App-y days for King’s Lynn College of West Anglia students at the Big Pitch

Billy Hadlow and Ryan Seymour with Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, director of CEDAR (Centre for Enterprise Development and Research) which runs the Big Pitch. Photo: Ian Farrell
Billy Hadlow and Ryan Seymour with Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason, director of CEDAR (Centre for Enterprise Development and Research) which runs the Big Pitch. Photo: Ian Farrell

Two Lynn college students are set to make their mark on the care industry after winning £5,000 to help bring their new app venture to market.

Ryan Seymour and Billy Hadlow have come runners-up in the Big Pitch 2016, bringing home significant funding for their home-grown business concept aiming to improve care services in Norfolk.

The Big Pitch, now in its sixth year, is a CEDAR-led (Centre for Enterprise Development and Research) competition, in collaboration with RDCS (Research Development and Commercial Services).

It is designed to encourage Anglia Ruskin students and affiliated students to embrace entrepreneurship and work towards starting their own businesses.

Ryan, from Fakenham, and Billy, from Wisbech – both second year BSc Computer Science degree students at College of West Anglia – secured the runner-up prize of £5,000 for their concept, Carebind, a web app which is designed to help carers keep up with their care plans whilst visiting clients in their homes.

Ryan, 21, said: “Carebind came about from talking to my girlfriend about her work as a home-visiting carer. She explained to me how she struggles most days with problems such as; finding service users, keeping up with care plans and knowing what medication to administer. This was all boiling down to quality time being wasted on sorting unnecessary glitches instead of caring for the patients she was visiting.

Originally, Carebind was going to be an application just for Ryan’s girlfriend. However after speaking to some domiciliary care providers, Ryan found the problem to be more widespread and systems that were already out there trying to achieve the same thing were “outdated and inefficient”.

After meeting through their degree course in Lynn, Billy and Ryan worked on the notion of creating a web app for Carebind. Now, after nearly 18 months of development, the pair have an almost completed system and customers interested in using Carebind inside their provider.

Ryan and Billy entered the Big Pitch last year and made it to the final but were “gutted to not go home with any money”. This year the pair are “over the moon” to secure the much-needed funding, which will be used to polish Carebind and make it as secure as possible before launch.

Ryan added: “It really is going to get this project off the ground and into the market place. Neither of us can quite believe it happened, but every time I walk into my kitchen and I’m confronted with a six foot giant cheque it begins to sink in.”

Richard Bradley, the college’s head of faculty for computing, was delighted Ryan and Billy had been acknowledged for all their hard work on the project.