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Eva Magnisali is the founder and CEO of DataForm Lab, a company that is accelerating the integration of automation technologies in offsite construction, and took part in the Access to Funding programme. 

Eva is a registered architect engineer and, with her second masters degree, she started looking into robotic technologies and how they can be used in construction.  

Before joining the Access to Funding programme Eva was working on a project basis, developing design-to-fabrication digital tools that enable all designers - not just specialists - to engage with automation technologies and to embed digital manufacture workflows into their everyday activities. She was also de-risking the investment in automation technologies for offsite manufacturers, by simulating the overall factory operation and testing the impact of key business scenarios. Eva was considering scaling up the business with external funding, which is why, after seeing the application for the Access to Funding programme in the OneTech newsletter, she applied and joined the programme.  

The main barriers Eva found before she started the programme involved how to find and evaluate investment opportunities, and understanding the point of view of an investor in speaking with a startup. Following her participation in the programme, Eva now has a clearer idea regarding the economics of investment, the expectations of investors and, most important of all, what she should expect when looking for investment, including how to gear up the company to be taking on external funding. 

“A highlight of the programme was the pitch event, where I pitched to people who had never heard of my business or offsite construction. Although pitches are portrayed as winners of funds, it’s about creating and nurturing relationships and attracting interest more than getting money straight away.” 

Eva has now established several partnerships within the industry and has been awarded a £50,000 grant, Eva has started her funding round and hopes to get more funding in the near future. 
As for the support she received during and after the Access to Funding programme, including the 121s and navigating the process of preparing the documentation to approach VCs, Eva said:

“It helped mostly in the sense of shifting the mentality as looking for investment is different from trying to increase the number of clients”.