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27 November 2017

Metasonics hears $13,400 loud and clear

Metasonics will receive $13,400 in prize money from University of Bristol’s New Enterprise Competition to help fund its soundwave alteration platform.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Metasonics, a UK-based sound technology spinout from universities of Sussex and Bristol, was awarded £10,000 ($13,400) in funding on Friday following its victory in Bristol's New Enterprise Competition (NEC).

This year's NEC contest offered £40,000 in total to businesses and social enterprises associated with the students, staff and alumni of University of Bristol.

Metasonics received the first prize for its soundwave alteration technology, which manipulates sound similar to how a lens shapes light. The system could deliver precise advertising sounds to individuals or use soundwaves to precipitate appliance breakdowns.

The spinout was co-founded by Mihai Caleap, chief technical officer of Metasonics and senior research associate in mechanical engineering at Bristol, who was helped by researchers from Sussex's Department of Informatics.

Caleap said: "We are over the moon to have won. This support will give us an invaluable start in bringing Metasonics to a mass market and open up a new world of technology."

Metasonics will look to replicate the progress of former NEC contestants such as Ultrahaptics, a UK-based mid-air haptics spinout from Bristol that was awarded $24,000 in 2013. 

Ultrahaptics later closed a $23m series B round in May 2017 with contribut­ions from commercialisation firm IP Group and diversified conglomerate Cornes. Some of the capital was earmarked for Ultrahaptics’ international expansion.

Other businesses to have been recognised in the latest NEC contest include:

  • Go.For was awarded $6,700 to fund digital software that assists diners with dietary requirements looking for an appropriate meal while eating out.
  • Lettus Grow has received $5,300 for its agritech business, which aims to manufacture physical tools for feeding crops more efficiently.
  • Ode to Oat was granted $1,300 to help run its mobile food stall in Bristol, which offers a range of oat-based breakfasts.
  • Complia, will have one-year access to SetSquared to commercialise interfaces designed to improve electronic music production. SetSquared is an academic entrepreneurial partnership of Bristol, Bath, Surrey, Southampton and Exeter universities.
  • Rinsed Cleaning has been shortlisted for a service that would match cleaning errands with refugees who require fairly remunerated work.
  • Kobble, whose team is aiming to bring locally manufactured, bespoke furniture to the mass market with a simplified ordering process.
  • Nima Composites, a materials manufacturer looking to design lightweight and protective cases for products such as electronics.
  • Vestibility, a social enterprise intending to give African coastal and lakeshore communities better marine safety to reduce the incidence of drowning.
  • Wrek, the developer of an online hub for recruitment agencies that will score recruiters on the cost and performance of their labour forces so that employers can find the best deal. 

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