Last chance for Cambridgeshire SMEs to innovate with REACTOR

Wednesday 12 December 2018

SME and start-up accelerator project, REACTOR, is entering its last year of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) support, and is calling for small businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to join its final Big Gamification Challenge before its completion in September 2019.

SMEs are invited to consider how applying elements of games mechanics into products and services could enhance customer experiences and influence societal behaviours. Participants only have until September next year to benefit from the project’s business mentoring, support networks, match-funded grants, practical workshops, and access to its Cambridge Incubator Space.

REACTOR, an ERDF funded project led by Anglia Ruskin University, provides this support through the annual, themed Big Gamification Challenge to inspire businesses to consider applying gamification to grow their business. The 2019 Challenge will continue the current focus on ‘connectivity’: the use of technology to interconnect the modern world and solve human-centric issues.

Local business owners have until the spring to attend informal meet-ups, build networks, and learn from engaging workshops where SMEs can take an early concept through REACTOR’s ‘Design. Develop. Publish’ process, receiving support until September 2019. REACTOR plans to make 2019 the best year yet for the project, and has announced that the maximum match-funded grant has been doubled, with three types of grant now available, up to £6,000. Grants can be used to access 1-2-1 consultancy or to develop or launch a new product.

Jan Storgårds, REACTOR Project Director, said: “REACTOR helps SMEs to see the value of applying games mechanics within business ideas and models. We have seen over the past few years how, through gamification, SMEs can achieve a higher rate of growth and success. We want to make sure that any innovative individuals are aware of the fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the mentoring, development support and match-funded grants before September.”

Lorraine Turner, Founder of YoYo Let’s Go, received REACTOR’s support following a career switch in 2017. Her move from the finance industry to app development was inspired by a passion for family adventures and a love for her local city, Cambridge. The YoYo Let’s Go app encourages users to engage with local tourist attractions and activities, and uses gamification to create a tech-based rewards system that, instead of taking technology away from children, encourages them to use it in an educational and exciting way. The app also looks to help alleviate tourism pressures facing cities like Cambridge by highlighting less frequented attractions across the city, as well as those that are more well-known.

Turner said: “The development of the app, and the warm reception it has received even in its early development, is testament to the ability of a small idea to grow into a useful and enjoyable product, when given access to the expertise, networks and financial support of accelerators like REACTOR. The app is still awaiting the next stage of development but, through the help of REACTOR, we are in the process of developing it into a new and improved product. I am really grateful to the team for their support, and the access to their networks that comes from having the REACTOR ‘stamp of approval’ for your concept; without REACTOR YoYo Let’s Go may not be where it is today.”

Eligible SMEs and start-ups should visit for further information on grants, mentoring, networking events and practical workshops.

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