Dr Deborah Wake, co-founder and chief executive of MyWay, a diabetes management app, said the programme helped her to refine the pitch skills needed for the grant application process

Fifteen tech start-ups have raised £6.3 million in investment and grants after taking part in a new AI accelerator programme set up by the University of Edinburgh.

The accelerator ran for five months from February and sought to help AI startups with high-growth potential.

The final 15 companies were chosen from 89 applicants and include Sharktower, a project management software firm that recently raised £400,000 in seed funding, and Reath, a software firm that helps companies become more environmentally friendly.

Another participant My Way, is a diabetes management app that uses Al to predict the efficacy of treatment, employs 30 people and recently raised £1.2 million in grant funding. Dr Deborah Wake, its co-founder and chief executive, said the programme helped her to refine the pitch skills needed for the grant application process. “We did an interview so pitching was an important part of that,” she said. “Being able to show you’ve been successful in getting on to programmes like the Al accelerator and the wider ecosystem that that offers is all incredibly helpful in
terms of these applications.” An expert in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, Wake spent the majority of her career in frontline medicine and academia. Learning some of the commercial skills necessary to build her business was invaluable, she said.
“Commercial delivery, managing a team, managing finances, these are all things that if you’re an employee in a big organisation aren’t really your problem and suddenly you’re the one having to deal with all that.”

Half a million patients and healthcare professionals have accessed information via the MyWay Diabetes portal, while 70,000 have downloaded the app. Operating a licencing model, it sells predominantly to NHS trusts, private healthcare companies and insurers that pay “a few pounds” per patient per year for access to resources.

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