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Berkshire Growth Hub supports Intelligent Health to get their national and international growth plans moving

Intelligent Health

Award-winning Reading-based business is improving the health of communities across the world with its innovative physical activity programme    

Supported by the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub, Reading-based Intelligent Health is changing lives across the UK (and the world) with its innovative physical activity programme, Beat the Street. The award-winning initiative, uses RFID technology (think Oyster cards) to turn entire towns into interactive games, where people earn points as they walk, cycle and run around.

The Berkshire Growth Hub, which offers a free 12-hour business support programme to Berkshire businesses with high growth potential, has been providing advice and guidance to Intelligent Health’s management team to enable them to build upon their success and implement a five-year growth strategy.

Dr William Bird MBE, CEO and founder of Intelligent Health, developed the idea for Beat the Street from his life-long passion to get people active and connected to each other and nature. The programme inspires people to build more activity into their daily lives by transforming their town or city into an interactive playground, where people tap special cards on beat box sensors located on lampposts across the area.

The concept was first tested in Reading in 2012, then again in 2014, to improve long-term health and resulted in increased activity amongst residents. Since then over 900,000 people have taken part in over 86 programmes across 67 towns and cities in countries across the world, including the UK, Italy, Greece, Ireland and the USA.

Katherine Knight, Marketing Director at Intelligent Health, explains: “Most people who start a business have an innovative idea and can bring it to life, but aren’t necessarily business experts, which is why it is important to be able to access independent advice. As a company, we wanted to grow in a structured way, so we applied for the Growth Hub’s High Growth Programme.

“The Growth Hub helped us be more analytical in our operations, understand where we have pinch points and identify the steps we needed to take to resolve them.

“The advice we received from our business adviser has been invaluable. We are certainly in a stronger position to move forward now and have a clear plan for the next few years.

“We are passionate about making people healthier and want to be a major force in healthcare to create active and resilient communities. As well as growing our excellent Beat the Street programme, we are also developing more products, moving into workplace health and social prescription.”

Indeed, the achievements of Intelligent Health and its Beat the Street initiative are already growing. The company was recently awarded a £3.32m National Lottery grant from Sport England, which will see the Beat the Street programme rolled out to a further 59 towns and cities across the South West and East Midlands over the next three years to help over 655,000 people get active.

Commenting on winning this contract with Sport England, Katherine Knight said: “This contract is a game changer for us. It gives us a national platform to highlight the importance of building activity into everyday life and the chance to grow Intelligent Health nationally and internationally. Working with the Growth Hub has meant we are now structurally ready to embrace this growth.”

It is not just new contracts the company has been winning either. It has also been recognised with some prestigious awards this year. In June, Intelligent Health won ‘A Nudge for Good’ Award for lasting behaviour change that creates health at the Ogilvy Nudge Awards for its impressive Beat the Street programme. The team were also awarded the Healthy Living Award at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Healthy Cities Awards for its Beat the Street initiative in Belfast and was nominated in the Healthy Communities category at the 2018 UK Active Awards.

Katherine Knight herself also won Influential Woman of the Year at the National Venus Awards 2018, which celebrates successful women in business.

Martin Hall, Manager of the Berkshire Business Growth Hub, explains: “Intelligent Health is a fantastic example of a local company that is going from strength to strength, and is now recreating its success on a national and international level. It has been a pleasure working with such an inspirational team of people to grow their business.”

The Growth Hub’s High Growth Programme provides 12 hours of impartial and tailored support for eligible businesses based in Berkshire. Clients on the programme receive a mix of one-to-one meetings with their designated business adviser, one-to-one advice clinics with industry experts and workshops events.

To support Intelligent Health’s ambitions to grow overseas, the Growth Hub also introduced the team to Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), which is another support programme delivered by Oxford Innovation. EEN will now help Intelligent Health to identify suitable partners across Europe who will help further accelerate their growth plans.

Alongside help from the Berkshire Growth Hub, Intelligent Health also independently secured £175,000 investment to support its growth plans from Thames Valley Berkshire Growth Fund, which is managed by the FSE Group on behalf of Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP). Intelligent Health are looking for further investment to continue their growth.

Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub offers fully funded, impartial support services and expert one-to-one advice to start-ups and established businesses in Berkshire. The service includes free clinics and masterclasses on a range of business issues, alongside a special High Growth programme to provide tailored support to SMEs with high growth potential.

Delivered by Oxford Innovation Services, the service is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

For further details on the Berkshire Business Growth Hub’s High Growth Programme, click here or email info@berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk.

For more information on Intelligent Health, visit www.intelligenthealth.co.uk.

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