Cambridge Wireless and Silicon SouthWest have launched the ‘Discovering Start-Ups 2014’ competition, sponsored by Deloitte.
Run by Cambridge Wireless (CW) with Silicon SouthWest and sponsored by Deloitte, the free-to-enter competition will give the chosen finalists the opportunity to pitch their technologies and business plans to some 20 leading wireless industry investors and experts. The line-up of judges this year, includes senior executives from companies including Amadeus, BT, Broadcom, Cambridge Business Angels, Google, IBM, London Business Angels, Orange Labs, Philips Innovation Services, Qualcomm Ventures and Samsung Electronics.
Now in its 5th year, Discovering Start-Ups is also sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures, Google, Microlease and Agilent Technologies, and IC Resources, and is supported by TechCity and techUK.
“Discovering Start-Ups is a great showcase for the very best in UK wireless innovation from, mobile apps and social media services to hardware devices and network infrastructure,” said Soraya Jones, CEO at CW. “With a new surge of budding business, academic and amateur entrepreneurs keen to make their mark, the competition is a great opportunity to get a kick-start and get noticed. We are delighted that Deloitte will be hosting the finals at its prestigious London venue, reflecting its commitment to support the ‘search for innovation’ and encourage new hi-tech business ventures.”
The winners of Discovering Start-Ups 2013 reflect the diversity of entrants, from Chirp that has developed a data sharing technology using electronic bird song, to WhiteSpace Water, looking to reduce water loss and save money using wireless sensors and White Space spectrum. The other winners were Ether Books, Simpalarm and SQR Systems.
“Any new business knows how difficult it is to get in front of investors and major industry players,” said Simon Bond, Founder of Silicon SouthWest. “Discovering Start-Ups gives our finalists the chance to get in front of 20 of them all at the same time. We have a strong track record in wireless innovation in the UK and we expect this year’s entrants will continue this tradition and help drive the future of the global wireless and mobile industry.”
Smart Antenna Technologies, one the winners of the 2012 Discovering Start-Ups competition, has gone from strength-to-strength and continues to grow rapidly, with the opening of a silicon design centre in Bath and expanding customer list. “The single major event that raised the profile of our business with customers, media and investors alike was the CW Discovering Start-Ups competition,” said Rick Hillum, CEO at Smart Antenna Technologies. “I can’t think of another event that delivers such value, elevation of profile and opens up such a significant opportunity to reach a wide and influential audience.”
Five ultimate winners will each receive a £500 cash prize sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures along with a prestigious Discovering Start-Ups trophy and a further opportunity to pitch to 400 global wireless delegates in the Innovation Hothouse at The Future of Wireless International Conference 2015 run by CW. The winners will also get one year’s free virtual membership to CW, the leading not-for-profit, international community for companies involved in the research, development and application of wireless and mobile technologies, and SETsquared, including a business MOT, networking and mentoring support, investor readiness training and the opportunity to be selected for various investor showcases in London and the US.
The closing date for entries is 26th August and the finals will be held on 22nd October at Deloitte offices in London. Discovering Start-Ups is open to start-ups and early-stage companies looking to take their businesses forward as well as design groups in larger companies looking to exploit new technologies and students or academics in education. Details to enter can be found at http://www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/dsu