Innovative firm turns to crowdfunder

The Northern Echo: BOWLED OVER: Pictured from left to right are Mel O'Connor, Vega V's Ray Rutter, Graeme Fowler, Professor Andrew Stockman and Norman Peterson BOWLED OVER: Pictured from left to right are Mel O'Connor, Vega V's Ray Rutter, Graeme Fowler, Professor Andrew Stockman and Norman Peterson

AN innovative team aiming to improve athletes’ reaction times is using a North-East online equity crowdfunding platform to help grow the business.

Vega V, tested on former Durham County Cricket Club batsman Will Smith and ex-England international Graeme Fowler, has been proven to lift reactions by 25 per cent after support from academics.

The Sunderland-based development team behind the light manipulated sports training system, led by founder and inventor director Mel O’Connor, are pitching for investment on Growthfunders, the North’s first online equity crowdfunding platform.

They aim to raise £200,000 to build the very first Vega V training system.

Vega V uses a motion capture suit, lighting system, and modified high-speed bowling machine in a tunnel, which bosses say increases reaction times, improves the ability to bat at higher speeds and allows coaches to analyse results.

GrowthFunders was set up to give businesses the opportunity to access a wide range of investors and the Vega V investment is for a total of 25 per cent of the company.

Mr O’Connor said: “Now we have shown conclusively the system works, we are using GrowthFunders to generate the funding for a fully-working system for cricket.

“It is then a case of developing into other sporting markets, including baseball, tennis and football.”

Norman Peterson, chief operating officer at Growth Capital Ventures, the firm behind GrowthFunders, added: “Vega V is a really exciting proposition for sports development and I think it has real potential for investors through GrowthFunders.

“The platform has been developed for a wide range of business types that investors can really get enthusiastic about.

“I’m sure Vega V fits that bill for many people who are not only keen supporters of growth and start-up businesses, but also of sport.”

Launched by North-East and Yorkshire-based entrepreneurs, Craig and Norman Peterson, GrowthFunders has a wealth of experience behind it.

Both Craig and Norman have supported entrepreneurs raising capital, acting as mentors and providing strategic advice to a range of high growth businesses.

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