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27th October 2020

Lincolnshire entrepreneur launches social distancing device following £200,000 MEIF Investment

Lincolnshire-based technology company, Tended Ltd, has launched a new safety device to help staff socially distance following a £200,000 investment.

The company secured the finance from First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans through the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, supported by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Tended’s social distancing device, Tended Hub, allows employers to monitor social distancing in the workplace, detecting the distance between devices with centimetre accuracy. If employees come within a pre-set distance of others, their device will vibrate, notifying them to move to a safe distance.

The device can be worn on a lanyard, armband or clipped onto the user’s belt and is accompanied by an online dashboard, which logs distance breaches and their duration. In the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis, employers can use the technology to reliably trace contacts to quickly contain a potential outbreak.

The social distancing and contact tracing device has already gained interest from over 400 businesses and Tended is currently working with industry-leading aircraft manufacturing and media organisations to help them continue their operations without compromising on employee safety.

The project is the latest brainchild of Leo Scott Smith, who began inventing at 22-years-old when he launched Tended Protect – a wrist-worn safety device which uses artificial intelligence to monitor the movements of users. Tended Hub was developed in response to the safety-related challenges facing UK and global companies following the COVID-19 outbreak, with the technology now helping employers to manage the safety of on-site workforces.

Speaking of his latest invention, Leo Scott Smith, founder and CEO of Tended Ltd, said:

“The idea for the social distancing and contact tracing device came to me one night in lockdown after seeing the sheer number of companies that had to stop operating and send their workers home because they couldn’t effectively enforce safe distancing measures, costing businesses and the economy millions each day.

“We wanted to see if we could expand on our existing technology to help companies get back on their feet and manage safety measures. Our goal for Tended Hub was to develop an intelligent, innovative and highly-accurate social-distancing and contact tracing solution for the workplace.”

Matthew Wright, investment manager at First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans, said:

“Leo is a fantastic inventor, and this new safety device can help businesses to navigate COVID-19 restrictions in the workplace.

“We are pleased to be able to support him on this latest expansion and look forward to seeing Tended Hub improve safety in the workplace and the benefits it will undoubtedly bring to businesses.”

Lewis Stringer, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: 

“Tended has secured multiple funding rounds from the MEIF, with this investment helping the Lincolnshire firm to roll out its latest wearable safety technology. 

“The Midlands is home to a range of innovative companies currently creating new technologies and products. The MEIF is designed to help these companies, providing the finance needed to enable research and development and commercialisation.”

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

"Tended is one of our most creative and innovative new tech businesses based in the LEP-funded Boole Technology Centre on Lincoln's Science and Innovation Park. 

"Leo's latest invention has tangible and far-reaching benefits for businesses both in Greater Lincolnshire and further afield.

"We're delighted to hear that Tended has secured more loan funding to roll out this important social distancing technology and we look forward to watching the firm's continued progress with interest."

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The MEIF project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans provide government-backed finance to businesses across the East and South East Midlands with lending ranging from £3,000 to £250,000.

For more information on Tended Hub, visit https://tended.co/.

For more information on First Enterprise - Enterprise Loans visit www.first-enterprise.co.uk or follow @1st_Enterprise on Twitter. For further information on the MEIF please visit www.meif.co.uk or follow @MidsEngInv.

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