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North East Venture Fund backs startup bringing sport science to workplace wellbeing

ART Health funding

Gateshead-based startup ART Health Solutions has secured an £800,000 funding boost from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF) to develop an employee wellbeing app.

Founded by sport scientists Dr Phill Bell and Dr Paul Smith, ART Health’s One Wellbeing app aims to bring sports science to workplace wellbeing. The capital injection will be used to develop the mobile app and to hire 20 new staff over the next two years.

The North East Venture Fund is a £120m investment programme for SMEs based across Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear. It is managed by private equity firm Mercia and supported by the European Regional Development fund.

Its five funds focus on different types of investments and businesses depending on which sector they operate in and what development stage they are at. The five funds it offers are: Innovation Fund, Venture Fund, Development Capital Fund, Growth Capital Fund and Small Loan Fund.

Companies in its portfolio include Allegro, ATM Security and Elmtronics.

ART Health’s workplace wellbeing app assesses an employees’ cognitive performance via a smartphone by making them complete tasks. It combines this with their physical state by using data from their smartwatches or fitness trackers.

The company says it takes other factors such as working environment and schedule into account. Their app then recommends ways to help improve an employees’ wellbeing and performance. ART Health’s current clients include GSK, property agents JLL, office furniture specialists Haworth and consultants 4xi.

Phill Bell, ART Health COO, said: “Our scientific approach to workplace wellbeing, combined with pioneering AI technology, ensures our clients receive evidence-based feedback and insight that really drives efficiencies and optimises employee health. We’re looking forward to reaching more clients across the globe as we develop our proposition and are excited to have the support of Mercia on our journey!”