What does the new UK National Security and Investment regime mean for tech companies?
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To mark the festive season, we are delighted to introduce our Regional Winners for Rising Stars 3.0, also known as ‘The 12 Days of Scaleups’!
Now in its third year, Rising Stars is the UK’s only national early-stage tech scaleup competition. It’s designed to help the most exciting early-stage tech companies take their business to the next level and become the world-leading tech companies of the future. This year, the competition is going 100% virtual, and there are FIVE winners from each region – meaning it’s bigger than ever before.
The 12 days of scaleups sees us unveil all the Regional Winners for Rising Stars 3.0.
“Everyone knows that 2020 is a challenging year. We’re honoured that so many companies took the time to apply for Rising Stars 3.0, and are truly excited about the calibre of our Regional Winners. It’s great to see companies from every imaginable sector in the competition, and from every corner of the UK – from Aberdeen to Falmouth and everywhere in between. The 55 Rising Stars Regional Winners are companies that are proving their resilience and adaptability, building products that will support businesses and customers both now, and into the future. They are all deserving of recognition – and here at Tech Nation, we’re thrilled to celebrate and showcase them.” Esme Caulfield, Tech Nation Competitions Lead
Our 55 Regional Winners covered a total of tech 16 subsectors, the most common being Hrtech and Healthtech (both at 13%), Fintech (11%), and Edtech and Cybersecurity (both at 7%). Of our Healthtechs, three are based in Scotland.
Of the 55 companies, the average company age is 2.7 years, with 6.5 employees. An impressive 76% of our Regional Finalists are generating revenue, and 36% have at least one female founder. 31% of our Regional Finalists are Pre-Seed, 30% have no previous rounds of funding, and 27% are Seed funded. For next stages, 32% of our Regional Finalists are looking for Seed Funding, while 22% are looking to raise Series A.
The majority of our Regional Finalists are B2B, at 58%, and the same number – 58% – have previously attended an accelerator. 69% of companies planning to expand internationally in the next 12 months, with 52% wanting to expand in to the USA.
Having revealed all of our 55 Regional Winners, today we thought we would take a look at the incredible range of companies that applied for Rising Stars 3.0. The companies that applied for Rising Stars 3.0 represent a good portion of early-stage scaleups across the UK, and allow us to take a closer look at what sort of companies are at the beginning of their scaling journey.
Frog Systems (Glasgow, Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences) @frogdotnet
Founder: Phil Worms
Frog Systems has developed the first dedicated mental health and wellbeing video platform, containing 1000s of short films. It utilises the power of the lived experience to communicate positive messages of hope and support – from those that have survived dark times, to others facing their own personal challenges. The proprietary software, which can be licensed and customised by any organisation, signposts the user to their nearest local support and services, dependent on the video’s content.
LiberEat (Aberdeen, Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences) @LiberEatApp
Founders: Barry Leaper, Louise Cahill
LiberEat makes life easier for people with dietary restrictions by providing bespoke menus, supermarket grocery options, and recipes to users with options filtered by their requirements. Helping businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets become more accessible, and providing useful analytics and insights, it has the potential to seriously reduce harm from food allergies.
Playerdata (Edinburgh, Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences) @playerdatauk
Founders: Sukrit (Roy) Hotrabhvanon and Hayden Ball
Playerdata is transforming the way athletes train, giving everyone – from amateurs to professionals – access to the latest in wearable technology and performance data. Covering amateur to semi-professional levels across both football and rugby, Playerdata has over 350 members in its revolutionary community.
Trickle (Edinburgh, HRtech) @trickleworks
Founders: Paul Reid, Ross Dempster and Joe Brock
Trickle is on a mission to reinvent employee engagement and wellbeing, to build better workplaces and achieve better business performance. Businesses are only as good as their people, and work should be a place where people are listened to, valued, supported and have a strong sense of belonging. Trickle brings these attributes to the core of everyday operations, with a goal to help businesses thrive and become more resilient by creating a people-first culture.
Valla (Edinburgh, Lawtech)
Founders: Dr. Kate Ho, Danae Shell
Bringing transparency and insight to the legal sector, Valla is a data platform for the legal industry. It analyses millions of legal documents, extracting data and turning them into insights that are easy to understand, helping lawyers and consumers make data-driven legal decisions. Its first product puts a price on discrimination in the workplace.
