Meet the Rising Stars regional winners: the South West’s five top early-stage companies

Kane Fulton, December 10, 2020 5 min read

Rising Stars is the UK’s only national competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies. Last year, 10 companies were crowned Rising Stars 2.0 Winners at our London Grand Final. Now, five regional winners for each region and nation across the UK will compete nationally for the chance to be named as one of the 10 winners of Rising Stars 3.0. Read on to find out more about our five South West regional winners – Bowimi, Cloud8, Data Duopoly, RoleMappe, and Spherics.

Bowimi

Bowimi allows brands to get their products into their target audiences hands by sending free samples to their mobile phone when they are at the point of sale. Bowimi uses WiFi, QR codes and weblinks to on-board consumers and send them free products to trial alongside engaging digital experiences, with no app download needed. No other company provides a sampling experience like this. Cofounder Dom Bowcock spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We’re thrilled to be selected as a Rising Stars Regional Winner. It is been a tough year for most people, not least for those working in hospitality and live events. We know that tech like ours can be the catalyst for recovery. Being recognised by Tech Nation will be a fantastic platform to showcase Bowimi to new clients and investors.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South West?

With a strong talent pool and a large community of like-minded companies, the South West is an ideal place to be growing a company like ours.

Cloud8

Cloud8 is driving digital transformation within the employee benefits industry. Their flagship product, BEAM at Work, showcases employee benefits on a simple, people-friendly, intuitive platform. BEAM is offered on a subscription model to employee benefits consultants, brokers and intermediaries to help them deliver a better benefits experience for their clients (employers) and employees. Founder and CEO Ian Rummels spoke to Tech Nation.

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

It is fantastic achievement to be recognised by Rising Stars. Cloud8 has gone from strength to strength in the last year with exciting product upgrades and new client wins, so this is a real testament to our hard work. I passionately believe that simple, modern, digital benefits software delivered through forward-thinking corporate advisers is the future for the employee benefits industry. Clearly our clients think so too, but it is great to have further validation from tech industry experts.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South West?

As a digital business, our clients come from all over the country but there’s no doubt that being in the South West is a bonus. Bristol and the surrounding area is a vibrant, forward-thinking business community. Our local clients and benefit providers have been quick to embrace our vision, while local suppliers have supported us with rapid, creative solutions. The development of BEAM, our flagship product, has been supported by excellent partnerships with local businesses. We have also doubled in headcount in the first year thanks to an amazing pool of local talent.

Data Duopoly

Data Duopoly’s mission is to revolutionise the visitor experience in any venue worldwide. They are solving the issue of congestion and visitor frustration by facilitating personalised incentives to discover and navigate venues, and creating win-win situations for visitors and venues by giving value to visitors for their data. CEO and cofounder Tanuvi Ethunandan spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We are thrilled to have been recognised in the South West, and are looking forward to representing the region at the finals. Currently we are closing our seed round, and are excited to share our plans to help venues welcome back visitors during this pandemic.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South West?

Cornwall has been a fantastic place to launch our business; from coming through the Launchpad programme, to now working with the National Trust Cornish Tin Coast Partnership to help manage visitor flow, we have had unique opportunities to grow Data Duopoly. We have loved working with the space sector here in Cornwall, having used downstream satellite data in our XplorIT product range. In particular, Aerospace Cornwall and the European Space Agency who are providing match funding for next stage of growth.

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, and create great job descriptions that increase hiring diversity and workforce flexibility.

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

We are delighted to have been selected as a Rising Stars winner for the South West region. Since we launched 12 months ago, it has been a whirlwind of growth, so it’s great to step back and see what we have managed to achieve in such as short space of time. Being recognised for this as one of the top early stage scale ups in our region is a real boost for us.

What is it like being a tech company based in the South West?

Role Mapper Technologies has received some great support from a number of the regional high-growth start-up support agencies. Business West guided us through our IP audit and Innovate UK grant application. And SETsquared Exeter has provided funding and pitch support and channeled us into their Annual Investment Showcase in December.

Spherics

Aiming to help millions of organisations reach net zero by 2030, Spherics helps businesses understand their climate impact. Their system integrates with established software packages, and tracks and visualises a company’s carbon footprint in real-time. It makes custom suggestions on how to reduce impact, matching data trends with research and climate science, and finally offsetting any unavoidable carbon emissions. CEO George Sandilands spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We’re excited to represent the green-tech movement in the South West as a part of Rising Stars 3.0. After winning Innovate UK funding in October, this furthers our momentum and growth!

What is it like being a tech company based in the South West?

Bristol is a hub for low-carbon and green technology. We’ve been supported by multiple incubators and schemes such as the Sustainable Technologies Business Accelerator Hub, by Set Squared, as well as networking groups such as Green Tech South West. We’re excited about the future in our region.

South West