Meet the Rising Stars 4.0 Regional Winners: the North West’s leading early-stage scaleups

Kane Fulton, December 6, 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

Last week, we announced the competition’s Regional Winners from Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Today, we are excited to announce the North West of England Regional Winners of Rising Stars 4.0: Financielle, Jyrney, My First Five Years, RDvault, and THRIFT.


Manchester-based Financielle is on a mission to help bridge the gap in personal finance and inspire millions of women to invest and build wealth for their future through education and motivational content, practical money tools and a supportive community – which can all be found in the Financielle app. Cofounder Laura Pomfret tells us more.

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

We’re so proud to be chosen as a Tech Nation Rising Stars Regional Winner as we move from startup to scaleup in the UK fintech space. Our mission is to help women take control of their money and be financially well, and there has never been a better time than the current socio-economic landscape to launch our product.

Our app is the antidote to the overwhelm that women feel when it comes to finances; our step-by-step money plan is supporting thousands to pay down debt, build savings and invest and build wealth for the future. Being chosen as a Regional Winner is not only a great achievement for us personally as founders, but it is a win for our loyal and inspirational Financielle community.

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

We have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of the North West tech and business community, who are fully behind Financielle’s mission. We have been connected with key stakeholders in the region’s biggest businesses and have benefitted from the knowledge and experience of some special individuals, such as Mo Aldalou, the North West Entrepreneur Engagement Manager Tech Nation. We have been proud to give back to fellow founders as we all benefit from a strong tech and investment ecosystem in the region.


Hailing from Manchester, Jyrney is redefining how travel, transport and mobility companies access ground transport, enabling a true door-to-door experience for their customers. In a particularly fragmented market, Jyrney enables mobility-as-a-service, bringing ground transport within a traveller’s online booking tool, with visibility of total journey cost, CO2 emissions and meeting duty of care needs. CEO and cofounder Daniel Price tells us more.

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

To have Jyrney recognised alongside so many amazing technology startups is a great privilege. Many of these businesses were either started or pivoted during the challenging last two years, and their place on this list is a testament to their resilience.

With travel still recovering from the effects of the pandemic but becoming more regionalised, I see the importance of integrated, low emission mobility increasing in 2022 and beyond. Our core mission is to make the world’s last-mile content easy to access, and that’s why we have developed a world-class platform that will plug into existing travel and transport systems to provide access to thousands of mobility options.

With vehicle ownership set to decline, and an increasing desire from customers to book mobility with the travel companies they trust, we look forward to connecting these applications with a global supply base.

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

Manchester has one of the most supportive UK startup ecosystems. As part of the Exchange programme, we have access to marketing, financial, investment and legal advice while being provided with an environment to network with other founders. This has given the team and I an opportunity to learn at a much quicker pace.

My First Five Years

Based in Manchester, My First Five Years creates a safe and supportive learning space for parents to support their child’s unique development. Using scientific research, and supported by many years of industry expertise, My First Five Years adapts to suit the individual needs of children through creative play. CEO Jennie Johnson tells us more.

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

Raising children has a profound impact on both the individual and society. We are on a mission to help parents with timely, impactful nuggets of knowledge backed by science and research that will help them notice and celebrate the little things that build up to the key achievements that become the building blocks for a child’s lifelong learning.

We are assisting parents to know what’s likely to be next in their child’s unique learning journey and how to support their child’s development through play. This gives parents the knowledge to be confident they are doing the right things and empowers them to enjoy the first five years.

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

The support from Tech Nation has been invaluable from the very first contact. They have a thoroughly knowledgeable and helpful team who really want you to succeed in all areas, and nothing is too much trouble.


RDvault has developed the world’s first fully-automated R&D Tax Credits platform empowering SMEs to swiftly and easily claim R&D tax incentives from HMRC. The Manchester-based scaleup’s cloud-based platform lets users integrate their accountancy packages such as Xero, Sage and QuickBooks to extract, collate and prepare all the relevant information necessary to create an HMRC compliant R&D claim. Founder Shoayb Patel tells us more.

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

We’re thrilled and excited to have been chosen as one of the Rising Stars’ North West Regional Winners, and Team RDvault are looking forward to the next stages of the competition.

It’s great to be recognised by the judges for our disruptive platform in helping companies recover precious R&D costs in the way of R&D Tax Credits. We look forward to continuing the momentum and securing further awards, expanding our team and completing our Series A round. The exposure we’ll gain from Tech Nation will no doubt be invaluable to this journey.

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

The North West region has been instrumental to the success of RDvault. Manchester’s globally recognised technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems have played a pivotal role in helping us reach this point of our exciting journey. We’re very fortunate to be surrounded by some of the UK’s most talented individuals, best-connected support and advisory networks – a very big thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way.


From Liverpool, THRIFT tells you what any unwanted or unused items are worth on the second-hand market and where they can be sold. Founder Mark O’Hara tells us more.

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

UK-based tech startups are booming, especially those within the circular economy space, so it’s great that our THRIFT concept is not just considered, but a worthy regional winner too.

Our mission is to bring transparency to the resale market by letting you know what any item is worth and on which marketplace, so more organisations and people can get involved in resale and avoid landfill.

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

We are Liverpool-based along with my cofounders Nova, which have been critical in raising the standards of startups in the area, and we are both very fortunate to have partnered on THRIFT.

North West