Bubo.AI (Middlesbrough, Data Analytics & Business Intelligence) @BuboAI
Founders: Alan Timothy, Marcin Lisowski, David Shell
Profit is one of the most difficult key metrics to manage successfully and consistently. Bubo.AI is a customer value-based pricing strategy for businesses, using price recommendations and continuous optimization models designed to handle complexity and scale. Bubo.AI tracks customer behavior over time in order to offer the perfect price, helping businesses achieve profits targets quickly.
Discova (Newcastle, Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences) @discovahealth
Founders: Lizzy Hodcroft, Emma Reilly
Created by founders with lived experience, Discova delivers personalised support and interventions for better employee and team mental health and wellbeing. Discova empowers employees to take positive action quickly through tailored action plans, adjusting the support and guidance received based on individual areas of focus, learning style and personality.
Education Equation (Durham, Edtech)
Founders: Amir Hamza, Azhar Haris
Education Equation is making education more individualised. Their free learning platform provides on-demand, exam board specific courses and bespoke tutoring, tailored to each student’s distinct learning gaps, which are identified via machine learning.
Okkulo (Newcastle, Leisure, Travel & Tourism) @OKKULO1
Founders: Mel O’Connor, Owen McFarlane, Peter Atkinson
Okkulo is a sports training system that uses unique light levels to recalibrate the visual system, allowing the athlete to improve their reaction time, motion perception and depth perception above and beyond their current levels. The Okkulo technology can be used across a broad spectrum of sports such as football, baseball, basketball, tennis and even F1.
OPPORTUNI (Stockton-on-Tees, Ecommerce & Marketplace) @opportunitender
Founders: Tim Ward, Bill MacGregor
OPPORTUNI is a AI-driven subscription service that identifies and distributes tender opportunities to relevant businesses. Subscribers submit keywords which form the basis for the search, and the AI ensures only the most relevant tender opportunities are presented. They are leading the way in the marketplace by providing the most accurate tender search results available and drawing opportunities from almost 3,600 tender portals.
Beaconsoft (Leeds, Cybersecurity) @this_is_beacon
Founders: Nigel Bridges, Stewart Boutcher and Mike Townend
Beaconsoft is looking to significantly reduce the problem of online fraud. Its first product – Beacon – empowers CMOs & CFOs to make better digital marketing decisions based on accurate independent unbiased data and insights, reducing waste and fraud, improving results and increasing digital ROI. New product Veracity uses AI and Blockchain technology to identify a human in an internet transaction.
Bombyx PLM (Hull, Enterprise Software & Cloud Computing) @bombyxplm
Founder: Lucy Blackley
Bombyx PLM manages the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. Integrating people, data, processes, and business systems, it provides a product information backbone. The platform reduces time to market, improves product quality, reduces prototyping costs, identifies potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions, maintains and sustains operational serviceability, and reduces environmental impacts at end-of-life.
Cognito Learning (Leeds, Edtech) @IntuitiveLE
Founders: Mike Routledge, Jonathan Jerome and Evan Ritchie
Cognito Learning is a digital learning app that uses the power of AI and engaging gamification to continuously help employees to understand, reinforce and retain their learning and knowledge in less than 2 minutes per day. Described as a “Fitbit for the brain”, Cognito learns and adapts to the learning needs of your employees, because learning never stops.
Hyper (Leeds, Data Analytics & Business Intelligence) @hyperstrategy
Founders: Peter Denby, Thomas Hill, Damon Bryan and Adam Barrowcliff
The data science brain for customer-led retail decisions, Hyper enables retailers to use AI and data science to improve marketing, merchandising and supply chain performance. Through its cloud-based data platform, proprietary AI engine and intuitive user interface, Hyper gives non-technical people access to powerful insights, helping them make decisions which increase customer loyalty and profits.
Klaxon (Leeds, Data Analytics and Cybersecurity) @SoundTheKlaxon
Founders: Daniel Simms and Yew Hong Woo
Keeping people safe, informed and productive, Klaxon is a cloud-based major incident, mass notification and planned maintenance communication solution. It helps organisations keep their people safe and productive during an emergency or crisis. Helping organisations to send emergency communications, such as: broadcasting information concerning pandemics, business continuity, disaster recovery and IT downtime.
Budibase (Belfast, Data Analytics & Business Intelligence) @budibase
Founders: Michael Shanks, Joe Johnston and Martin McKeaveney
Building custom software for your business in minutes, without coding, Budibase is an open source, nocode platform used for building web applications, to digitise your business. Small to medium sized businesses and digital consultants use Budibase to build and host apps, or for supporting their self-hosted deployments.
