Tech Nation, the UK network for ambitious digital tech entrepreneurs, has revealed the 10 early-stage tech start-up winners of its Rising Stars competition. Out of the 220,000 existing tech companies in the UK today, 10,764 are early-stage tech startups and eligible for the Rising Stars programme.
Live from London, the competition final represented the culmination of a nationwide search to find up-and-coming tech startups that have the potential to scale their businesses and ultimately become the market leaders of tomorrow. Out of the hundreds of companies that applied to take part, just twenty were selected to compete in a final that saw them pitching their businesses to a panel of expert judges. Companies taking part in the competition have annual revenues up to £1.5m and have at least one active client or pilot.
- People Matter
- VET – AI
- Developing Experts
- PPC Protect
There was a lot at stake. Each of the 10 chosen winners will receive a package of support worth over £4,000 that includes: one-to-one mentoring; introductions to potential partners and investors; a tailored public relations campaign; and tailored support from the programme sponsors which includes participation in an accelerator session created by accountancy firm BDODrive, £500 coupon for Microsoft Search Advertising and a 1:1 mentoring session with a member of the Bing team to boost their presence on the platform, as well as, 1:1 legal support from TLT LLP’s fast growth team. In addition, the winners will benefit from further pitch training, coaching and a host of networking opportunities.
“We put together a package designed to provide tangible support to the winning businesses as they grow and make the transition from startups to scaleups,” said Esme Caulfield, competitions lead at Tech Nation.
“And last night we saw some of the very best early-stage companies from all over the UK really embracing the challenge of the competition and rising to the occasion. All of the pitches were incredibly impressive. The judges had their work cut out to select the winners.”
Warwick Hill, Senior MD Europe, Microsoft for Startups and a member of the judging panel, hailed the winners and also praised the intentions of the Rising Stars competition. “Microsoft for Startups was always very keen to be involved with this event,” he said. “Some of tonight’s winners will doubtless go on to become technology brands in their own right and others will partner with and solve problems for larger companies. Whatever route they take, they will benefit greatly from access to industry expertise. I’d like to congratulate all those who took part and wish them well.”
Maggie Rodriguez Piza, chief executive, Funding London welcomed the scope of the competition said, “As an organisation, we are committed to promoting and creating a fairer and more diverse investment environment, one that reflects the diversity of the UK’s startup community. What was really exciting for us, was seeing a competition that not only reflected the diversity of this sector but which also gave all the companies who pitched, such a high-profile showcase.”
The rising stars winners
Tom McGillycuddy, co-founder of Tickr said, “From the semi-finals onwards the programme has opened doors, we are in the process of raising funds, and our wish list of people are already approaching us. The programme has been hugely positive, it has brought us recognition and more users to the app.”
Leo Scott Smith, founder and CEO of Tended said, “The recognition of being one of the Tech Nation Rising Stars winners will have a great impact on our company at this early stage. The network we are now connected and associated with brings validity to what we are doing. Being involved in the programme gives us great access to the tech ecosystem – it makes it easy to reach out and solve problems.”
Anthony Rose, founder and CEO of SeedLegals, “It’s an honour and a privilege to be selected as a winner on the Rising Stars programme. We love how Tech Nation are inspiring UK startups, and we are delighted to play our part in helping them grow.”