What are the opportunities and challenges for digital tech founders in Exeter?

Kane Fulton, May 1, 2019 2 min read

What does Exeter have to offer ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs? We asked the following stakeholders and business leaders to find out. For granular data on Exeter’s digital tech ecosystem – including its companies (and founders), accelerators, and workspaces – see Data Commons.

Liz O’Driscoll, Programme Office – Programme Director, Exeter City Futures, says:

Startups and tech companies in Exeter can access a real-world city test bed to kickstart their innovations and solutions that have the potential to bring about positive social impact, not only in Exeter but scalable for cities across the UK and beyond.

On the 2nd of April 2019 the European Climate Foundation (ECF) launched a city-wide campaign, called ‘Everyone’s Exeter’, focusing on one of the 12 Goals each month over the next year. The campaign will encourage the participation of individuals and businesses in Exeter through small sustainability pledges to help transform the city and address 12 goals including. They include congestion; air pollution; affordable housing; renewable energy and low-carbon travel.

Martin Gozo, Growth & Brand, Predina, says:

Predina is a deep technology startup founded in December of 2016. They use AI to dynamically predict road collision risks and high-risk areas based on historical collisions and contextual data (such as weather, time of day, traffic flow, etc). Exeter provides many exciting prospects for us being the headquarters of some organisations which offer services that would greatly help us achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves. Weather is one of the main factors our algorithm pulls from, so being close by to The Met Office is desirable.

We recently completed the Exeter Velocities programme which was great; their mentorship workshops really helped us gained new insights from experienced industry professionals. At the moment we’re working with Impact Lab to help us enhance our software architecture.

Chloe Uden, founder, Art & Energy, says:

Art and Energy CIC is a collective of artists and energy experts who bring together their knowledge and skills to reimagine the way solar panels are made. Art and Energy CIC is a collective of artists and energy experts who bring together their knowledge and skills to reimagine the way solar panels are made.

Why Exeter? Many things! First, the Exeter City Futures Velocities programme. The startup support programme brings expert advice, coaching, structure, encouragement, space to work and a really useful network of people together to support small companies working towards making the city better for the future. Without heir support, Art and Energy might still be a great idea waiting to happen.

We think that we could change the face of renewables, and the heart of renewables too. Our work opens a door to the imagination, allowing people to imagine a more beautiful and exciting future, and also to get hands-on in making it. We know that there is an interest and an appetite for our work, we just need to find ways to scale it now.

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