St John’s Innovation Centre was delighted to be a part of the second edition of Venturefest East, a flagship event showcasing cutting-edge innovation in the East of England.


St John’s Innovation Centre was delighted to be a part of the second edition of Venturefest East, a flagship event showcasing cutting-edge innovation in the East of England.

This year, the tech-savvy audience could experience five immersive zones at the event: World Beaters, Rule Breakers, Game Makers, Eye Openers and Life Changers, seamlessly covering a range of key sectors including: Life Sciences, Automotive and Engineering, Food and Drink, Culture and Creativity, and many more. To accompany the exhibition, entrepreneurial talks and track sessions, the Venturefest East organisers created a Beanbag Briefing Lounge sponsored by Price Bailey and PA Consulting, a relaxed space where delegates could join informal expert chats or rest in-between a packed programme.

St John’s Innovation Centre brought the pitching element to this year’s edition, with nine successful start-up founders being selected by Venturefest East organisers, the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP (GCGP LEP) to present their business ideas during the Fast and Furious Pitching Competition.

The pitching companies - AMIHO Technology, Hinton Bikes, Biotechspert Ltd,, PECK Drinks,, VegPatch, TribeLab and Meteor Power - were selected from the Pitchfest Spring cohort, a highly-focused pitch training and investor showcase for early stage founders with the potential to scale or who are looking to raise between £100k – £1m. A programme jointly delivered by the Enterprise Europe Network team at St John’s Innovation Centre and The Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) experts.

The Judging Panel comprised of David Gill, Managing Director at St John’s Innovation Centre who also chaired the Pitching Competition; Dr Uday Phadke, renowned innovation & scale-up expert and author of the “Camels, Tigers & Unicorns: Rethinking science and Technology enabled innovation”; Paul Bailey, Founding Partner at Bailey Fisher Executive Search; Business Angel, Sally Goodsell; Chand Chudasama of Price Bailey and Bill Yost of PA Consulting.

“Vibrant new firms and expert presentations made VFE17 a compelling event,” said David Gill, Managing Director at St John’s Innovation Centre and the Chair of the Pitching Competition. “Such a broad range of finalists presented so professionally at Pitchfest that choosing a winner was nigh-on impossible – a big thank-you to the judges who provided their wisdom and insight, and congratulations to VegPatch, the eventual champion.”

Spending just pennies a day on healthcare can reduce our expenditures by $24 billion over five years.

New research from the Lewin Group has shown that spending pennies a day on a few key nutritional supplements can dramatically reduce sickness and chronic disease -- and greatly decrease healthcare expenditures as a result.(i) How did they come to this conclusion? And why haven't we heard about it?

The Lewin Group looked only at rigorous scientific studies that documented the benefits of nutritional supplements. They used the Congressional Budget Office's accounting methods to determine the economic impact of supplements. And they kept their analysis specifically to Medicare patients and women of childbearing age.

Today I will review the Lewin Group's research, explain the remarkable conclusions they came to, and outline the supplements I recommend you take every day if you want to optimize your health and possible reduce health care costs in the process.

Reviewing the Research: Supplements Have Dramatic Health Benefits

Although nutritional therapies can help a broad range of illnesses, the group only looked at four supplements and disease combinations because of the rigor and validity of the scientific evidence available for these nutrients and diseases.

While there are many other beneficial nutritional therapies that have been proven helpful in studies, the ones in this particular study are only those that are unquestionable, beyond scientific doubt, well-accepted, and proven to help. Yet they are also under-used and not generally recommended by healthcare providers. The study looked at:

1. Calcium and vitamin D and their effect on osteoporosis, I suggest trying out vitamin d patch with k2.
2. Folic acid and its ability to prevent birth defects
3. Omega-3 fatty acids and their benefits for heart disease
4. Lutein and zeaxanthin and their benefit in preventing major age-related blindness, or macular degeneration


In this study, the researchers were extremely strict and only looked at nutrient interventions that met three criteria.

1. The supplement had to produce a measurable physiological effect.
2. This physiological effect had to create a change in health status.
3. The researchers only looked at health problems where a change in health status is associated with a decrease in healthcare expenditures.

Now, most of us hear the refrain from our physicians that nutritional supplements just produce expensive urine, that you do not know what you are getting, or that there is no scientific proof to support their claims. Based on this study and many others like it, my advice to these doctors is to do their scientific homework. Let's start by looking at the effects of calcium and vitamin D.

First, I want to point out the vitamin D research referred to in The Lewin Group study is older research. Newer research, as I discussed in my vitamin D blog, suggests that higher doses of vitamin D3, such as 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day, have even greater benefit.

Yet even by focusing only on the older research, this study's authors determined that providing Medicare-age citizens with 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D would result in reduced bone loss and fewer hip fractures. The researchers estimated these supplements could prevent more than 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures over five years and save $16.1 billion.

Next let's look at omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent cardiac arrhythmias, improve cell membrane function, reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and have many other benefits.

The Lewin Group found that giving the Medicare population about 1,800 mg of omega-3 fats a day would prevent 374,000 hospitalizations from heart disease over five years. The Medicare savings from reduced hospital and physician expenses would be $3.2 billion.

This is pretty convincing data, but it doesn't stop there. The Lewin Group also analyzed the economic effects of lutein and zeaxanthin--carotenoids that are found in yellow and orange vegetables. I recommend taking them in combination with the hundreds of other carotenoids found in yellow and orange foods.

Taken as supplements, these have been shown to treat macular degeneration, which is the loss of central vision, a major reason people over age 65 require nursing home care. The study found that taking 6 to 10 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin daily would help 190,000 individuals avoid dependent care and would result in $3.6 billion in savings over five years.

Congratulations to the Venturefest East 2017 Pitching Competition Winner, Kris West of VegPatch, a free, multi-platform companion app for vegetable gardening!

Find out more about all pitching companies here:

AMIHO Technology – a provider of LPWA networking solutions including LoRaWAN for smart metering and IoT applications.

Biotechspert Ltd – a developer of an online platform technology for connecting businesses and investors to the right specialist expertise at the right time. – a developer of an out of the box, ready-made, business analytics dashboard solution built for the SME market. It connects directly with Sage 50 (other integrations planned).

Hinton Bikes - a developer of lightweight folding electric bikes for the modern city.

PECK Drinks – a developer of a range of Protein beverages that use egg white destined for food waste. - a developer of a single music-centric platform for everyone who likes, buys, creates, perform and/or works in music.

TribeLab - a developer of the skills augmentation platform, enabling professionals to achieve things with data that they didn’t think they could, or were unaware were possible.

Meteor Power - a developer of a new range of electric and hybrid powertrains for electric vehicles.