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ARU's REACTOR celebrates year of gamification: Gallery

Sarah Trude with her Dice app product. Picture: Matthew Power Photography
Sarah Trude with her Dice app product. Picture: Matthew Power Photography

The REACTOR Project celebrated a year of supporting local SMEs and start-ups at its REACTOR Showcase event at the Junction on Thursday.

The day was attended by entrepreneurs, business experts and investors keen to discover new business innovations from REACTOR, a programme that is led and co-funded by Anglia Ruskin University and the European Regional Development Fund with the aim of enhancing business growth and success in the local area.

As part of the event, presentations were given by a selection of SME and start-up founders that have worked with REACTOR for the past year, such as Sarah Trude, founder of The DICE App, and Helen Galbraith, founder of Money Ready. The presentations included demonstrations of how gamification - the application of game mechanics in non-game contexts - has enhanced their products. The REACTOR Project champions the use of gamification through a variety of business support options, professional workshops, and funding opportunities.

Helen Galbraith, founder of Money Ready, said: “Despite joining the REACTOR programme a bit later than the other start-ups, REACTOR has helped me transition my product from a side project to a full time career in under a year – as of the end of June!”

Keynote talks were given by Peter Cowley, president of the European Business Angel Network, and Professor Alan Barrell, Cambridge’s innovation champion.

Alongside the speeches, local business experts from NatWest, Exemplas, Barclay’s Eagle Labs and Stone King held one-to-one business consultancy sessions throughout the event for attendees to provide crucial counsel to those looking to grow their businesses. The event closed with the REACTOR team discussing the achievements of the project and what the future holds for REACTOR.

“It’s been an amazing few years for REACTOR, with the last year being our best to date,” said REACTOR project director Dr Jan Storgards. "The REACTOR team is looking forward to seeing the success of the SMEs and start-ups we have worked with."

Moving forward, Rachel Judson, project manager for the REACTOR Project, said: “The REACTOR project will draw to a close at the end of September, after which ARU will continue to provide opportunities for small businesses to collaborate on innovative research through match-funded bids, live projects, consultancy, and knowledge transfer partnerships across all faculties, in addition to our games development expertise.

“With campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough and London, and our specialist technical spaces, motion capture studios and incubator spaces, we are able to provide companies across the region with local, professional resources to help grow their businesses.”

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