After launching a campaign in September 2021 to find the most promising science, technology, or engineering-focused start-ups that have had a particularly challenging time due to the pandemic, the state-of-the-art London event venue has selected a worthy winner.
The team behind Scentient, a scent-enhanced virtual reality device for military and emergency services training, has been granted a year of monthly meeting space at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), along with access to a marketing mentor.
The prize aims to provide the small Scentient team, which is currently based remotely, a professional venue space with access to award-winning AV facilities and virtual streaming services for meetings and business pitches.
The winner, chosen by a judging panel of representatives from the IET, IET Venues, and hospitality marketing consultancy, Custard, was unanimously decided due to the innovative, intelligent and ambitious use of technology used for a positive purpose.
The product focuses on incorporating a scent component into virtual reality simulation training, whereby potentially toxic smells are replicated in a safe environment for trained personnel to be able to identify.
The ground-breaking concept aims to help reduce military training costs by providing a variety of scenarios that cannot be set up in reality due to costs or safety concerns.
The end-to-end training solution helps to provide better training at any location, without the need for travelling to the training site.
The technology is also applicable across other fields such as entertainment, personal care, and therapy, seeking to improve people's lives more directly, with the recent research showing benefits of adding scents into virtual environments for exposure therapy - a common treatment for anxiety and trauma-related disorders.
On choosing the winner, Simon Timmis, Head of Brand, Digital and Impact Marketing at the IET said:
“The calibre of entries was incredibly high, and it was so exciting to see the level of innovation and bravery with new teams persevering to launch some genuinely ground-breaking products despite the difficult current climate.
Scentient really stood out to all of us for the clever use of modern VR components used for the greater good.
It has amazing potential to streamline training and therapy efforts in many spheres and we’re delighted to be able to offer a professional setting at Savoy Place for the young company to grow and attract new business with access to the best event facilities and resources.”
Anastasia Georgievskaya, co-founder of Scentient, said:
“This presents an amazing opportunity for us to use the venue to meet with potential customers during the early stages of product development as understanding our customer needs is absolutely vital.
The most important part of this year will be securing further investment in order to get our product through development and into production, so we are planning to use the meeting rooms for investor pitches and potential client and collaborator meetings.
Marketing support offered through this prize will hugely benefit our company given that we are at an early stage of development and sending the correct message about our product can make or break future success.
We will be able to learn a lot from IET mentorship in this sphere and set ourselves up for success.”