Congratulations to E-J Roodt (BSc Business 2022), a 2022/23 Alumni Innovation Award holder and Co-Founder of smartwatch app EPowar, who recently presented at SETsquared’s 20th annual investment event – an annual high-profile occasion that has showcased hundreds of the best UK technology, science and innovation-led start-ups and helped raise more than £160m.

EPowar has built the only safety app that is designed to react instantly and automatically if you are physically attacked. They are hoping to raise £250k to grow in scale, E-J said:

We had some successful conversations with investors today and have lots to follow up on, so we’re feeling positive about the event. There were a lot of Angel investors present, and that audience is perfect for us. Last year’s event successfully generated £90k worth of investment for us, which enabled us to move from a Beta product to the App Store.

E-J was inspired to create EPowar while she was jogging in a badly lit park and feeling vulnerable. She explains:

I’ve always felt worried about being out alone at night so when I saw that smartwatches could be used to detect heart attacks, I had a kind of lightbulb moment, and thought ‘maybe this can be applied to women’s safety’.

She took her idea to Maks Rahman (MEng Integrated Mechanical & Electrical Engineering 2021), who had just returned from a placement year in a medical engineering organisation. Together, they co-founded EPowar – a smartwatch app that can detect distress. E-J continues:

The School of Management allowed me to work on it full-time during my placement year, with support from an alumni grant. Having a network of lecturers and alumni has been really helpful, answering any questions and giving us advice on things like strategy and filing a patent.

Through her participation with co-curricular department Enterprise Bath, E-J won a coveted £15,000 Alumni Innovation Award in 2022, donated by alumnus, His Excellency Khalil Foulathi (BSc Economics 1975; Hon LLD 2011).

Graduate Enterprise Manager, Siobain Hone speaking about E-J presenting at Investment Futures 24 said:

What a great pitch from E-J! She only had 60 seconds to deliver her message and she absolutely nailed it. There was so much interest from investors after she had spoken and I’m excited to see where this leads.

This year’s SETsquared event, Investment Futures 24, held at Behind the Bike Shed in London, had over 150 investors in attendance to network, meet start-up founders and watch their one-minute investment pitches. A series of roundtable discussions enabled the investment ecosystem to come together and tackle the challenges facing deep tech investment in 2024. Twenty one innovative start-ups, spin-outs and scale-ups from across different sectors, including sustainable tech, defence, health, sports and fintech, which have been supported at SETsquared’s world-leading incubation centres and university partners, pitched for investments spanning £250k to £10m. You can read more about Investment Futures 24 here.

See the University of Bath's announcement on the launch of the Epowar smartwatch app.