A device for instantly soothing the painful and upsetting itching that makes the lives of Eczema suffers so miserable, has won this year’s Prodrive Ventures Rapid* Challenge.
The Rapid Challenge, launched last year by Prodrive Ventures, the investment arm of Banbury-based motorsport and advanced technology group based, helps entrepreneurs and start-ups to further develop their innovative physical products. This year the presentation was held virtually, thanks to Covid.
The winner, Cosi Care, secured a £50,000 prize package, contributed by partners including technology consultancy and leader sponsor TBAT, alongside Crowdcube, and Oxford-based companies Clayden Law, The IP Asset Partnership and Develop3D, it helps entrepreneurs and early stage businesses commercialise their hardware projects.
Cosi Care, is a clever product idea to help reduce scratching capable of causing permanent scarring and repeat infections. Its patented technology mimics scratching and helps soothe itching with a unique combination of cold and texture to soothe the skin safely and effectively.
Chairman of Prodrive, Dave Richards, said: “Well done to our 2020 winner, Cosicare. A disruptive product supported by a thoroughly detailed sustainable business plan.
“We launched the Rapid Challenge because it’s important to support start-ups, helping them to become as successful in their market as ProDrive is in ours. We want to give a kick start for the companies of the future. Our last year’s winner, EAV Cargo, has gone from strength to strength.”
This year’s runners up were BeneTalk a biofeedback device and mobile app that monitors breathing and speech patterns to help people with speech impediments and stutters. Worn across the diaphragm, under the user’s clothes, the device is designed to be discreet.
Nearly three per cent of the UK population stutters, and BeneTalk helps them through a product, app and speech therapist network.
The second runner up was Airhead. This is a new facemask, which includes filters that exceed FFP3 standards – capable of blocking particles down to PM0.3, aided by an airtight silicon seal – whatever activity the wearer is undertaking.
The Airhead design aims solve issues that most of the world is now aware of with facemarks – the fit and the ability to clean and reuse it safely.
A modular design allows all components to be washed or replaced; a silicon layer means a high-performance seal and adds comfort, while a magnetic lock makes putting it on a snap rather than a struggle. The Airhead team met while studying at the University of Bath, later quitting their jobs to found Airhead.
The Rapid Challenge winner and Cosi Care Founder, Lauren Bell, said: “My younger brother, Rhys, has suffered with severe Eczema since the age of two. He is now 21 and living with the scars that persistent and aggressive scratching caused. His hands are permanently scarred and he still struggles with scratching. We believe that teaching a child young how to use Cosi, will allow them to adopt a healthy routine and help them manage their own condition.”
1 in 5 children and 15 million people currently suffer with eczema in the UK and this has tripled in the last three decades. Allergies are on the rise due to atmospheric pollution, diet and allergen exposure.
Lauren added: “We’ve created the first hand-held, non-invasive device that offers instant relief to a child in pain. Patented technology combining regulated cold and satisfying texture. Every year the NHS spends £169 million pounds on Eczema prescriptions, parents spend £900 and make up to 5 GP visits with their children needing multiple courses of antibiotics. Our multi award-winning and affordable solution will lighten this financial burden and tackle antibiotic resistance.
“”Cosi Care is a small team with a lot of drive and passion. Winning the Rapid Challenge and having the opportunity to collaborate with experienced and creative individuals will massively help us refine our electronic cooling technology and prepare us for launch. Our innovation has a comprehensive IP strategy and getting legal guidance and support to execute this will also be of huge value to the business. Really excited to get started! ”
Last year e-cargo van manufacturer EAV was named overall winner of The Rapid Challenge. The Bicester-based start-up set off at a blinding pace: teaming up with the UK’s number 1 domestic parcels carrier, DPD, to create an urban delivery vehicle, the P1 e-cargo bike. Last month the company revealed the latest design in its range of lightweight, zero emissions, urban commercial vehicles, a taxi.
- (RAPID stands for “Realising Advanced Products through Innovation and Design”)