REACTOR ends after three years of SME and start-up innovation in Cambridgeshire

Published: 7 October 2019 at 16:01

SME and start-up accelerator project, REACTOR, came to a close at the end of September 2019, after celebrating its final event on 12 September at Cambridge Junction. The project, led by Anglia Ruskin University and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has engaged with nearly 150 businesses since its inception in 2016.

The final event, REACTOR Springboard, hosted an exhibition of Business Support organisations to SMEs in the next phase of their business development, was the last in the project’s series of meet-up events. The meet-ups are one element of the programme of support REACTOR has offered to SMEs and start-ups in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region, which has also included business mentoring, support networks, match-funded grants, practical workshops, and use of its Cambridge Incubator Space.

Dr Jan Storgårds, REACTOR Project Director, said: “The past few years with REACTOR have been extremely rewarding; not just because of the fantastic work that we have seen achieved through our support, but also the amazing people that we have met along the way. We have been able to support innovative SMEs through our knowledge in gamification, expertise in enterprise and connections with industry partners. Through the power of games, we have been able to give the SMEs we work with a competitive advantage; helping them to gain long-lasting tangible results in their industry. There is a real taste for innovation in Cambridge, and we have loved being at the centre of it.

 “While this is the end of REACTOR as we officially know it – this is just the beginning of SME and start-up success in the region. Through the support of Anglia Ruskin University, we will endeavour to continue our positive work and impact on local start-ups.”  

REACTOR was conceived with the aim of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region, which the project did through the use, and the teaching of, gamification; the application of game mechanics in non-games contexts. Throughout the project, REACTOR has supported a variety of SMEs and start-ups at various stages of development, including YoYo Let’s Go, a gamified travel app, Playphysio, a gamified medical app, and Moneyready, a gamified financial support app. 

Will Jackson, Founder of Playphysio, said: “The power and potential for positive change that gamification holds is huge – with the support of REACTOR, I was able to utilise gamification to design a medical app that encouraged children with cystic fibrosis to keep up with their treatment. Gamification and games mechanics is known to benefit user experience, so it is time we used it to affect positive human behaviour change.”

Business owners seeking future support can get in touch with Anglia Ruskin University by following the contact links here or via email: business@aru.ac.uk.