Airway Medical Ltd are a start-up based in the Engine Shed near Temple Meads. They produce novel Suction Therapy equipment for clearing blocked airways in emergency and chronic conditions. They firmly believe in being an environmentally and socially responsible company, with a focus on people before profit in all their endeavours. Simon, the founder; who has benefitted from Outset through our South Bristol Enterprise Support programme, lives in Knowle West.
During the initial lockdown period in early 2020, life became quite difficult for the company, but they managed to create an opportunity out of an awful situation. They began to develop an airway suction device; via a crowdfund, during the early days of the pandemic to “clear any saliva from the airway that might contain Coronavirus and therefore, reduce the viral load that’s entering the lungs”. For this reason, the device became a “hot topic and Airway Medical began to get noticed really rather quickly”. Throughout this rapidly changing process, Simon described “the business support and the reaction from the business community in Bristol was second to none.” Prior to the support, he was “self-funding for nearly 18 months out of his own savings, bank loans etc. Airway Medical are now in the nicer position of “actually being paid by the UK government; though an innovation grant, for something we are really passionate about.”
“It was an unusual situation in that everyone threw themselves into and I couldn’t have been happier with the business support I was getting at the time. As the company expanded, we needed a lot of advice on how to manage that process. I started employing people, something I’ve never done before. We started to have a business with lots of noughts in the bank account, again something I’m really not used to. Outset and a number of other Bristol based organisations have rallied around to enable us to manage these changes successfully and I’m really grateful for that.”
The device is now patented and trademarked as the AMSU (Airway Medical Suction Unit). It will be the world’s first Class 2 medical device made with plant-based biopolymer plastic. They have gained alot of interest from clinicians, patients and global suppliers, so they’ve been managing the process of going from working in their garage in Knowle West to being known as a company on a global scale!
They are currently looking to raise almost £1 Million to enable the device to become commercially available. This will enable them to employ the right people to grow and create an assembly plant here in the UK.