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

Kane Fulton, December 15, 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 the South East of England. Today, we are excited to announce the South West Regional Winners of Rising Stars 4.0: All About The Cooks, Intelligent AI, itsettled, Lumio, and xigxag.

All About The Cooks

From Bristol, All About The Cooks (think Airbnb for food) aims to revolutionise the way we eat at home by bringing together a community of home-cooks. The marketplace website allows talented home-cooks to sell their food to people near via their postcode and filters on the site. Founder Claire Ladkin tells us more.

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

At All About The Cooks, we believe that one day it will be possible to buy home-cooked food, from local people, wherever you are in the world. We are already doing this in Bristol and have ambitious plans to scale in 2022. To be recognised as a Rising Star Regional Winner will give us an extra boost as we seek to grow our team, attract investors and tell our stories, well beyond our own region in 2022. The biggest beneficiaries though will be the communities we serve, because All About The Cooks creates a massive social impact, moving money around within communities through the sharing of good food.

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

Tech Nation’s Matt Exley has been an invaluable source of wisdom, encouragement, advice and connections. He’s taken time to really get under the skin of the concept and provided feedback on the investment proposition and scaling opportunity in an informed and collaborative way. As a sole founder, for now, that has been enormously helpful to the journey, including encouraging me to enter the Rising Stars Programme.

Intelligent AI

Based in Exeter, data analytics company Intelligent AI focuses on the commercial property insurance sector, bringing together AI, Open Data, IoT and Satellite Image Analysis to deliver digital twins of risk on global commercial properties and assets. Clients can make the most of the company’s intelligent risk management, AI risk report readings, and online risk surveys too. CEO Anthony Peake tells us more.

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

Intelligent AI are proud to be selected as the South West Regional Winner in Tech Nation Rising Stars for our AI and Satellite enabled Intelligent Risk Management Platform. We have had a fantastic 2021 with huge interest from global insurers, brokers and commercial property owners and being a Rising Stars winner will help us to increase our profile and reach more global customers in 2022.

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

We have been very fortunate in the South West, with support from the SetSquared Exeter Incubator, The Exeter Science Park and from the University of Exeter. There is a fantastic innovation community across the South West that we have been able to call upon for collaboration, research, mentoring and investment.


With its HQ in Bristol, itsettled uses its bank-grade automated cashflow management & credit control platform to identify payment risks and automatically collects overdue invoices. The platform features include: automated process; early warning alerts; unlimited users, invoices, and credit checker and credit reports; accountancy software integration; credit management resources; pause the process; and customer support. CEO Glen Morgan tells us more.

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

SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy, and £3.5m of trade on credit and COVID has negatively impacted over 1.5m of these. The late payment epidemic means they are owed in excess of £65bn. We are honoured that itsettled has been chosen as a Tech Nation Rising Star to help solve this economic challenge. With their support and reach, our cashflow and credit management platform will help create a sustainable market recovery and stop UK SMEs from failing.

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

Our local representative has given us great support over the last year, keeping us updated with the activities and programmes we can participate in. We feel very connected and supported without ever being part of one of the programmes we have now been selected for. We would not be a part of Rising Stars without regional support.


Bristol-based Lumio helps its customers streamline their money, tracking track all their investments, bills, and savings in one place. The process enables customers to save money on upcoming and abnormal bills, and it will also set aside varying amounts of money according to your spending. CEO Charlie Richardson tells us more.

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

Open finance is still in its nascent stage but this recognition from Tech Nation as a Regional Winner of Rising Stars underlines that we are now at a tipping point for the industry – with Lumio at the forefront of delivering a real positive impact on people’s finances. Our core focus here as we move forward is going to be 100% built around how we can be the most efficient company in the industry at using data to move customers’ money into the right accounts, at the right time. And our mission is to become Europe’s most personalised finance app for people to grow their money.

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

The South West is a unique community with a net-giving mentality. It lends itself to producing a community of start-ups and scale-ups that can all benefit from the expertise of all those in the region, not just your company.


Based in Latchley, Gunnislake, xigxag puts listeners at the heart of everything they do – all by innovating digital reading and shaping the future of books. The digital reading app boasts a proprietary listen-and-read x-book® concept, market-first features and a community platform for listener-readers. Xigxag promises a richer, more social, multi-mode digital experience that will ensure sustainable book consumption. CEO Kelli Fairbrother tells us more.

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

At xigxag, we’re leading a revolution in digital reading and shaping the future of books. It’s a tremendous honour to be a Rising Stars 4.0 South West Regional Winner. Rising Stars is an important launchpad for innovative UK startups, recognising great ideas and the teams that bring them to life. As an independent Cornwall-based business, challenging the dominance of big tech in digital books, we appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate how pioneering tech is being developed in the southwest.

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

We have been overwhelmed by the amazing response we’ve received from the tech and business support community in the southwest. We’ve worked with leading web development partners like HiYield and the Software Cornwall network as well as regional support organisations including Unlocking Potential.

Local super-connectors have offered us invaluable introductions to the southwest tech community and leading universities. And regional teams from Innovate UK Edge have provided access to expertise and advisors dedicated to supporting our success. We are so grateful to everyone for their support – it really is advantageous to be located here with so many like-minded people and successful businesses.

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