PRESS RELEASE: Unique Materials Sciences & Design Startup First To Join TrueStart Victoria Hub

Wednesday 26 February, 2014


New retail and consumer innovation hub unveils T H E U N S E E N as first entrant

TrueStart, the retail and consumer innovation hub backed by sector specialist investor True Capital, has announced its first seed investment in T H E U N S E E N, a highly innovative materials science and design consultancy business.

T H E U N S E E N, founded by multi-award winning alchemist Lauren Bowker, fuses science and creativity to integrate biological, chemical and electronic elements into materials. This has led to the invention of ground-breaking colour-change inks that can be applied to any surface, and respond to a variety of different ‘unseen’ environmental conditions, including light, heat, friction, pollution and moisture.

The invention, which has already been embedded into couture clothing collections and sculptures, has attracted the interest of top brands, leading to collaborations across multiple industries, including fashion, automotive, aeronautic, and textiles. Its early popularity is due to its potential to be applied in the design and development of a wide range of products.

It is this potential for wider commercial application across the retail and consumer sectors that attracted the interest of TrueStart, and encouraged the start-up to enter the hub’s intensive six-month business accelerator programme.

As well as receiving seed funding, focused strategic business guidance and day-to-day mentoring from TrueStart, T H E U N S E E N will be offered a collaborative environment and unrivalled access to a global network of business leaders within the retail industry, to maximise the opportunities for capital investment and business success.

Specifically, TrueStart, which is strategically partnered with Land Securities, plans to support T H E U N S E E N in creating a unique brand and design house through its own distinctive luxury products, while also helping to develop a licensing business model that will unlock opportunities to partner with leading players in the consumer sector.

Richard Mergler, CEO of TrueStart, said: “We are committed to supporting truly innovative businesses and ideas that have the potential to shape the future of the retail and consumer industries. In T H E U N S E E N, we believe we have just that, and we look forward to supporting the development of the business. Lauren represents a new generation of creative entrepreneurs who, by innovating every aspect of the consumer experience, can help drive wider economic growth. We are delighted to help spur her on to further success.”

Lauren Bowker, Material Alchemist and Founder of T H E U N S E E N, said: “Having worked as a consultant since leaving the Royal college of Art, I knew I had something desirable, and something with great potential. I never struggled with the creative aspect but I did struggle with how to turn that creativity into a business. With support from Truestart, and their extensive experience and proven track record in retail innovation, I hope to turn my dreams into a reality, and really help carve out a new vision for the material stuff that surrounds us.”

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Notes to the editors

About TrueStart

TrueStart is a central London based investment hub specifically designed to support innovation in the retail and consumer sectors, bringing together the brightest young minds and startups under one roof in order to create the products and solutions that will transform the future of these industries. TrueStart is part of True Capital, a specialist alternative asset manager, focusing solely on the retail and consumer sector. The business is strategically partnered with Land Securities and overseen by True Capital’s senior management team and run operationally by experienced entrepreneurs who have founded, built and sold businesses over a period of many years.