What you missed at the Northern Stars Sheffield heat

Matt Jeffs-Watts, September 13, 2016 3 min read

This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.

The 2016 edition of Northern Stars kicked off last week in the ‘Steel City’ of Sheffield and the inaugural event of this year’s pitch competition saw the startups set the bar very high.

A capacity crowd entered the impressive event space, eager to hear what the 11 entrepreneurs had to offer. And it didn’t disappoint. From edtech to music, IoT to retail, the event covered some of the most exciting areas of the tech sector.

Here’s what some of the startups had to say before they went on stage…


In case you couldn’t make it (and somehow managed to miss our live feed), here’s a run-down of the entrants into the Sheffield heat…

Digital Bridge – a computer vision and machine-learning platform that allows customers to visualise what new home decor and furnishings would look like in their own room.

Beatroot – music consumption is moving to streaming services like Spotify. Success in this new format is dependent on a track being easy to find among 30m other tracks. The only way a track can be found is if it has metadata like tempo, BPM, era, etc. Beatroot provides this data.

Lumici Slate – four out of ten newly qualified teachers leave teaching within the first year. 76% of teachers blame this on workload and planning. Lumici Slate enables teachers to plan lessons collaboratively, online. Saving teachers 20 hours a week.

Nothing but EPIC – developers of ‘Padoq’, a mobile-first community network platform which allows people to create engaged social communities online. The product is a natural progression of the forum for the mobile age.

Presciense – end-to-end smart home platform focused on delivering security, safety and energy management services to customers. Everything from hardware and firmware, to cloud platforms and branded mobile apps.

Radio.co – live streaming platform which allows anyone to create an online radio station. Live DJs can connect from anywhere in the world and easily switch between live or automated broadcasting.

Shopblocks – SaaS e-commerce platform that provides everything a small business needs to create and launch their own online shop. Shopblocks includes BlockLab – an innovation enabling businesses to experiment with responsive shop design.

Smart Garage Solutions – provide independent garages with the software and equipment to create, review and send personalised customer videos, ensuring better relationships to help sell more cars.

Synap – using a unique combination of AI algorithms, and research into how memories are formed, Synap is a powerful, intelligent and personalised educational platform that helps students and professionals learn more in less time.

Tutorful – helping parents and students find expert, local tutors for private one-to-one tuition in their own homes using a powerful algorithm to ensure students receive the highest standard of education.

Twile – allows you to build a visual, interactive timeline of your family’s story, combining your family history and family tree with the more recent events of your own life and your children’s.

The winners…

The competition was fierce, with just two of our startups prevailing; one via a vote by our panel of judges (from Ignite Accelerator, Dotforge Accelerator and Ward Hadaway), the other an audience vote.

It was a tough decision for all involved, with the level of pitching extremely high, but we’re excited to announce that the first two startups through to the Grand Final are…

Northern Stars Winners

– Tutorful (judge vote)

– Lumici Slate (audience vote)


It could be you…

There’s still time for you to enter this year’s competition, with applications closing on 9th October.

So if you’re an early-stage tech business, based in the North, then we want to hear from you.

Apply online here.

Northern Stars, pitch, Sheffield, Yorkshire, Rising Stars