Elemental (Derry, Healthtech & Biotech & Life Sciences) @Its_Elemental
Founders: Jennifer Neff and Leeann Monk Osgul
Elemental is an award-winning tech for good company with the purpose of empowering and enabling individuals, families and their carers to better connect into community-based programmes, services and interventions that make a positive impact on their lives. Through an innovative digital platform, it provides teams with the technical connectivity they need for multi-sector partnership working, leadership, and the measurement of mobilisation of support where needed.
ESTHER (Newry, Fintech) @esthergiving
Founder: Carol Rossborough
ESTHER is a corporate giving platform which allows businesses to engage across a range of cause-based charity programmes. It simplifies and automates corporate giving – allowing businesses to give directly to verified people in need in the community. Solving real problems, leaving a real legacy with live impact reporting, its USP is the ability to give directly to verified people in need in your own community.
Selazar (Belfast, Ecommerce & Marketplace)
Founders: Jack Williams, Kevan Bishonden and Gareth Burns
Selazar is a tech-first company automating retailers’ entire eCommerce operation through its single fulfilment platform. Selazar automatically picks, packs, stores and ships products with up to a 40% saving compared to other fulfilment providers. The end-to-end solution encompasses stock management, deliveries and returns for the retailer allowing them to scale their business without the heavy lifting.
SureCert (Belfast, HRtech) @surecertpro
Founder: Ian Savage
SureCert is a digitised background checking platform, enabling recruiters to confirm quickly that candidates are who they say they are, have done what they have said they have done and have nothing in their backgrounds that would stop them from working in regulated sectors.
BoardSecure (Birmingham, Lawtech) @boardsecure
Founder: Clive Bawden
Helping charities and SMEs build stronger boards, BoardSecure is a digital platform enabling Company Directors and Charity Trustees to lower their risk, improve their skills and strengthen their accountability and investment readiness. BoardSecure helps Boards learn what they don’t know about a subject, manage the correct risks and processes, and embeds these lessons through use of a portal tool.
eLocker (Derby, Hardware & Devices)
Founders: Jacob Hinson and Mark Hinson
Locker management made easy, eLocker connects Bluetooth enabled locks to the internet via an IoT gateway. Already working with Amazon, DHL and Kuehne and Nagel, it’s the world’s first wirelessly managed locker solution.
Felloh! (Grantham, Fintech) @felloh_org
Founders: William Bicknell, Claire Lowry-Hubball and Ujwal Bhagwat
felloh! is a payments platform for good which cuts costs and does good with every payment. By embedding payments and banking into client’s journeys, they improve customer experience, simplify reconciliation and innovate to improve profitability whilst embedding giving to good causes into the business model.
Predictiva (Leicester, Fintech)
Founders: Ashraf Attia and Maysara Hammouda
Predictiva is making advanced AI available to everyone. Its advanced AI models utilises Deep Reinforcement Learning for fintech and other industries focused on predictive analytics; leveraging the cloud to provide an enterprise-scale yet easy-to-use platform which automates the analysis and management of financial trading.
Recap Technologies (Lincoln, Fintech) @recap_io
Founders: Daniel Howitt and Benjamin Shepheard
Cryptoasset portfolio tracking, analytics and tax reporting, Recap is an end-to-end encrypted cryptoasset accountancy app. It collects transactions from a user’s cryptoasset exchanges and services to help them understand their entire portfolio and comply with local tax reporting. Uniquely, this is done entirely within an end-to-end encrypted platform, so only the user ever has visibility of their sensitive financial data, protecting them from novel risks in the industry.
AeroCloud Systems (Macclesfield, Leisure, Travel & Tourism)
Founders: Ian Forde-Smith and George Richardson
AeroCloud Systems provides innovative IT solutions for the aviation sector, including the first fully SaaS-based product for the airport market. Its products dramatically improve an airport’s operational situational awareness and performance, and enhance passenger experience and engagement.
CGHero (Manchester, Digital Entertainment / Creative Tech) @cgherofreelance
Founders: Jonathan Lloyd and Chris Lawrence
CGHero is a collaborative marketplace for 3D & CGI content creation, bringing together the world’s top talent to work on feature productions across gaming, architecture, TV & film, automotive and retail. The platform has been used by the likes of Valvoline, Sega, B&Q, Unilever, and NHS.
