What have you been up to since winning the competition?
“There has been a lot going on [since July 2022] as we launched our first product,” says Kurt. Starting the company in 2020, they spent just over a year developing their first device. Then they went out into the field to validate and test the device with customers to prove their analytics and measurements were as accurate as those you would receive in the lab.
“We have had confirmation from customers – in Switzerland big drinking tech companies and in the UK the Scottish Whiskey Research Institute,” Kurt continues. “They have compared our results with their lab results and [we’ve had] confirmation that our device works.”
Following these results, Alivion fully launched their product in September at the world’s biggest drinks technology fair in Munich. Since then, they have been talking to distributors about bringing their product to market.
What are your plans for the future?
“We have started fundraising because as a deep tech technology platform company that can be used in many applications. We want to leverage that as fast as possible, which means we will need significant investments in creating the individual applications that address market needs.”
Alivion’s fundraiser will be a seed round of around £1.8 million, which already has 30% committed, with Alivion looking to close it by March 2023.
On the development side, Alivion want to add a breath module to their methanol detector, get more distribution in Europe, and are looking into the US and India markets.
“In five years, we want to have at least one health tech application in the market, with probably one or two other products already in the market. We want to then be profitable, have a significant revenue, and our goal is to be a stock market company one day. We have high ambitions,” Kurt finishes.
What made you apply to the Emerging Technologies Competition?
Coming from a mechanical engineering perspective, Alivion realised that they needed to show how their technology is important in the field of chemistry – and that being recognised with an international chemistry award would do this.
They also recognised the applications of their technology in the chemical industry, not so much in Switzerland but within some of the large UK chemical companies. Through the competition, they hoped to gain contacts and a platform to connect with these organisations.
What did you like best about taking part in the Emerging Technologies Competition?
Kurt says that Alivion’s favourite part was “the platform you get to present your technology to a team of experts, so when you win the prize, it’s not just a prize, it's a validation that the technology you have developed is really valuable”.
Kurt also highlighted that the mentoring, one of the winners’ benefits, has been extremely useful. Talking with the mentors has helped in moving the business forward and providing contacts.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to apply to the Emerging Technologies Competition?
Kurt’s advice: “Just go for it. In business you will never reach that status of having a perfect presentation or the perfect preparation. You must be bold, and you must take the risk.”