Announcing the winners of Rising Stars 3.0

Tech Nation, February 25, 2021 8 min read

We are excited to announce the 10 winners of Rising Stars 3.0 – our most exciting and accessible competition for early-stage startups yet. Relaunched with a new virtual format during Covid-19, it saw more than 330 companies apply for a chance to be crowned a Rising Star of UK digital tech.

Rising Stars provides the platform for businesses from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to shine bright – and our winning cohort is the most diverse yet. Half are female (up from 40% in 2019) and 80% are from outside of London – from Derry to Manchester, to Aberdeen – highlighting the depth of tech talent throughout the nation.

Stephen Kelly, Chair, Tech Nation commented: “I was blown away by the quality of finalists this year. The Rising Stars announced today are great examples of the strength of the UK tech ecosystem. The winners highlight that innovation, determination and ambition in this fast growing sector can be found right across the UK. What the Rising Stars competition, and indeed Tech Nation, does is provide a platform to showcase these exciting and innovative companies.”

Operating across a range of sectors, our winners have adapted their products and solutions during the pandemic, making new hires in the process. Some companies have doubled in size over the past year, boosted by the acceleration of subsectors such as HRtech, healthtech and edtech. Those now seeking investment will be encouraged by Tech Nation’s findings that pre-Series A investment grew by 10% in 2020, defying the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Rob Kniaz, Partner, Hoxton Ventures, commented: “As an investor, being part of the Rising Stars 3.0 judging process was a truly inspiring experience. It’s fantastic to see highly investable scaling companies with diverse founders from every corner of the UK. I will be following the winners’ growth with interest.”

All of the competition’s companies will benefit from significant profile raising on both a national and international level, as well as the opportunity to put their business in front of leading investors, influencers and corporates. Companies are supported to be investor-ready through pitch training and investor office hours. They also benefit through Tech Nation content campaigns and national press coverage, as well as induction into the Rising Stars and wider Tech Nation alumni network.

Anika Henry, Operations Lead & EMEA Partner Manager, Google for Startups UK, commented: “At Google for Startups UK, we’re always looking out for the country’s great, new emerging tech start-ups, so it’s been a great honour to be on the judging panel of the Tech Nation Rising Stars. The high calibre and diversity of companies and out-of-the-box approach shown by the nominees has been really inspiring to see and I wish them all well in their journeys and development over the next year.”

Our winners have gone through a rigorous competition process. Our Semi-Final in January saw 55 Regional Winners – covering a total of 16 subsectors – pitch to an esteemed panel of judges made up of VCs, angel investors, experienced entrepreneurs and tech community leaders from across the UK. Led by GP Bullhound Vice President Ed Prior, the panel included Paul Excell (COO, Scaleup Group), Ammar Mirza (Chairman & Founder, Asian Business Connexions) and Jess Jackson (Head of Investment, GC Angels).

Caroline Dinenage, Digital Minister, said: “It is fantastic to see such a diverse group of rising stars in an industry which is crucial to our plans to build back better from the pandemic. We are working hard to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business and have developed a proven reputation for innovation and the ability to attract the best global talent.”

The 20 UK Finalists that emerged progressed to our judges’ roundtable, which included Stephen Kelly, Chairperson of Tech Nation, and Anika Henry, COO of Google for Startups UK, on the panel.

Together, our judges chose the 10 winners of Rising Stars 3.0 – and you can meet them below.

The winners


London | Lawtech | @trydefine

Drafting made simple, Define optimises the contract drafting and reviewing process by allowing users to quickly access key information (namely all defined terms and references) in legal documents without ever having to leave the provision they are working on and lose their context of review. Define acts as a risk management tool and efficiency software that helps lawyers save time when working on legal documents.

Role Mapper Technologies

South West | HRtech | @rolemapper

How jobs are designed, and job descriptions are created, is critical to attracting and retaining talent; but the process for designing jobs is broken, manual and disconnected. RoleMapper helps organisations to design and manage jobs while creating great job descriptions that increase hiring diversity and workforce flexibility.


North West | Digital Entertainment / Creative Tech | @cgherofreelance

CGHero is a collaborative marketplace for 3D and CGI content creation, bringing together the world’s top talent to work on feature productions across gaming, architecture, TV & film, automotive and retail. The platform has been used by the likes of Valvoline, Sega, B&Q, Unilever, and NHS.


East of England | Healthtech / Biotech / Life Sciences | @esurgerycares

e-Surgery is the UK’s leading prescribing service and sustainable online pharmacy. Patients go to their website and choose the treatment they need before filling in a simple health questionnaire. They then wait for it to be delivered the next day in discreet recyclable and biodegradable packaging. The company is a private healthcare provider radically proving the idea that private healthcare can be affordable and that these efficiencies can be made available for the masses.


Midlands | Hardware & Devices

Locker management made easy, eLocker connects bluetooth-enabled locks to the internet via an IoT (Internet of Things) gateway. Already working with Amazon, DHL and Kuehne and Nagel, it’s the world’s first wirelessly-managed locker solution.


London | Digital Entertainment / Creative Tech | @vimma_ai

Vimma is building a productivity suite for passion entrepreneurs. Its app helps bloggers, vloggers and content creators manage their day-to-day business with simple tasks and processes. The company has more than 20,000 registered users, and it has completed over 2m productivity tasks with its app.


