Introducing CRL Accelerator Cohort 9 – The Next Generation of Hardware Pioneers

Starting a business can be difficult at the best of times but creating a hardware product often adds a level of difficulty, especially when it comes to juggling both the business and the product development side of things. That is why at Central Research Laboratory (CRL), we’ve designed the CRL Accelerator programme, a six-month purpose-built programme created for hardware startups to fast-track innovation.

This year, we brought 20 innovative businesses together in our CRL Accelerator Bootcamp to network, exchange ideas, and pitch their business to the Central Research Laboratory team, mentors and other entrepreneurs.  Throughout the two action-packed days, the founders participated in the speed interviews with our mentors and pitched their businesses to the public. 

CRL Accelerator Bootcamp 2022

Then, a handpicked group of six early-stage companies were invited to join us for the exciting journey that is the CRL Accelerator.

These six startups are building innovations that not only have huge growth potential but also have a lasting impact on society. Through sustainable, efficient and innovative solutions, we believe these founders can transform the startup ecosystem.

CRL Accelerator cohort 9
CRL Accelerator Cohort 9

Meet the Startups:

Scentient is developing a device that incorporates olfaction (sense of smell) into field and simulation training to create a more immersive and realistic experience. The team aims to work with military and emergency services, helping to vastly increase the number of scenarios which can be replicated, while improving safety through using simulated environments with enhanced realism by adding safe synthetic scents. 

Founder: Anastasia Georgievskaya, Ivan Novikov

FotoStax is creating a phone-case printer that can print high-quality static, flip, moving, and 3D photos by combining lenticular lens and dye-sublimation technologies. All with just a touch of a button and a few seconds to print.  

Founder: Jonathan McBride  


Disruptor London is on a mission to create a planet positive natural, vegan skincare and haircare brand that also combats plastic waste. The team are disrupting the skincare and grooming landscape with ethical hybrid waterless formulas that give natural ingredients a second life.  

Co-founders: Sira Naidu, Juan Jimenez 

Feathertail is developing a wearable, hands-free mouse designed for people with RSI, or motor disabilities. Their mouse is designed to be simple to use for people with limited mobility. It requires no buttons to use, and with the included Velcro straps you can attach it to your shoes, hat, or headset.  

Founder: Zhey Grudov 

Deep Sym is building a biofeedback device that responds to deep diaphragm breathing which facilitates a meditative state and naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Their signature product SYM is a beautiful art object that responds to your deep breathing and naturally reduces stress and anxiety. It is created for everyone who is looking for tools to tune in rather than tune out. 

Founder: Kira Zhigalina 

Over the next 6 months, these startups will be sprinting their way through the startup process, from customer discovery and business modelling to raising funds and preparing for manufacture.  

Each startup will then pitch its ideas to hundreds of people across the globe at the Demo Day 2022, returning this November – sign up for our newsletter to be the first in the know. 

Find out more about the CRL Accelerator

Don’t forget to follow us on social media to stay in the loop with the CRL Accelerator cohort 9: LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.  

Central Research Laboratory is celebrating seven years of supporting early-growth product pioneers. Since opening in 2015, we’ve helped over 200 startups build everything from the next generation of modular battery technology for sustainable energy storage; toys that help children suffering from chronic eczema; to new sustainable building materials made from potato waste, and autonomous asparagus harvesting robots created to combat the agricultural labour shortage. 

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