A Northumberland innovator has gained £50,000 of Authorities funding to scale-up her enterprise and assist the UK ‘construct again higher’ from the Covid pandemic.
Katharine Paterson is one in every of 40 feminine entrepreneurs to have scooped an Innovate UK Ladies in Innovation award, which recognise girls who’re pursuing breakthrough new enterprise concepts.
Mrs Paterson based her So To Firm, headquartered on the Dissington Corridor Enterprise Hub, to create her pioneering Karekot.
The product goals to take away the issues of conventional nursery cots by lowering the alternatives for infants and toddlers to injure themselves whereas additionally defending mother and father from injuring their backs when lifting their youngster out and in, by an ingenious drop-side mechanism.
The £50,000 money injection means Mrs Paterson will be capable to develop the enterprise she based after watching her personal daughter, Evie, undergo repeated minor accidents after getting her legs trapped between the bars of her picket cot.
She stated: “I cried with absolute pleasure and aid after I discovered I had been profitable within the Innovate UK Ladies in Innovation Awards.
“The award couldn’t have come at a greater time because it permits us to finalise Karekot and hopefully safe orders and gross sales. This can then allow infants to sleep extra safely and soundly, which is on the coronary heart of what Karekot is all about.
“I’m actually trying ahead to benefiting from being a part of a supportive Ladies in Innovation community, each from my friends and likewise from the intensive teaching and mentoring on supply.”
Science Minister Amanda Solloway, added: “As we construct again higher from Covid, it’s a precedence of mine to proceed equipping our brightest feminine innovators with the instruments they should succeed, whereas encouraging a brand new technology of girls to come back ahead and pursue their ambitions.
“At this time we’re supporting one in every of Newcastle’s most trailblazing feminine entrepreneurs, serving to them to show their revolutionary concepts right into a actuality creating the services and products that can assist enhance our lives and enhance our economic system.”
The funding is a part of the Authorities’s Ladies in Innovation Awards, delivered by Innovate UK, a part of UK Analysis and Innovation (UKRI), which seeks to spice up the variety of UK feminine entrepreneurs.
It types a key a part of the Authorities’s Analysis and Growth Roadmap, revealed in July final yr, which dedicated to supporting the UK’s innovators and risk-takers by backing entrepreneurs and start-ups with the funding wanted to scale up their improvements.
Mrs Paterson says she thought she may repair the issues being encountered by her daughter through the use of cot bumpers. However she was shocked to find these got here with warnings of strangulation and suffocation. It led her to make a prototype of what she needed a cot to be like, mocked up utilizing muslin and pencils.
Mrs Paterson stated: “That is the place my journey began. I’m not a designer, nor am I significantly inventive, however from right here on in, I used to be on a mission to assist all infants sleep extra safely and soundly.
“That is what set me off on my mission to create a cot mattress which has systematically designed out all of the hazards I, and numerous different mother and father, face.”
Mrs Paterson, who studied at Newcastle College and the College of Sheffield, will deal with confirming ultimate design, manufacturing, certification and defending her present patents together with her undertaking. She has secured a variety of grants and loans and is near finalising the design of Karekot.
Emily Nott, head of equality, variety and inclusion at Innovate UK stated: “We are able to’t wait to see what else these inspiring girls obtain and the way they are often an instance to encourage the subsequent technology and to encourage extra women-led companies on this nation as we rebuild and recuperate.”