Jobseekrs (Manchester, HRtech) @JobseekrsApp
Founders: Jamaal Brathwaite
Jobseekrs is a careers platform that mitigates unconscious bias at the sourcing and screening stage of recruitment to increase diversity and inclusion and to decrease churn. The jobseekrs algorithm matches a candidate to a potential employer based on skill set and culture alignment, producing an overall percentage fit score which is presented to the employer anonymously. The employer then purchases credits to reveal and engage with candidates.
SupplyWell (Liverpool, Edtech) @supply_well
Founders: Michael Heverin, Raina Heverin and Dan Price
SupplyWell is a digital recruitment solution putting control in the hands of teachers and schools. It connects teachers and schools together directly removing the need for slow and costly traditional agencies, which allows teachers to earn more while schools pay less and ensure that wellbeing comes as standard.
Your FLOCK (Manchester, HRtech) @_YourFLOCK
Founders: Michal Wisniewski, Dan Sodergren and Sandy Lindsay MBE
Your FLOCK is a SaaS platform that uses the data and science behind motivations at work to enable teams to be more productive and engaged. Your FLOCK is a machine learning-driven software that helps managers to coach their teams by providing users with activities tailored to their motivations and designed to help them be more ‘in sync’ and work more effectively as a team.
Immersity (Cardiff, Gaming/Immersive) @immersity_ltd
Founder: Hugh Sullivan
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.
iungo Solutions (Cardiff, Edtech) @iungo_solutions
Founders: Jessica Leigh Jones, Tom de Vall
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.
Nightingale HQ (Cardiff, Ecommerce & Marketplace) @nightingalehqai
Founders: Steph Locke, Ruth Kearney
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.
Tendertec (Cardiff, Healthtech, Biotech & Life Sciences) @tendertec
Founders: Afroditi Konidari and Rui Zhang
Building the next generation of personalised safety & 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-19 on their service continuity, and safeguarding frontline workers and vulnerable people.
Yoello (Cardiff, Fintech) @yoellopay
Founder: Sina Yamani
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.
Bowimi (Bath, Adtech & Marketing)
Founders: Dom Bowcock and Dan Ghadimi
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.
Cloud8 (Bristol, HRtech) @c8Technology
Founder: Ian Rummels
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.
Data Duopoly (Falmouth, Leisure, Travel & Tourism) @DataDuopoly
Founders: Tanuvi Ethunandan and Erin Morris
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.
Role Mapper (Exeter, HRtech) @rolemapper
Founder: Sara Hill
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.
Spherics Technology Ltd (Bristol, Net Zero) @Spherics_
Founders: George Sandilands, Mike Chatziapostolou and Ciaran Wood
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.
e-Surgery (Norwich, Healthtech, Biotech & Life Sciences) @eSurgeryCares
Founders: Thuria Wenbar and Oskar Wendowski
e-Surgery is the UK’s leading prescribing service and sustainable online pharmacy. Patients simply need to go to their website, choose the treatment they need, fill in a simple health questionnaire and wait for next day delivery in discreet recyclable and biodegradable packaging. They’re a private healthcare provider radically proving the idea that private healthcare can be affordable and that these efficiencies can be made available for the masses.
Plastometrex (Cambridge, Hardware & Devices & IoT) Linkedin
Founders: James Dean, Bill Clyne and Jimmy Campbell
Plastometrex develops next-generation mechanical materials testing tools and software platforms to support the digital manufacturing revolution. Plastometrex’s first product – the Indentation Plastometer – enables manufacturers to extract stress/strain curves from metal parts with unprecedented ease, reducing testing turnaround times from hours (or days!) to real-time measurement.
Rnwl (Cambridge, Insurtech) @rnwlco
Founder: Goncalo de Vasconcelos
Handling your insurance renewal, Rnwl uses AI to auto-switch customers at renewal, automatically searching for the best deals across price comparison websites, direct-only insurers and even the latest, most innovative insurtechs. Rnwl also allows its customers to easily and seamlessly submit claims and make changes to policies (such as adding items to contents insurance or adding or removing drivers from the car insurance).
Tricerion (Cambridge, Cybersecurity) @tricerion
Founders: Tony Groom, Nick Forde and Malcolm Hathaway
Tricerion provides frictionless secure customer authentication via neurographic passwords. The software enables simple, easy visual authentication for low cost access to web applications – especially helpful for the digitally reluctant (the elderly), the young and those that suffer digital inequalities. It’s patent protected, has been deployed successfully and has been proven to stop spoof phishing.
