Rosie Murphy




Plus X


Plus X

The planet is facing significant challenges. Rather than sitting back and waiting for others to step up, many pioneering businesses are taking it upon themselves to make a difference.

In November, the second cohort of Pioneers set out on their journeys with the BRITE project. Already keen to make a change and do good business, 15 entrepreneurs and business specialists joined the 2-day programme to learn from purpose-driven partners on a range of topics, including:

During the course of the programme, the businesses were also introduced to experts from the University of Brighton,  Dr Martens, Sky, and Refigure Ltd. to learn more about how they can innovate and make change in their own industries.


Read on to learn more about the impact-driven businesses completing their journeys with Pioneers, and learn more about how you can become a Pioneer in 2023.

Introducing the Pioneers

Rittick Chakraborty, Founder at S-Able

S-Able helps businesses make sustainable transitions through training, tools, and processes. By engaging experts in developing and growing sustainable communities, S-Able aims to promote sustainability in the community.

Founder Rittick Chakraborty set up the business as a sister venture to business and technology consultancy Dukesforyou, to pivot to sustainability.

Marc Convey, Founder at ThriveNow

The Plus X Brighton community will already be familiar with long-term member and entrepreneur Marc Convey, who has previously completed the BRITE INSPIRE programme as part of 23D. Marc’s new venture ThriveNow is on a mission to help people find their values and purpose, and understand what ‘thriving’ means to the individual.

With ThriveNow’s help, people can move from competing with others, to cooperating and working together to enhance communities.

Sam Thomson, Founder at Hexagon Hive

Hexagon Hive supports organisations to create happy, resilient, and understood workplaces through audits and mental health and wellbeing courses, enabling individuals and teams to thrive. Sam Thomson, Founder at Hexagon Hive, runs courses online, off site, and in house for businesses, groups, and individuals.

These engaging and inclusive training courses can help create a positive workplace culture in businesses to positively impact the team, productivity, and results.

Lisa Baskott, Founder + CEO at 2nd Line of Defence

Lisa Baskott founded 2nd Line of Defence to address the talent shortage of fully-trained and vetted security staff by focusing on recruiting female workers into the industry. By increasing the number of female security staff, the business aims to create a safer environment for women and vulnerable people on nights out.

As well as providing recruitment, 2nd Line of Defence aims to improve working conditions for door supervisors, with progression opportunities and good quality work.

Andrew Allen, Co-Founder at Ironclad Creative CIC

Community interest company Ironclad Creative provides training, networking, and commission for early-career writers and theatre-makers.

Co-Founder Andrew Allen and the team believe that careers in the arts should be available to all. They focus on artists with low-incomes and those who identify as disadvantaged.

David Johnson, Sales Director at South Coast Science

Brighton-based South Coast Science manufactures precision air quality instruments. The flagship product measures multiple outdoor environmental parameters, including gases, dust, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. Data is automatically uploaded to the cloud, and users can validate the data as required.

The product was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, and is used across six continents. David Johnson joins the first cohort of Pioneers to focus on how South Coast Science can stay ahead amid industry changes.

Rose Radtke, Co-founder at Each To Their Own

Each To Their Own is a forward-thinking branding, campaigns, and communications agency. Through brand strategy, meaningful storytelling, and intentional design, the agency helps good businesses solve the challenges of our generation.

Co-founder Rose Radtke joins Pioneers as they grow the business sustainably. They work with businesses that are building their own communities or strengthening communities they’re already part of.

Lewis Nyman, CEO at Wild Drives

Wild Drives provide electric campervan hire from their base in Brighton. Led by CEO Lewis Nyman, the business aims to create the world’s most sustainable and nature-friendly travel experience.

Holidaymakers can book a stay in one of Wild Drives’ electric campers with room for the whole family. Home comforts can include a shower, toilet, hob, fridge, and even a pizza oven!

Keyan O’Donnell, CEO at Catalyst Collective

Catalyst Collective is a music tech company democratising the music industry. It enables early-stage music artists to access venues, facilities, and producers, and encourages sharing of resources.

CEO Keyan O’Donnell became a member of Plus X Brighton after winning a residency competition by the University of Brighton’s beepurple team. Together with co-founder Hallie Lopez-Wells, Keyan set up the business to help musicians connect with their audiences and the industry.

StJohn Smith, Founder at Skillsmart

Skillsmart was created to provide career advancement opportunities for tradespeople through carefully crafted experiential training programmes. Through engaging and hands-on educational opportunities, Skillsmart continuously cultivates future industry leaders.

Created by Plus X Brighton member StJohn Smith, the company is on a mission to ensure the 130,000 heating engineers in the UK never install another gas boiler.

Simon Batchelar, Ethical Marketing Mentor at Better Bolder Braver

Better Bold Braver empowers coaches to grow their businesses through expert marketing training and support.

Simon Batchelar and the team are on a mission to change the way people think about and do marketing. They join Pioneers to connect and collaborate with others who are making a difference.

Denis Byrne, CEO at Sussex Prisoners’ Families CIC

Sussex Prisoners’ Families works in courts, prisons, and communities to help families navigate the criminal justice system. The community interest company offers advice, advocacy, information, and emotional support to those in need.

Fronted by CEO Denis Byrne, Sussex Prisoners’ Families is on a mission to listen to families, offer emotional and practical support, and act as a platform for their voice.

Victorine Arah, Founder at Baby Duet

Baby Duet creates gender neutral and ethically sourced organic babywear in the UK. The colourful creations can be bought on Etsy, while Founder Victorine Arah works on the new e-commerce site.

Inspired by her experiences with motherhood, the organic creations include babygrows, hats, leggings, canvas bags, nursing pads, and bibs.

Nigel Berman, Chief Wild Officer, School of the Wild

School of the Wild helps organisations engage their employees by bringing the team outside. By inspiring a more regenerative relationship with the earth, the teambuilding specialists help teams perform at their best while making a difference.

Chief Wild Officer Nigel Berman wants to inspire leaders and teams alike to change the way they work. Workforces are taken away from screens and into the woods – reconnecting with nature and each other at the same time.

Matthew Hoad-Robson, Founder at Tend VR

Using smartphones and VR headsets, Tend VR offers a unique way to deliver Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy. The technology-based wellbeing solution aims to provide affordable and accessible mental health and wellbeing support anywhere in the world.

Founded by Matthew Hoad-Robson, Tech VR offers a world-first fully interactive MBCT. By providing an immersive break from users’ surroundings, more users complete courses when using Tend.

In early 2023, BRITE will be running the third cohort of Pioneers. If you’re a business seeking to make a positive impact on people or the planet through partnerships, submit your application to join the next cohort of Pioneers, starting in February 2023.

Pioneers is part of BRITE (Brighton Research Innovation Technology Exchange). Led by Plus X, in partnership with the University of Brighton, BRITE aims to support leaders of companies that have ambitions to grow and scale their business, receiving up to £5.5m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund. 

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