For December’s edition of EBN Entrepreneur of the Month we present you Archipelago Technology, a Cambridge startup hosted since its inception at EU|BIC St John’s innovation Centre. They have successfully expanded and grown the business since being at the Centre which is an EBN Member.
Archipelago Technology develops waste-free technology used in printing, coating and high-value manufacturing. They aim to transform the reliability of industrial inkjet systems. They help customers make improvements in quality and efficiency through precision measurement and engineering.
The four founders of the company Guy Newcombe, David Connell, Victor Humberstone and Dan Mace are all champions of the ‘soft start’ philosophy where the company identifies an unmet need in a market and builds a technology platform to address the need with customer funding.
By going out and talking to customers the team was able to identify a particular problem that arose again and again. Virtually all products from buildings to cars to furniture are covered with a protective coating but the way the coating is applied is very wasteful. The team could see that by introducing a waste free non-contact coating technique they would save their customers large sums of money. The Archipelago team invented the Powerdrop technology to meet this need.
How has St John’s Innovation Centre supported Archipelago Technology?
Archipelago Technology has been at St John’s innovation Centre since the start of their business in 2012, growing their team (from four to ten) and developing their technologies and services in the last 5 years.
The team in front of St John’s Innovation Centre
They have received in-house coaching from the consultancy team at St John’s Innovation Centre to help them focus their growth goals and develop the strategy. The EU|BIC’s team has also helped Archipelago Technology with a number of applications for external funding which have been successful, while some of the coaching support was provided through the H2020 Enhancing Innovation Management Capacity Programme. Throughout the years, Archipelago Technology has been receiving an on-going support from the team, including St John’s Managing Director, David Gill:
“David Gill, St John’s Managing Director, is always helpful with suggestions, insightful comments and contacts for example for finance and training, individuals with sector expertise and is always very generous with his time”, said Guy Newcombe, the founder.
One of the main services the EU|BIC offers to the incubates is networking, and Archipelago Technology benefited from that too: “We have been able to take part in lots of networking through attending in-house events and social opportunities put on for tenants which have resulted in some great connections.”
Moreover, St John’s team introduced Archipelago Technology to major retailers who were interested in their technology, helping them expand their customer base and develop their business further. Nowadays, Archipelago Technology has become a well-known player in the inkjet manufacturing field.
EU|BIC St John's Innovation Centre was the first accredited EU|BIC in the East of England. Its mission is to provide a dynamic and supportive incubation environment to accelerate the growth of ambitious innovative firms in greater Cambridge.
Archipelago Technology team about St John's Innovation Centre: "There’s a buzz about the place, it’s full of expertise, it’s attractive to entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get to and they sell breakfast!"
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