These are Birmingham’s best tech startups to watch out for in 2021

UK has numerous tech hubs with London being the biggest one. Trailing behind London are Manchester, Cambridge and then Birmingham is one of Britain’s major digital hubs, with over 6,000 tech firms employing some 38,300 people.

Looks like there’s no looking behind for the entrepreneurs over there, as Birmingham Tech, which is a not-for-profit community initiative (CIC) has ambitious aims to raise the profile of the Birmingham and West Midlands tech scene. Now they are all set to announce the first cohort on their ScaleUp Programme which includes 12 really innovative and exciting businesses.

From a company turning fitness equipment into clean energy, a cutting-edge connected autonomous vehicles company and an organisation using smart analytics from drones to identify invasive plant species, the cohort represents a diverse-range of businesses from all corners of the tech ecosystem, each on a mission to positively disrupt and impact their sectors.

The selected businesses will take part in a 6-month programme, where they will get access to tech leaders from across the world, including experts from Silicon Valley.

Yiannis Maos, CEO of Birmingham Tech commented: “We are super excited to finally announce who we’ve selected for our ScaleUp Programme, the level of applications we received were extremely high and that’s resulted in us selecting 12 high-calibre businesses. These organisations sit at the cutting-edge of tech and demonstrate why our region is seen as a hot-bed of innovation. We are looking forward to working closely with these businesses over the next 6 months to help them realise their full potential, and maybe one or two will go on to be our region’s next Unicorns!”

The programme is being run in collaboration with the West Midlands Combined Authority and Purpose Led Performance was launched in partnership with Bruntwood Sci-Tech (Innovation Birmingham Campus). Dr David Hardman MBE, Managing Director of Bruntwood Sci-Tech Birmingham, commented: “Programmes like this are essential in helping tech businesses across the West Midlands realise their full potential. We are pleased to be partnering with Birmingham Tech on this as it aligns with our mission to help digital entrepreneurs at all stages of their growth.”

Let’s take a look at these 12 startups from the tech city.

Conigital

Founder/s: Don Dhaliwal

Founded year: 2015

Funding: £1M

Conigital works with the mission to digitally connect autonomous vehicles and empower accessible mobility for all. The driverless vehicle and transport company accelerates the introduction and integration of autonomous, connected, electric and shared (ACES) vehicles into existing transport networks through affordable vehicle autonomy and a seamless journey experience for the consumer.

Kaido

Founder/s: Rich Westman

Founded year: 2016

Funding: £M 50K

Kaido is a platform for the mental and physical wellness of employees. The platform ensures mental and physical wellbeing by providing weekly challenges to the employees. The packs provide employees with digestible health information and tasks to support them in achieving their health and wellbeing. The app has features including employee engagement by providing data about their nutrition, sleep, and others. It works with clients including Great Ormond Street Hospital For Children, KPMG, Cohort, Twinings, and more.

You. Smart. Thing.

CEO: Chris Thompson

Founded year: 2015

Funding: NA

You. Smart. Thing. is a Travel Assistant plugin for websites or apps that can be easily embedded. It guides people to venues and events ‘the smart way’, improving bookings and customer experience. The company offers personalised travel advice to employees and visitors. It offers bespoke routing to offices, factories, theatres, sports stadiums, festivals, and health and education institutions.

WONDR

Founder/s: Simon Jones, Sam Reader

Founded year: 2016

Funding: NA

WONDR is dedicated to people who care about the environment and social impact. With several thousands of people sharing and support each other towards creating an impact. The social-learning platform connects like-minded people so they can learn together about climate change, sustainability and social impact.

CrediCar

Founder/s: Amar Rana

Founded year: 2018

Funding: NA

CrediCar’s innovative smartphone-based platform lets automotive retailers provide a fully digital and automated car purchasing journey. It allows customers to fund the purchase of a vehicle they can afford, with frictionless on-boarding, a fully automated finance product decisioning and matching engine, open banking affordability checks, cutting edge biometric IDV and digital completion of contracts without the involvement of salesmen.

FranScape

Founder/s: Theo Millward

Founded year: 2020

Funding: NA

FranScape is an innovative and scalable Franchise Management digital platform. The company helps Franchisors manage and improve their entire business operation. Initially, it was designed by a Franchise brand that wanted to make use of cutting-edge automation and digital technique. Its capabilities digitally transform the operation of Franchise networks, both big and small. The features offered by the company include flexible online experience, advanced automation, AI driven profitability insights, staff management, location management, safety and health tracking and more.

EduPod and Healing Together by Innovating Minds

Founder/s: Asha Patel

Founded year: 2016

Funding: NA

Innovating Minds is an award-winning social enterprise, which is passionate about working from an early intervention approach within educational and community settings. It opens up access to therapy and creates mentally healthy environments that have a sustainable impact. The platform helps mental health leads to create a whole school approach to mental health and support children impacted by domestic abuse.

It achieves its mission via the SaaS platform, EduPod. Innovating Minds’ founder & CEO, Dr Asha Patel, commented: “Programmes like this are essential in helping tech businesses across the West Midlands realise their full potential. We are pleased to be partnering with Birmingham Tech on this as it aligns with our mission to help digital entrepreneurs at all stages of their growth.”

Energym

Founder/s: Will Flint

Founded year: 2018

Funding: NA

Energym works with a mission to turn physical exertion into clean, electrical energy. It is a precision-engineering, tech-focused startup that helps to turn physical exertion into clean, electrical energy that powers homes and businesses.

Will Flint, CEO of Energym commented: “We are thrilled to have been selected to be a part of this exclusive programme and we can’t wait to learn from tech leaders who have the knowledge and insight we need to fulfil our potential. Energym is at an exciting stage of our journey as we have just announced our first consumer product, RE:GEN, the world’s first smart fitness bike that captures and converts your workout into clean, usable, electrical energy that you can use in your home.”

CyberQ Group

Founder/s: Chris Woods

Founded year: 2016

Funding: NA

CyberQ Group is an award-winning, global, cyber security services provider that uses collaboration and the latest innovations to protect data, safeguard reputations, and ensure your business is cyber resilient. Bringing together the best of all these components, the company keeps business better protected 24/7, 365 days of the year. As a result, businesses witness minimised risk profile, significant operational cost savings and long-term peace of mind.

Sempai

Founder/s: Russell Watkins, Stephanie Watkins

Founded year: 2007

Funding: NA

Sempai helps drive manufacturing SME leaders whose business growth is being hampered by quality, delivery, productivity or skills. Those dabbling in improving their businesses use cut-and-paste lean programmes or sheep-dip 1-day classroom courses. If you want to overcome specific barriers to growth, then you can opt for Sempai. The company created an innovative digital lean toolkit to transfer true lean capability and improved performance to manufacturers.

Psidium

Founder/s: Nigel Pugh

Founded Year: 2020

Funding: NA

An AI platform that uses drone data to map landscapes in order to identify invasive plant species.

MyPAM

Founder/s: Kufa Matiya

Founded year: 2020

Funding: NA

MyPAM is an analytics platform that uses machine learning to enable organisations to make smarter sourcing and hiring decisions.