£500,000 of investment in 12 months for Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Learning Labs

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based Learning Labs Ltd, which has created an innovative method of learning languages through the use of custom printed Post-it Notes, has secured a second round of funding.

The custom-printed notes – called FlashSticks – have been developed for a range of languages, to create a fun and engaging way of helping everyone from children and students, to business people working overseas boost their foreign language vocabulary.

Each pack of FlashSticks contains 100-200 unique words, printed on custom printed Post-it Notes to learn, along with their translation, an icon and the phonetic.

The product also works alongside a free FlashSticks app, which enables users to see a video pronunciation for each word, by hovering a smartphone or tablet over any note.

Veejay Lingiah and Richard Allen got the company off the ground over a year ago thanks to funding support from Minerva Business Angels, which is part of the University of Warwick Science Park, along with venture capital from funding from Midven and Finance Birmingham.

Since then, the company’s product range has expanded with more and more lines being stocked by WH Smith and a range of other national retailers.

The second round of funding takes investment for the business to over £500,000 – including £200,000 from Minerva Business Angels – and will help the firm pursue its high growth plans with further products currently hitting the stores.

Lingiah said: “A great deal has moved forward since the first round of funding. We were testing the water with WH Smith to better understand the reaction from consumers.

“WH Smith has been delighted with sales, rolling the product out to all 500 of their high street stores. They are now encouraging us to develop more and more lines and this latest round of funding will assist us to expand the business to manage this growth.”

Tim Powell, who leads the Minerva Business Angels network, said: “Angel investors understand that for some companies, there may be no profit in the first few years, and that is where networks such as Minerva are so important for the economy.”

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