Bristol robotics entrepreneurs selected by top US hardware accelerator

Issue date: 29 May 2015

Silas Adekunle and the team at Reach Robotics are celebrating today as Reach announced it is joining Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator in San Diego, US. The accelerator will support the Reach team with the final challenging steps to the launch of their Mecha Monsters robot gaming system. “The Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is helping robotics start-ups take their ideas to the next level and transform the world … one robot at a time.“

Probably the best-connected young entrepreneur in Bristol, Silas began his start-up journey while studying Robotics at UWE. From the Reach Robotics base in the BRL Technology incubator, Silas has attracted financial support from the Bristol innovation ecosystem, including the BRL RIF, FET proof of concept, UWE iNets, the Manufacturing Advisory Service, UKTI and the REACT project. Silas and his CTO, Chris Beck, have represented the UK in Saudi Arabia, Japan, China and Silicon Valley and pitched at the European Robotics Forum in Vienna and Pitch@Palace winning the Peoples Vote. REACH is also one of five start-up finalists pitching at Innorobo in France this July. Chris is also completing a PhD at the BRL before he leaves for the US.

Jill Burnett, the BRL Innovation Manager, commented on the talent and focus shown by Silas and his team in reaching this point, “Silas had put more than 10,000 hours into product and business development even before he graduated last July. His selection by Techstars and Qualcomm is great return on his investment and recognition of Mecha Monsters' market potential. Reach is a great exemplar for everyone in the BRL's extensive network thinking about tech start-up”.

Silas commented on the program's excellent fit, “This is a perfect opportunity for us. We'll have access to Qualcomm's technical expertise and Techstars global network of successful innovators - and we've done all the groundwork to use these for full advantage. We will pitch to selected US investors in September and be ready to go to market with the Mecha Monsters gaming robots".

Chris added, “The selection process was intense. We were up against many impressive propositions, many from Harvard and MIT and Silas' decision to fly out for the interview rather than Skype was absolutely right. To explain where we were from, we described BRL as 'the MIT of the UK' – concise and meaningful in the US. Our pitch stood out creatively thanks to advice from the Pervasive Media Studio and all the pitch practice and testing we've done in the last year – with VIP visitors and technologists at the BRL, SETsquared, VCs, investors and competitions - has been invaluable.”

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