First Ignite Alumni Network event of 2024 a great success

The founder of a pioneering health company which has launched several successful tests used by UK Government explained how a business support network’s expertise allowed his business to thrive.

Abdullah Sabyah, the founder of Rightangled, shared his story at 2024’s first Ignite Alumni Network event, which brought together around 40 businesses who have come through the University of Warwick Science Park’s Ignite incubation programme and gone onto achieve great success, and others who are just starting out.

The Ignite Alumni Network is made up of graduates from Science Park’s different support programmes and addresses skills challenges of its members, while the Ignite programme offers businesses low-cost, flexible office space as well as access to specialist support to act as a catalyst for innovation and growth.

Rightangled offers many different health tests for a range of conditions, such as heart disease and Covid-19, while also using patients’ DNA to help clinicians make more informed choices about treatments.

While Abdullah and his team had good knowledge of genetics and how to manufacture working tests, the bureaucracy of the healthcare system was something they were unprepared for.

Abdullah said: “When I first started out, I didn’t even have a business plan, let alone in-depth knowledge of how the NHS and private healthcare takes on new products.

“After joining Ignite and speaking to their team, they helped us create a clear business plan and explained the importance of our tests being recognised by the Care Quality Commission – something we hadn’t considered.

“If it wasn’t for Ignite and the team’s expertise, I genuinely don’t think we would have got CQC accreditation, which was vital to the success of our business.

“Getting the accreditation when we did allowed us to provide at-home PCR health tests during the pandemic, which was so important for us to grow as a business.

“We now have a thriving business with our HQ in Hammersmith, London, and we launched our online pharmacy last year and are now also launching a pharmaceutical wholesale business later this year.”

Abdullah was joined at the event by fellow Ignite alumni John Southall of Opus Safety and Manoj Lad of 3SK Innovation, who shared their own stories of success.

Alice Mortiboy, UK Patent Attorney at Potter Clarkson, also spoke to attendees about the importance of intellectual property rights and the best strategies to protect them.

A group activity was then hosted where businesses were encouraged to share their challenges with one another and come up with advice and solutions to those issues.

Finally, free drop-in sessions were held with Ignite sponsors PLMR Advent, MB Group and Edwards Chartered Accountants for business that needed advice in communications, recruitment and accounting respectively.

Dirk Schaefer, SME Engagement Lead at the University of Warwick Science Park, said: “The first Ignite Alumni Network event of the year was brilliantly attended, and is testament to how well the network is growing.

“Having newer businesses hear from those who have come through Ignite really inspires them, and the group activities really encourage strong networking.

“We are already looking forward to hosting the next event and we hope to see a high turnout once again.”