Meet the Rising Stars regional winners: Wales’ five top early-stage companies

Kane Fulton, December 9, 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 Wales winners – Immersity, Iungo Solutions, Nightingale, Tendertec, and Yoello.

Immersity

Immersity creates realistic V-learning and V-experiences scenarios, to engage, train and interact with people faster, more effectively and at a lower cost. ImmersityVR can be used to mitigate risk to individuals through self-assessment of awareness and tasks, and their impact on the working environment, or to give consumers a completely new immersive V-commerce experience. The possibilities are immense. CEO Hugh Sullivan spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We at Immersity are excited to be one of Wales’ Rising Stars 3.0 and a real boost to our recently opened investment cycle. This supports our commitment to build a highly impactful and profitable immersive mixed media technology business in Cardiff, seek lighthouse clients in Construction, Defence, First Responders and Education, and create strong partnerships with other Welsh businesses and educational establishments.

What is it like being a tech company based in Wales?

Based in Cardiff Bay, Immersity has been well supported by the Welsh Government and early-stage start up community through mentoring and coaching support. Immersity was awarded a place on the IoT Accelerator Wales at Barclays Eagle Labs Cardiff with equity investment from the Development Bank of Wales in 2018. Currently we are working on VR use cases for UK Government MoD within a Welsh Innovation Partnership with the Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) for Telexistence and Future Policing proposals currently in review.

Iungo Solutions

Working at the intersection of business, education and government to democratise excellent careers for everyone, iungo – meaning “to connect” – aims to create the connective tissue between employers, training providers and policy makers. Uniquely positioned to be independent within the careers ecosystem, they work with all stakeholders to create shared and sustained value for the UK economy. Cofounder and CEO Jessica Leigh Jones spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We are thrilled to be flying the flag for Wales as a Tech Nation Rising Star Regional Winner. Our new product launches later this month and we will be seeking investment in January 2021 so the timing is perfect.

What is it like being a tech company based in Wales?

We are fortunate to have access to such a fantastic support network in Wales – the Welsh Government Innovation Team, Barclays Eagle Labs, and Business Wales.

Nightingale

Nightingale HQ is building a marketplace of data & AI services for manufacturers. Manufacturers can quickly and easily access a network of vetted data experts, helping them to improve critical areas like supply chain, ops management, inventory, and downtime. Cofounder and CEO Steph Locke spoke to Tech Nation.

What is it like being a tech company based in Wales?

It’s great to be in Wales as it has a strong density of manufacturers who we want to work with. There is also great talent coming out of our universities with initiatives like Higher Degree Apprenticeship scheme helping us to grow our pipeline. We have also participated in the local NatWest Accelerator and connected with the startup community in The Town Square and the Innovation Centre for Enterprise (ICE). FSB Wales and Technology Connected are also top-notch for events.

Tendertec

Building the next generation of personalised safety and care technologies for the post Covid-19 era, Tendertec provides solutions for social care and the workplace. Its products, CareBox and SafePass, are opening the door to safer communities, helping businesses manage the impact of Covid on their service continuity, and safeguarding frontline workers and vulnerable people. Cofounder and Director Afroditi Maria Konidari spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We are beyond thrilled that Tendertec has been chosen as a Rising Stars Wales Regional Winner. Being recognised by Tech Nation is a proud moment for our team and will be instrumental in showcasing the impact that Tendertec’s safety and care AI products are creating in the post Covid-19 era. We believe that this recognition will shine a wider spotlight to those challenged the most by this pandemic, our elderly and frontline workers, and the companies working relentlessly to develop solutions to support them.

What is it like being a tech company based in Wales?

The Welsh startup ecosystem is an exemplar demonstrating how a small nation can become host to one of the most exiting places to build a startup. TechNation’s latest study reporting a 200% increase in demand for AI jobs over the past three years is proof of this. Tendertec would not be here today had it not benefited from the Welsh startup ecosystem led by the Welsh Government, early-stage support and funding initiatives and driven by a great community of mentors, co-working spaces and academic collaborators. Adding to these the higher education presence, affordable living, the great city of Cardiff and the beautiful Welsh landscape, Wales is a recipe of startup success.

Yoello

Yoello is an app-less hospitality payment platform that allows customers to simply scan, order and pay. Utilising new open banking legislation to cut out the middleman and bring merchants and customers closer together, they connect to banks directly to initiate funds between consumer and merchants, saving businesses 75% on transaction fees. They’re supporting thousands of UK businesses, enabling them to reopen and operate in the new age of post-lockdown technology-led service. CEO Sina Yamani spoke to Tech Nation.

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

We are delighted to be announced as Wales Regional Winner of Tech Nation Rising Stars.

What is it like being a tech company based in Wales?

It has certainly been a year to remember for the team here at Yoello and to build on our recent award wins at the Wales Start-up Awards and Cardiff Business Awards is the perfect way to finish off a successful 2020. The Yoello team has been working hard this year to not just launch our platform, but to ensure we offer continued support for our merchants facing some of the toughest industry limitations of our lifetime. Starting this year with a team of four, to nearly 40 full-time members of staff, we are looking ahead to our exciting plans for 2021 and the Tech Nation Rising Stars programme will be an incredible platform to help propel our growth in the new year.

Wales