A Tech Revolution: from Nudging Neuroscience to the Disposal of Waste

Published on 06 February 2019
4 min. read

Pitch in a Pub January 2019

A new year and a new edition of the Innovation Forum’s (IF) “Pitch in a Pub” kicked off 2019 in style on 24th January in Kro Bar, Oxford Road. The room was bustling with researchers, students, professionals and young innovators gathered together to listen, learn and discuss the innovative ideas of local entrepreneurs. They eagerly anticipated the stories of Dr Eleanor Trimble from Nudge Insights, and Tom Passmore and Sophie Walker from Dsposal. Both start-ups were applying technological innovations to wildly different applications, but equally relevant for 2019.

Speakers and attendees were welcomed by IF’s Global Head of Business
Development, Anastassia Bolotkova. Anastassia introduced IF and its aim as a global grassroots network of scientific entrepreneurs looking to build a community of innovators from both academia and industry to drive forward exciting new innovations. Anastassia was followed by Ruben Ahumada-Lazo, Business Development Manager for IF in Manchester, who managed the rest of the evening’s proceedings.

The first speaker was Dr Eleanor Trimble, Managing Director and Co-Founder of
Nudge Insights, a consumer research company dedicated to providing valuable
insights into consumers’ responses and behaviours. However, unlike conventional marketing strategies she utilised advanced neuroscience techniques from her PhD at the University of Manchester. Dr Eleanor explained to the audience the expertise of her company, which is focused on the measurement and understanding of human behaviour. By using state-of-the-art technology, such as eye-tracking and EEG, Nudge aims to investigate what makes online consumers tick, how they respond to online content and what improvements can therefore be made to their online journey. Dr Eleanor finally pinpointed the key advantage of Nudge’s technology: by monitoring brain activity and eye-movements, they can uncover the subconscious responses that are unobtainable by more traditional marketing methods. As online marketing becomes a dominant force in the online economy, in-depth scientific analysis as shown by Nudge Insights will become increasingly important for companies to gain a competitive advantage.

Waste is a growing global environmental and economic issue with approximately
33 million tonnes of commercial waste being generated in the UK alone (DEFRA). In the second pitch of the evening, Tom Passmore and Sophie Walker, co-founders of Dsposal, a company born in 2016, presented their vision to revolutionise the waste industry. They discussed their idea to use technology to connect waste producers to licensed waste facilities and to simplify compliance. Tom and Sophie engaged the audience with the story of how, during a nine month cycle tour around North America, they came up with the idea for Dsposal. They decided to build an online platform that allows people to quickly and easily find a licensed waste company, check their duty of care documents and get competitive quotes. As CEO, Tom oversees the technical developments, design and user experience of the platform as well as overall strategy. His role is complemented by Sophie, the Chief Operating Officer who is mainly responsible for business operations at Dsposal, including overseeing the legal and financial functions, building culture and heading up customer service. Their idea was to make Dsposal a useful tool to navigate the complex issues that arise with correctly managing a wide variety of waste. Their vision, as Tom and Sophie explained, is to facilitate the move towards a circular economy by reframing
what is thrown out as valuable resources and try to leave the world a bit better than it is.

The pitches were followed by interesting questions from the audience who
demonstrated great interest in the discussed topics. Speakers and attendants
continued their discussion of ideas in a relaxing and friendly atmosphere of
networking. Once again, this Pitch in a Pub edition was a great success!
IF Manchester would like to thank our speakers for sharing their innovative ideas; our attendants for participating and engaging with the discussion and all the sponsors and partners of IF Manchester. If you’d like the opportunity to pitch your idea in our next event or become part of the IF Manchester team, please contact [email protected].

If you enjoyed this event then make sure to not miss out our next event; ‘Start-up
Science: Entrepreneurship in Science and IMAGINE IF! local finals’ on 26th February 2019! Get inspired by this opportunity to hear from great speakers from venture capital and intellectual property companies plus pitches from promising scientific start-ups.

Written by Federica Bottiglione

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