Meet the Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners: the Midlands’ leading early-stage scaleups

Kane Fulton, December 9, 2021 6 min read

One year ago, we launched our inaugural ‘The 12 Days of Scaleups’ campaign to unveil our Rising Stars 3.0 Winners. This December, we’re revisiting the festive theme to announce and celebrate our Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners from across the UK as part of our latest 12 Days of Scaleups.

Now into its fourth year, Rising Stars remains the UK’s only national early-stage tech scaleup competition. It is once again fully virtual and our judges have selected not one, but five winners from each region.

Visit our 12 Days of Scaleups Map to discover more Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners as they are announced

Yesterday, we announced the competition’s Regional Winners from Yorkshire. Today, we are excited to announce the Midlands Regional Winners of Rising Stars 4.0: Digit, Elestial, Kanda, Regionally, and Taran3D.


Derby-based Digit provides equal music-making, education, and work opportunities through inclusive digital technologies – as well as a curriculum of skills and training, education, and performance programs. Digit is a record label, a technology manufacturer and a music education and performance company that uses a mixed business model as a means to offer a diverse and inclusive work environment. Founder Owain Wilson tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We’re honoured to have been named among the inspiring Rising Stars 4.0 Midlands Regional Winners. To ask “what is the future of music?” is to ask a question about ourselves and how music will continue to shape how we live, but also to ask whether we want it to include everyone.

Currently, people with disabilities face significant barriers to becoming a musician. They are absent in the education, amateur and professional spheres of the industries. For us, musical inclusion is about using technology to remove barriers so everyone, young and old, with different preferences, or users’ needs who wants to, can make music. So we fuse technology, music and education to create accessible music creation tools that can excite and engage all of us.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

Based in the heart of the Midlands, we’re surrounded by a rich innovation legacy and musical heritage to draw inspiration from. We hope to further that into the 21st Century with the work we do.


From Northampton, Elestial is an in-orbit services provider with the aim of helping to clean up and maintain commercial orbital highways in the short term while supporting large-scale infrastructure development in space long term. CVO Jowyn Wong tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Elestial’s mission is to democratize space for the masses, and Rising Stars 4.0 is an awesome platform to share our message and realise our ambitions. As the second golden age of space travel begins, we need to ensure that space is a sustainable and equal expanse for all and our in-orbit maintenance and inspection services can deliver this vision.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

The Midlands has consistently been a hub for major innovations, and with space tech, this is no different. Major academic institutions and organisations in this region are at the forefront of satellite application research and development, making it the perfect place for Elestial to grow and develop.


Based in Warwickshire, Kanda is a new way of building business for tradespeople, who can offer finance to their customers who want work done in their homes but can’t afford to pay the full amount upfront. CEO Phillip Daneshyar tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Kanda is building financing for the $35B EU home improvement market. We let homeowners pay monthly for their home improvements while fixing the endemic cash flow problems contractors face. Our team has over 10 years of experience in the construction industry and our vision has been backed by the founders of PlanGrid, Kontor, and YCombinator. Rising Stars’ recognition motivates us, even more, to continue with a laser focus on our mission.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

Kanda was born out of our experience as contractors in the local community – from the pain our customers felt when trying to pay for emergency works to the desperation contractors had trying to fight against cash flow issues. It’s only thanks to our lived experience and that of our friends in the industry that enabled us to find a solution.


Headquartered in Walsall, Regionally is a UK investment service that connects investment-ready regional scaleup companies seeking growth capital (ranging from £500,000 – £15,000,000+) to national and international private investors via a market-leading investment platform.

Having restructured and automated traditional investment processes, Regionally have developed a highly efficient investment process that offers the diligence and discipline of a traditional exchange with the ease and convenience of an online investment environment. Chairman Justin Urquhart Stewart tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

Regionally’s mission is to rebuild regional investments across the UK – we are redefining capital raising and investing, geographically and technologically. The UK SME investment market has been London-centric for too long, inhibiting growth and potential returns to regional companies and investors alike.

Regionally acts as the missing plumbing, connecting private investors directly with scaleups seeking investment via a market-leading, highly sophisticated and efficient investment platform. Working directly in the regions via our professional network, we are building a nationwide investment community with a regional focus. Regionally is now ready to scale rapidly across the UK and are extremely pleased to have been recognised by Tech Nation and their Rising Stars award during this growth period.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

The Midlands offers a strong and ever-growing ecosystem for SMEs. The region has provided us with a strong network of representatives who worked with Regionally to grow our reach and connect the Midlands to the rest of the regions including London.


Taran3D is a creative 3D business based in Birmingham that produces interactive content and experiences with their ever-evolving 3D, virtual reality and augmented reality capabilities.

With clients across a range of industries, Taran3D engage their audiences by bringing their projects and products to life through creative digital storytelling and cutting-edge technology to produce unique and compelling interactive content.

Their new training division XR Academy provides XR training and consultancy using digital and post-digital technologies for the acquisition of fast-paced, multi-dimensional learning. Director Taran Singh tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars regional winner?

We are delighted to be selected as a Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winner and gain access to this incredible platform to showcase Taran3D. Our core ethos is to help redress the skills gap in the tech industry by breaking down the barriers people face to bridge the digital divide and make immersive tech accessible for all. Tech Nation provides an abundance of support throughout each stage of the programme, and we are excited for the opportunities it will provide to raise our profile and compete at a higher level.

How has your region supported you in your journey so far?

The local and regional business communities have embraced Taran3D and our vision since we launched over the past two years. We have been extremely well supported by a range of influential Birmingham & West Midlands organisations, which have added value to our offering and helped us grow to where we are today.

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