? 

Their technology has vast positive applications in the global microfiltration industry including stem cell and blood research, air purification, human cell separation, and the reduction of industrial emissions.

What have they achieved on the Serious Impact programme?

They were recently awarded a grant of 2 million euros by the European commission under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 grant. They are using this funding to make ceramic microfiltration membranes, a field that has been previously overlooked by current technologies.

They have grown immensely since joining Allia Serious Impact and have even employed four new dedicated staff members.

“Since the first day we were involved with Allia, Smart Separations grew from six employees to 10 dedicated staff members. As a small company that has grown this much from a simple idea at a kitchen and a one-man band, we really value incubators like Allia Serious Impact.”

 

BuddyHub
Who are they?

A platform that connects an older person with up to three like-minded Buddies, to improve lives of older people who are feeling lonely.

What impact are they making?

One million people over the age of 65 feel lonely ‘all or most of the time’ in the UK. Loneliness is also harmful to both physical and mental health. The aim is to alleviate loneliness and isolation and therefore improve good health and wellbeing while making friendships during the process.

What have they achieved on the Serious Impact programme?

Founder Catherine McClen faced certain challenges as a fresh startup including securing funding and accessing partnerships with organisations. Through Allia Serious Impact she has felt supported through these challenges and has the confidence to combat them with the knowledge and skills that have been provided through the incubator.

Buddy Hub have already built around 20 friendship wheels in a pilot, connecting various seniors and buddies, and they are now able to provide lower rates of the platform for those who are on benefits.

“The early stages of building a business can be tough and isolating, but on the programme everyone knows what you are going through and is on hand to give you support when you need it.”

 

Diversity Hut
Who are they?

A diversity-centered consultancy firm, which aims to help the workplace more accurately understand and represent diversity in society.

What impact are they making?

Diversity Hut are working with corporates to increase diversity and reduce inequalities within their workforce, using non-traditional channels to promote job opportunities to BME job seekers to find meaningful employment. Diversity Hut’s work aims to enable people to see their diversity or minority as an empowerment and strength, not a disadvantage.

What have they achieved on the Serious Impact programme?

Usman has reached a point where he is able to work full time through Diversity Hut. Usman was also shortlisted as a finalist in the Inspiring Change Awards this year.

“Companies now want to invest, I need full time employees – so the future is looking bright.”

“I have never looked back since joining the incubator. I’ve been introduced to so many people, and have learnt from their successes and mistakes. You can’t buy that knowledge. Without Allia Serious Impact I wouldn’t have got very far. It has given me belief in myself and my organisation, and everything I need to grow Diversity Hut”

Find out more about our accelerator and incubator programmes in East London