Another successful week for the Catalyst Centre. Funding for BluPoint!

After the success of Gareth Bristow and Roc Pro last week at The Pitch 2013, the Catalyst Centre has been bursting with positivity. We didn’t think the week could get any better, but little did we know that Mike Santer of BluPoint was on his way to our weekly seminar with bottles of champagne and chocolates to celebrate a BluPoint success!

Two months ago, with the help of Alan Scrase from SETsquared Southampton, BluPoint answered a call-out from the ITaaU, to be considered for a grant awarded by the Research Councils UK’s “Digital Economy” project, and The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. After two months of waiting, and a few emails back and forth, Mike finally had the call he’d been waiting for; confirmation that he is the recipient of the  grant, which will sustain a 6 month research project that will see Mike travelling to countries where BluPoint’s services could be of immense value to underprivileged and remote communities.

Mike has already started planning the logistics of the project, which will see him visit two countries: Dutywa in Transkei South Africa, a small, dusty trading town with 6,000 inhabitants, and New Delhi, where he will meet with a local team of 6,500 village entrepreneurs, trained in a variety of businesses such as healthcare, mobile phone repairs, and food trading.

The purpose of this project is to enable Mike to gather information straight from the end-user. He will be speaking directly with the leaders of these communities, to find out exactly how easier, faster and cheaper access to data will help them, and the communities they live in. This invaluable end user generated data will enable BluPoint to ensure that they are providing exactly what the customer needs, wants, and is willing to pay for.

Mike hopes that this grant is going to stimulate further growth for BluPoint, by providing the capital it needs to carry out much needed research, which will in turn allow the service offering to be refined, based on the findings from the visits to end-users. Mike is delighted to be the beneficiary of the grant, commenting: “The grant is a hugely positive step forward for BluPoint, which will allow us to verify customer requirements and identify solutions to some the challenges that lie ahead. I also hope this funding will give BluPoint the leverage to apply for further grants to facilitate the development of the product itself, and start the manufacturing process. We are particularly interested in the Smart awards scheme, so that is the next application I will be asking Alan to help me complete!”