Scotland | Healthtech / Biotech / Life Sciences | @libereat

LiberEat makes life easier for people with dietary restrictions. It provides bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options and recipes to users with options filtered by their requirements. This helps businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets become more accessible while providing useful analytics and insights. It has the potential to seriously reduce harm from food allergies.


Northern Ireland | Data Analytics & Business Intelligence | @budibase

Building custom software for your business in minutes, without coding, Budibase is an open-source, no-code platform used for building web applications that digitise business. Small-to-medium-sized businesses and digital consultants use Budibase to build and host apps, or for supporting their self-hosted deployments.


North West | Edtech | @supply_well

SupplyWell is a digital recruitment solution that places control in the hands of teachers and schools. It connects them directly, removing the need for slow and costly traditional agencies, which allows teachers to earn more while schools pay less to ensure that wellbeing comes as standard.


Northern Ireland | Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences | @its_elemental

Elemental is an award-winning tech for good company with the purpose of empowering and enabling individuals, families and their carers to better connect into community-based programmes, services and interventions that make a positive impact on their lives. Through an innovative digital platform, it provides teams with the technical connectivity they need for multi-sector partnership working, leadership and the measurement of mobilisation of support where needed.

Sector award winners

Fintech winner


Wales | @yoellopay

Yoello is a payment platform aiming to disrupt the existing payment system by utilising new open banking (PSD2) legislation to cut out the middleman and, in turn, bring merchants and customers closer together. It connects to banks directly to initiate funds between consumer/merchant accounts, saving businesses 75% on their transaction fees.

Cyber winner


Yorkshire | @this_is_beacon

Beaconsoft is a software technology company looking to significantly reduce the problem of online fraud. Its first product – Beacon – empowers CMOs and CFOs to make better digital marketing based on accurate and independent unbiased data and insights to reduce waste and fraud, all while improving results and increasing digital ROI.

Applied AI winner


East of England | @eSurgeryCares

e-Surgery is the UK’s leading prescribing service and sustainable online pharmacy. Patients go to their website and choose the treatment they need before filling in a simple health questionnaire. They then wait for it to be delivered the next day in discreet recyclable and biodegradable packaging. The company is a private healthcare provider radically proving the idea that private healthcare can be affordable and that these efficiencies can be made available for the masses.

Net Zero winner


South West | @spherics_

Spherics is a cloud-based platform that helps businesses understand their climate impact. The system integrates with established software packages and can track and visualise a company’s carbon footprint in real-time. It then makes custom suggestions on how to reduce their impact, matching data trends with research and climate science before finally offsetting any unavoidable carbon emissions.

Diversity and Inclusion award

Last year we launched the Rising Stars Diversity & Inclusion – Leading the Way Award – which recognises innovative D&I initiatives in early-stage scaleups.

We all know that diversity builds strong and innovative companies, and embedding D&I in company culture can be done – even at an early growth stage. This award showcases leadership in this area.

We had more than 120 entries for the award, covering everything from innovative recruitment practices and inclusive working culture to building D&I networks in the community.

Overall winner

That Works For Me

South East | @that_worksforme

With a reason for being that centres on making flexible working work, ‘That Works For Me’ have been intentional about creating a proposition that is free from bias to enhance flexible working prospects, in particular, for women. The service is built on supporting diverse recruitment and there are other innovations in the pipeline that mean the playing field for those needing and wanting to work flexibly, will be more levelled. The two female co-founders also take their role-modelling roles seriously and are proactive participants on panels, mentoring schemes and aligned to several movements that are changing the landscape for women and girls in digital and tech.

First Runner Up


Scotland | @valla_uk

Valla, a data platform the legal industry, is demonstrating high attention to detail in considering how to embed the most inclusive recruitment and employment processes and principles. It is taking action to consider where and how to target under-represented groups, the language of job adverts, the flexibility that can be offered and the transparency around pay. Valla is also using the data they gather on their platform regarding discrimination in the workplace to bring awareness about the employment issues that under-represented groups face.

Second Runner Up

Dicey Tech

North West | @diceytech

Dicey Tech have grown using the principles of internationalism and diversity. The focus for Dicey Tech is on outcomes rather than location, which means that they open to a broader employee base. Within the broader ecosystem, Dicey Tech are engaged with community initiatives to build schools engagement programmes to bring information and experience to ethnic minority and underprivileged students to generate interest in engineering and tech career paths.

Highly Commended


London | @trydefine

Define were chosen for dedicating time and resources to focus on accessibility features for visually impaired users, broadening the base of those who can benefit from their product.

Iungo Solutions

Wales | @iungo_solutions

Iungo Solutions were chosen for for apprenticeships internally as a symbol of social mobility and normalising the approach by making every employee an apprentice (fostering an always learning culture). Iungo Solutions have also put in a rigorous approach to recruitment and selection based on externally validated assessment models to remove bias in the selection processes.


London | @cellenhealth

Cellen were chosen for taking a bold and proactive approach in a niche sector which suffers from a severe lack of senior female representation. Cellen have stepped forwards to create collaboration forums to amplify women’s voices and presence in the cannabinol pharmaceutical sector.

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