Smart glasses for the blind, gene testing platform, wireless sensor networks, real-time cyber risk assessment and new approach to software debugging shine out in the face of tough competition.
Five innovative tech businesses were named winners of the 6th Discovering Start-Ups 2015 competition last night at the final pitching event hosted by Deloitte in London. The winners ranged from smart glasses for the blind and an online platform for gene testing to an industrial wireless sensor network, real-time risk assessment system for cyber-attacks and a new reversible software debugger. They were chosen from 16 finalists who presented their disruptive technologies and business plans to a panel of 29 judges who then subjected them to some tough questioning. The judges included senior executives from the likes of Samsung, Qualcomm Ventures, MediaTek Labs, Deloitte, IBM, Telecom Italia and Google.
The Discovering Start-Ups competition, organised by Cambridge Wireless (CW) and the SETsquared Partnership with the support of Tech City UK, techUK, The New Entrepreneurs Foundation, Telecom Italia, Wayra, UK Trade & Investment and St John’s Innovation Centre, drew over 80 entries from start-ups spanning seven countries including the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Ukraine and the Netherlands. The annual search for tech talent is sponsored and hosted by Deloitte, the business advisory firm, along with Qualcomm Ventures, Google, IC Resources, MediaTek Labs, Provence Partnership and Breed Reply.
The five winners are:
Converge: low-power, wireless sensor networks for applications such as automating the monitoring process on construction sites and detecting anomalies on machinery in manufacturing plants for preventative maintenance. www.converge.io
Cyberlytic: software using machine learning and adaptive rules to provide real–time risk assessment of cyber-attacks to triage alerts and enables security teams to respond immediately to the most dangerous attacks. www.cyberlytic.com
Gene Adviser: A flexible, powerful online marketplace for genetic testing, giving doctors and their patients access to genetic testing from leading laboratories across Europe and rest of the world. www.geneadviser.co.uk
GiveVision: sophisticated software that powers smart glasses to be used as eyes for blind people by converting visual information into audio cues. www.givevision.net
Undo Software: a reversible debugger to find the root cause of bugs, allowing developers to see everything a program has done including every memory access and every instruction executed. www.undo-software.com
Full list of winners, finalists and judges can be seen at: http://www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/dsu/
“It is clear that technology innovation and entrepreneurship are more alive and kicking than ever from the UK to Ukraine,” said David Cleevely CBE, FREng and Chair of CW Discovering Start-Ups. “The annual competition has always been a great showcase for emerging companies and this year’s winners reflect the wide diversity of today’s tech start-ups. The quality and passion of the pitches posed a real challenge for the judges and while many companies were looking for funding, others were more interested in strategic partnerships and connections with high-profile and expert judges.”
The winners were provided with a unique opportunity to gain professional business insight, exposure and immediate feedback during the London final from a judging panel of highly experienced entrepreneurs, VCs and investment experts. Their prize package included one year Founder Membership with Cambridge Wireless, £500 cash award courtesy of Qualcomm Ventures, a place on the SETsquared Entrepreneur Training Programme and the opportunity to pitch at the ‘Future of Wireless International Conference 2016’. All the winners receive one ticket to Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona sponsored by UKTI with a unique opportunity to pitch at the UKTI stand during the show.
“It’s been another extraordinary year for Discovering Start-Ups – once again providing an unbeatable showcase that places talented tech entrepreneurs in front of 30 world class investors and industry experts,” said SETsquared’s Innovation Director, Simon Bond. “It is also a good example of tech clusters working together and SETsquared is delighted to be partnering with CW to play a part in the success of emerging tech businesses.”
David Cobb, innovation tax partner at Deloitte, comments: “It is reassuring to see such a strong technology start-up scene in the UK. We are committed to helping fledgling businesses grow; continued public and private sector support for UK start-ups is needed in order to benefit both the UK technology industry and the wider economy. The Discovering Start-ups competition successfully shines a spotlight on the up-and-coming tech stars of the future.”
“Supporting early-stage technology businesses can drive economic growth and help to keep the UK and Europe at the forefront of next generation industries,” said Bob Driver, CEO at CW. “The 16 companies presenting during this year’s final pitching event have been of the highest quality and Discovering Start-Ups remains a unique opportunity to bring start-ups, investors and industry experts together.”
Commenting on the event, Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK (a Telefónica Initiative) said, “The Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-Ups pitch event had one of the best collections of start-ups I’ve ever seen in one competition. Truly world-class and Give Vision, a Wayra UnLtd company was chosen as one of the top winners!”