Edinburgh disabled-focused tech firm Neatebox nets spot on key accelerator

Edinburgh-based Neatebox – which harnesses tech to help disabled people in their day-to-day lives – is aiming to scale new heights after being accepted onto Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Entrepreneur Accelerator.

From left: Neatebox founder Gavin Neate with COO Allan Hutcheon. Picture: Peter Sandground.
From left: Neatebox founder Gavin Neate with COO Allan Hutcheon. Picture: Peter Sandground.

Founder and chief executive Gavin Neate’s acceptance onto the programme is the latest step in a longstanding partnership with the lender, which has supported his work through trial and implementation of Neatebox technology in bank branches across Scotland.

The tech business was founded in 2011, and its free-to-use Welcome app, which is now installed in 15 branches, covers a variety of visible and “hidden” disabilities. It helps users plan their visit to the branch, and alerts staff when they are nearby.

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The bank has also installed Button, billed as the world’s first smartphone-operated pedestrian crossing for disabled people, and which was developed and fitted by Neatebox in Edinburgh.

Neate with Welcome App user David Keenan. Picture: contributed.

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The Accelerator Programme launched digitally this month. The programme will offer training and networking opportunities to Neatebox staff, as well as hotdesks and meeting space in hubs throughout the UK.

Neate said: “It’s been a long and fruitful partnership with [RBS], who have been with us every step of the way, cheerleading innovation and putting important steps in place to enhance the customer experience for the disabled. This technology feels more important now than ever and, through the Entrepreneur Accelerator, I’m hoping we can branch out into new applications, with more businesses.”

Keith Devine, senior director of business banking at RBS, said: “Neatebox has created an important tool for any business which values its customers. We’ve endeavoured to support the business in a variety of ways, and trialling their technology is an important part of how we do this. Our partnership has been a classic example of how a bank can provide more than simply financial support, and we’re excited to watch them grow further through the Accelerator.”

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