Upside Money (Norwich, Fintech) @UpsideSaving
Founders: Andries Smit, Kathryn Wright and Paul Russell
With the aim to make savings effortless, Upside Money are helping a nation of spenders to start saving. They do this by finding money on everyday spending, and automatically moving it to their Upside Savings account. Their first service, ‘autocashback’, earns cashback automatically when you shop. No coupons, cookie tracking, browser extensions or receipt scanning is required – just watch your savings account fill up.
Find out more about our Regional Winners in the East of England.
Glimpse Protocol (Winchester, Adtech & Marketing) @GlimpseProtocol
Founders: Mark Stoter, Alasdair Macdonald and Tim Holmes-Mitra
A revolutionary advertising platform with privacy at its core, Glimpse Protocol have invented a new data model to allow online businesses to reach precise consumer audiences, while protecting consumer privacy and without using any third-party data sources. They offer an ethical, compliant and efficient ad marketplace for advertisers and publishers.
Percept Imagery Ltd (Brighton and Hove, Retail Tech) @PerceptImagery
Founders: Akshay Saswade and Rohan Satpute
Percept Imagery enables personalized shopping experiences that blend online and real worlds. Their augmented reality platform, Sprie ®, enables retailers to personalize online shopping by allowing shoppers to try out products in the real world before purchasing them. Sprie seamlessly integrates AR with existing brand eCommerce websites, social pages or QR Codes, and enables retailers to showcase entire inventories without the need to download an app.
Port.im (Hassocks, Insurtech) @PORTsays
Founders: Julian Saunders, Dan Eltis and Piyush Shah
PORT.im is transforming the way businesses manage privacy. The end-to-end service manages all aspects of privacy from the website through to the compliance documentation. Recognising that privacy is an area fraught with difficulties for businesses, PORT.im is on a mission to help businesses build trust with their customers and comply with the regulations.
That Works For Me (Guildford, HRtech) @that_worksforme
Founders; Jessica Heagren, Nicola Good and Gemma Blake
Small businesses and agencies often stop themselves accessing the expert help they need and deserve, because they believe they’re too small or can’t fill a full time role. That Works For Me is a digital platform that allows businesses to access thousands of experienced professionals, ranging from social media managers to lawyers – all looking to work flexibly, remotely and outside of the 9 to 5. Over 90% of businesses find the skills they need.
Worldr (Slough, Cybersecurity) @WorldrHQ
Founders: Max Buchan and Dzmitry Maskaliou
Worldr is a privacy and security focused alternative to Slack. They deploy into large organisations who are not able to use third-party communication tools because of the threat they represent to data security. Worldr combines the usability of cutting-edge communication with the security of an in-house application.
Define (London, Lawtech) @trydefine
Founders: Nnamdi Emelifeonwu and Feargus MacDaeid
Drafting made simple, Define optimises the contract drafting and reviewing process by allowing users to quickly access key information (namely all defined terms and references) in legal documents without ever having to leave the provision they are working on and lose their context of review. Define acts as a risk management tool and efficiency software that helps lawyers save time when working on legal documents.
Dragonfly AI (London, Adtech & Marketing) @DragonflyAI_co
Founders: Mark Bainbridge and David Mitchell
Dragonfly AI uses cutting edge neuroscience to accurately predict how the design of any content or experience influences what your audience sees first, across any channel. It measures the effectiveness of a wide range of assets before you publish. Dragonfly AI accurately shows you what audience attention is drawn to across assets by outputting several attention metrics and visual heat maps over content.
Ufurnish.com (London, Ecommerce & Marketplace) @ufurnishcom
Founders: Deirdre McGettrick and Ray Wright
ufurnish.com is an online search and discovery engine which enables consumers to easily search, discover, compare and shop furniture products across the entire retail market on one website. A one-stop-shop for furniture search in the same way Rightmove facilitates property search, ufurnish.com creates a level playing field for furniture retailers, enabling them to get their products in front of the right consumers.
Vimma (London, Digital Entertainment / Creative Tech) @vimma_ai
Founders: Outi Pietilanaho and Mykhailo Loginov
Vimma is a productivity suite for online content creators. 96% of influencers and content creators currently do not have access to talent management, and are left to solve their growth and monetisation on their own. Vimma’s talent management platform is building a software toolset to serve their talent management needs.
Zobi (London, Cybersecurity) @zobi_ai
Founder: Scott Lever
Smart home technology that puts your privacy first, Zobi’s smart, brand-agnostic solutions take a holistic view of homes – people, devices, networks, habits. They build an anonymous profile for each home, then use that intel to spot unusual behaviour and stop cybercriminals.
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