RAPID Challenge 2021 Announces 3 Finalists

RAPID Challenge 2021 Announces 3 Finalists

RAPID Challenge 2021 has announced its three finalists chasing a share of the £75k prize, as the hardware start-up competition nears its conclusion on 17 November.

The three finalists will each be presenting about their business and project to the audience at the Final, held at Prodrive’s headquarters in Banbury.

For this year, there is a prize package worth £75,000, which includes cash and a range of services from The RAPID Challenge partners: RPD International, TBAT Innovation, HSBC, Crowdcube, Bridgehead International Agency, OnePLM, The IP Asset Partnership, EY and media partner DEVELOP3D.

Narrowed down from the hundreds of entries, the RAPID Challenge 2020 field will announce its winner from one of the following three product development start-ups.

The RAPID Challenge 2021 Finalists


The team behind Paige say that braille reader technology is limited to single-line text, making reading time-consuming and making it hard to understand STEM subjects and musical notation. Add to that the expense of such devices, which require an actuator for each dot.

Paige is an A4 device that offers multiple lines of braille and uses only three actuators, making it cheaper to produce, easier to repair, and overall a much more useful device. Founded out of Imperial College London with further development at New College Worcester, the Paige reader has 4,500 dots, that will allow users to read 100 words per minute, while being much more affordable.

Exyo Design

The gamified balance trainer has been designed with physiotherapists to help users regain and retain balance and function. A simple modular, lightweight design featuring an adjustable forward knee support provides a low tech, low cost solution to facilitate active standing and balance.

By enabling recruitment of lower limb and trunk muscles, as well as sensory inputs required for balance, it helps ensure patients are in the correct position. Expo explain that with many of the victims of Covid 19 being hospitalised over 70 years of age, just 10 days of hospitalisation can result in nearly a decade’s worth of muscle loss, making its product a key aide to helping people recover to the fullest extent.

Acua Ocean

Acua’s Hydrogen-powered unscrewed surface vessels – H-USVs – have been designed to perform safety, security and environmental monitoring and management of offshore infrastructure, ports, and marine protected areas, while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 99.3%.

Given that all the travel of manned craft from harbour to site is a huge waste of resources and time, Aqua’s craft have been designed to last up to 70 days offshore, travelling at 5 knots, with a 24/7 monitoring and operating system to vastly reduce turnaround time on activities like crew change and equipment maintenance.