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App designer delivers award-winning presentation in annual Oxfordshire pitching competition

The developer of an innovative DNA-based diet and lifestyle app fended off strong competition to successfully deliver an award-winning presentation at an annual Oxfordshire competition.

Vicky Godfrey, Director of DNAPal, impressed judges with her ‘energy and tenacity’ to claim the title in the Pitching for Success round at VentureFest Oxford.

Venturefest 2019 - Pitching for success winner Vicky Godfrey (left) is presented with her award from Oxford Innovation, Innovation Director Wendy Tindsley (Right) Picture by Ed Nix

The developer of DNAPal, an easy-to-use app providing simple, reliable DNA-based diet and lifestyle information and advice, was awarded the use of a professional virtual office service, including a telephone answering and postal mailing address for 12 months at one of the 24 Innovation Centres owned by Oxford Innovation, sponsors of the event.

She said: “When you order a DNA test you are provided with a lengthy 26-page document. DNAPal uses the raw data and breaks it down into bite-sized lifestyle and diet advice.

“For example, someone who drinks five cups of coffee a day may actually discover they possess the caffeine intolerant gene and drinking those cups of coffee actually triggers anxiety, stress and sleep problems.”

The app uses this information to develop manageable targets to reduce caffeine intake at a realistic pace.

Vicky added: “Users can provide feedback and notice that their anxiety levels have in fact gone down, so another challenge is set to achieve even better results. Points are awarded when challenges are met, these can be used to unlock other areas of the app.”

Innovation Director at Oxford Innovation’s Cherwell Innovation Centre, in Upper Heyford, Wendy Tindsley, was asked to judge the Pitching for Success heats.

The annual competition was launched in 1998 to bring together innovators, investors and entrepreneurs to make connections that lead to new investments, new businesses and new ideas in the high-tech sector.

She said: “There has been a very rapid growth in individual DNA testing and I thought that DNAPal’s application of the technology was novel and appealing.

“Vicky herself impressed me with her energy and tenacity. She faced some penetrating questions from the audience and panel and was able to give comprehensive and thorough answers. She is just the type of exciting entrepreneur we like to support at Oxford Innovation.”

Vicky added: “We do all our work remotely so it will be wonderful to have the support of the team at the Cherwell Innovation Centre.”

Managed by Oxford Innovation, The Cherwell Innovation Centre provides a base to 40 growing businesses. Located in Upper Heyford, on the site of the former RAF Heyford base just a few miles from Bicester, it provides a base to a mix of technology and science companies.

It boasts over 50 self-contained offices for one to 25 people as well as meeting rooms, lab facilities, networking opportunities and a manned reception. Facilities also include free on-site parking, kitchens and showers, with a crèche and mini supermarket nearby.

To find out more about any of the services available at the centre, or to arrange a viewing, please contact the Cherwell Innovation Centre team on 01869 238000 or visit: https://bit.ly/2lRWoVB

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