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Hy-genie is innovative hand hygiene improving patient safety and reducing healthcare associated infections.

hand washing
hygenie text


Dr Richard Cooke


Digital Health


hygenie logo

Startup opportunity

Hand hygiene is a key component to preventing the spread of germs and bacteria in hospitals. Yet still over 300,000 patients suffer from health care associated infections each year in the UK. There have been many attempts to solve this issue at an operational level by adding more sanitation units throughout hospitals.

However with no effective measurement protocol in place, compliance is near impossible to track. Hospital staff receive limited training and guidance on the subject and unsurprisingly this leads to poor management. The current baseline in the NHS with independent validations is that less than 50% of staff actually wash their hands appropriately.

Hy-genie founder, Dr Richard Cooke, came to Nova as Director of Infection Prevention & Control at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. He knew that if all hospital staff were
hand hygiene compliant MRSA would be eradicated from Hospitals. Hy-genie has the potential to save thousands of lives each year and the NHS an estimated £1.2bn in treatment costs annually.

hygenie device

Since our investment and working with Nova

  • Validated concepts, designs and prototypes with medical professionals and NHS buying teams.
  • Prototype creation of tech hardware – a smart staff ID badge, usage sensor and a centrally located base station.
  • Developed the software to record staff usage of hand hygiene stations.
  • Creation of brand, website & go to market strategy.
  • Developed ‘Hy-genie Lite’ to rapidly deploy to hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Secured trials in Alder Hey hospital.

Inside our portfolio businesses – Hy-genie

hygenie founder

“I’m not from the startup world, I’m a medic at heart. I came to NOVA with the problem of hand-hygiene compliance in hospitals. They’ve helped me to find a solution, provided me with the technical team to build it and now are helping me to scale it into a successful, profitable business.”

Richard Cooke, founder of Hy-genie

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Please read our full risk warning and disclaimer:

Investments of this nature carry risks to your capital. The risks include illiquidity where shares may not be able to be sold easily, lack of dividends and dilution. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Investors should only invest a proportion of their available investment funds into Nova Cofoundery SEIS & EIS Fund as these investments are high risk.

The availability of any tax relief, including EIS and SEIS, depends on the individual circumstances of each investor and of the company concerned, is only available for UK investors in qualifying companies and may be subject to change in the future. If you are in any doubt about the availability of any tax reliefs, or the tax treatment of your investment, you should obtain independent tax advice before proceeding with your investment.

Nova Growth Capital Limited is a private limited company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 11591402). Nova Growth Capital Limited (FRN 826519) is an Appointed Representative of Sapphire Capital Partners LLP (FRN 565716), who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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5% initial fees and 2% annual fees paid by the Fund Investee Companies, resulting in 100% allocation of investment for tax reliefs with no additional fees. 20% performance fee only once on original investments that return over 150%.

Registered address: Nova Growth Capital, 57 Jordan Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, England, L1 0BW