Tech North crowns the winners of its Northern Stars initiative

Author

UK Business Angels Association

25 November 2015

Tech North has named ten top tech startups from across the North of England at the Northern Stars Grand Final event at the UKFast Campus in Manchester.

The Northern Stars competition was launched in September by Tech North, and is an initiative to support ambitious digital entrepreneurs across the North of England.

Following a series of seven regional pitch events in cities across the North of England and an online application process, 23 companies were shortlisted from a total of over 100 entries to pitch to a panel of expert judges at last night’s event.

The top ten digital startups selected as winners of the Northern Stars initiative are:

·         Airstoc(Sheffield) – The world’s first dedicated marketplace for the professional drone industry, connecting customers with operators around the world.

·         EvaluAgent(Teeside) – A suite of cloud-based software modules designed to enhance staff performance in multi-channel contact centres.

·         Formisimo(Manchester) – Provides unparalleled insight into where users struggle to fill out online forms. Their insights drive UX and design changes.

·         Geek Talent(Sunderland) – A data science company with a primary focus on reducing the skills gap between education and employment through digital products.

·         Gnatta(Manchester) – Allows businesses of all sizes to listen and speak to their customers on an individual basis quickly and effectively via one single interface.

·         In-Part(Sheffield) – An online system that strategically matches collaboration and commercialisation opportunities from university technology transfer offices (TTOs) to a network of senior decision makers.

·         Leaf.fm(Newcastle) – A music discovery and promotion platform using technology built on top of YouTube and social content.

·         M14 Industries(Manchester) – A platform that allows any one or any company to create their own niche-dating app. The first app on this platform is Bristlr, the ‘Tinder for Beards’.

·         Peak (Manchester) – A data analytics and intelligence company that offers a unique Data-as-a-Service platform.

·         Receptive(Sheffield) – Collates product ideas and feature requests for Software-as-a-Service (Saas) companies based on customer data feedback.

The winners will receive a package of support from Tech North including a place in the Tech North pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt in December and the opportunity to pitch to investors at Bloomberg in January.

Additionally, Tech North will be sending the winning teams to the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin Texas in March 2016, a unique platform for the startups to introduce their technology on a global stage.

Head of Tech North, Claire Braithwaite, commented: “Championing entrepreneurship is integral to the on-going acceleration of the digital economy in the North of England, and initiatives like Northern Stars help us to shine a light on our top digital talent and ensure we are encouraging the growth and success of the North.

“We have an abundance of digital expertise across the North of England, and our role is to find that talent and make sure we provide infrastructure and support to allow these companies to reach their potential.

“There’s a lot of conversation about what the Northern Powerhouse is. It is my belief that the Powerhouse is made up of the people that were in the room at the Grand Final: the investors, digital business leaders, founders and entrepreneurs in the North of England.”

All the companies that have been part of the Northern Stars competition will be part of a Northern Stars Founders Network, a network of digital entrepreneurs from the North of England that will support peer-to-peer connections and provide engagement with initiatives that support their ongoing growth.

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