Virgin StartUp of the week: Harley Academy

We love businesses that are using technology to improve and disrupt existing industries. One such business is our StartUp of the Week, Harley Academy. Founders Dr Tristan Mehta and Dr Kam Singh are on a mission to improve the cosmetic surgery industry by partnering with  clinics and the NHS-approved E-learning provider, offering courses which ensure that practitioners meet the highest standard. Let's find out more!

Richard B in lift

We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? Please answer the questions below, keeping each answer to five sentences max. 

Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does

Harley Academy is a revolutionary training initiative in cosmetic medicine to improve standards and patient safety. We are initially offering training courses in BOTOX® and Dermal Fillers to registered healthcare professionals.


Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?

Our courses are nationwide, with locations in every region of England - soon to be expanding to Scotland!


Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?

We have partnered with the NHS and Department of Health’s preferred eLearning provider (OCB Media) and the UK’s leading doctor-led clinic chain (Courthouse Clinics) to provide a gold-standard training experience for our students. Our partners take a percentage of the revenue generated.

Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?

The Government recommendations for training standards have changed this Summer - our competitors still offer ‘weekend courses’ which are now considered poor practice. We are the only training company in the UK to offer training according to the new cosmetic standards.

We have been nominated for an industry award for ‘Best Training Course’, which is a great achievement for us so far!

Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?

Our main USP is that we offer complete training up to the new standards developed for the Department of Health. This means our graduates are amongst the safest and best-trained practitioners around.

We are also unique because we are not a ‘weekend course’ - we offer a clinical placement to our students, much like how healthcare professionals learn at university. Furthermore, we offer training in more locations in the UK than any other course.


Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?

I have been following developments in regulation of cosmetic medicine for a few years now - it's a booming specialty and there are many cowboys capitalising from unregulated practice. I was waiting for an opportunity to start a training course which would separate us from the rest. As soon as NHS Health Education England published their final guidelines, I created Harley Academy from the ground up to meet the new higher standards in training.

Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?


Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?

Our major outgoing is marketing - we have found a brilliant marketing agency in London who are paving the way for Harley Academy to reach its target audience and ultimately serve its purpose of improving standards and patient safety in aesthetic medicine.
We will also use the capital to affiliate with major industry bodies and to insure our students.

Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?

Kevin McDonnell - Digital Healthcare, a healthcare IT business.

Floor 9 to 10 – What’s your workspace like? Send us a photo from your phone


Floor 10 to 11 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?

In 12 months we expect Harley Academy to be the leading provider of BOTOX® and Dermal Filler training in the UK. We will also be launching courses in Laser treatments and Skin Rejuvenation - again, in-line with the Government recommendations. It is a very exciting time for us!


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