Innovation Showcase: VREO

Karen Weech is commercial director for video technology firm VREO, who design and develop electronics and optoelectronic circuits - that's electronic devices that source, detect and control light, to laypeople like us. Their liberty and unity devices will feature in VentureFest NE's Innovation Showcase next month. Karen tells BQ just what they're up to.

Describe your business in no more than 100 words
VREO is a video technology company with expertise in USB3 and opto-electronics. We have many years’ experience in electronics design including analogue electronics, embedded microprocessor hardware and software development, optoelectronics sensors and high power LEDs.

We are also experts on imaging systems. We can select, evaluate and control CCD and CMOS sensors and cameras integrating them into a full imaging system to obtain the best images.

What prompted you to enter the innovation showcase?
Having sold to 19 countries around the globe, we wanted to raise our profile in the North East.  We believe we are an innovative company.

Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with  
We have created two products; both are USB3 PCB boards for miniaturised cameras.

  • Unity: specifically for the MA13023 Sony miniaturised camera series
  • Liberty: specifically for the block camera series
    • In one year of trading we have sold to 19 countries across the globe have established distributor relationships in all major markets. Industrial clients include NASA, Boeing, the US Army, to name just a few.

      How would you describe that innovation to your grandma?
      Our products enable specific camera ranges to communicate with computers. They can be used by drones, medical low vision, retail, monitoring, ATM’s, endoscopy, security, covert surveillance, robotics, augmented reality, video conferencing, dental and dermatological equipment amongst others.

      How do you encourage innovation in the workplace?
      Ensuring a free exchange of ideas, choosing the correct qualities in personnel that join – imaginative, high achievers & determined perseverance.

      What are the biggest challenges you face when trying to innovate in your business?
      Having the resources to bring new innovative ideas to life.

      And how is business going for you at the minute?
      We’ve been trading for 16 months & have sold to 19 countries across the globe. We're looking for some business closer to home, though.

      Where do you see your company in five years time?
      We'd like to think of ourselves as a diversified global video technology company.

      What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
      Prototype any ideas as quickly as you can, even in its most minimal form, in order to showcase, generate interest & ultimately attract interest and revenue. People won't buy what they can't see, and what you can't prove will work.