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Startup Weekly: Venturespring launches new accelerator, InMotion Ventures partners with Techstars and more

startup weekly

Here’s your weekly roundup of news about startup competitions, awards, accelerators, and any other exciting developments in the UK tech sector.

Venturespring Ignite

Venture development studio Venturespring has launched Venturespring Ignite, a new model for business creation and acceleration. 

The programme will seek to help startups grow by helping them unlock corporate resources and investment.

Venturespring Ignite will select startups and scaleups across mobility, lifestyle, media, aerospace, travel, FinTech, HealthTech, AI, AR, VR and the retail sectors.

Participants will be granted access to a six-week programme where they will be matched with relevant corporate partners.

“Venturespring Ignite goes beyond a traditional accelerator,” said Cassandra Harris, chief executive officer of Venturespring. “It isn’t about corporates paying ‘lip service’ to digital transformation or startups being able to leverage a big brand – this is match-making and collaboration that fundamentally changes the economic prospects of both established businesses and the disruptors changing the markets they operate in.

“We have created a new model in business creation and acceleration which is backed by our corporate partners. This goes beyond ‘classroom-style learning’. The startups that join us have exclusive access to hard-to-reach corporate resources that allow them to scale quickly and the corporate get to fully embrace innovation in a way that future-proofs their business.”

As part of the Venturespring Ignite programme, one of the fast growth businesses will be invited to Necker Island to attend a week long summit in February 2018 attended by Fortune 500 leaders, top VCs and Sir Richard Branson.

A $100,000 grant for UK FinTech startups

UK FinTech firms are now within a chance to gain access to a $100,000 equity-based grant to work on their solutions stateside.

A maximum of 12 startups from all over the world will be selected to participate in Fintech71 to receive coaching, office space, visa sport and access to business networks, alongside the grant.

Valentina Isakina, managing director for financial services and select HQ operations at JobsOhio, commented on the news:

“Ohio looks ahead to the future by investing in technologies of the next generation. Our financial services sector is one of the strongest in the world, and it is always actively seeking innovative ideas and partnerships.

“Getting beyond the startup phase is always difficult even when entrepreneurs have a great idea and have managed to get their business going, so the financial services industry wants to give them a helping hand by creating Fintech71. By bringing them here to enjoy Ohio’s support and hospitality, they will make contacts that will last a lifetime and benefit everyone,” continued Isakina.

InMotion Ventures partners with Techstars

InMotion Ventures,  Jaguar Land Rover’s VC arm, has partnered with global startup ecosystem Techstars.

InMotion will be working closely with the Techstars Mobility programme, based in Detroit, which has so far invested in some 22 mobility and transportation startups since it launched in 2015.

InMotion’s managing director Sebastian Peck, head of Seed programme James Nettleton and venture partner George Burgess will be lending their expertise as Techstars mentors.

Peck commented on the news: “Techstars is the leading programme in the US exclusively focused on mobility, so it was natural to partner with Ted and his team. We’re delighted in the investments we’ve made to date in Techstars companies, and look forward to many more.”

Ted Serbinski, managing director at Techstars Mobility, added: “We’re excited to welcome InMotion as a corporate partner for Techstars Mobility. As we invest in mobility startups from around the world, having global corporate partners like InMotion further solidifies our program as the global leader in accelerating early stage mobility startups. ”

Wincanton’s cohort

Wincanton has announced the seven startups joining its W² Labs programme.

Participants will work with the company over the summer to prove their concepts and will have the opportunity to seal a commercial agreement and receive financial backing.

The final seven are: 

  • Synaptiv, a connected car platform which takes data from the array of sensors embedded on both commercial and passenger vehicles and delivers real time services derived from big data analytics
  • Cinchapi, which offers an intelligent data platform that uses sophisticated machine learning to automate data discovery across databases and devices 
  • Routeique, combines a powerful cloud-based software platform with mobile applications for vehicle tracking, asset tracking, signature capture and remote invoice printing
  • ZigZag, which helps e-commerce retailers manage international returns linking retailers, warehouses and couriers
  • Storekat, which aggregates self-storage and warehouse options to enable consumers to find, compare and reserve their self-storage options 
  • Quicargo, an online marketplace that allows shippers and carriers to benefit from unutilized loading spaces
  • Street Stream, a web and app-based courier network offering same-day and premium delivery

Marcos Hart, Wincanton’s business optimisation and transformation director, said: “W² Labs is a programme for startups to pitch their ideas and potentially see them used in our business. It’s just one of our initiatives to embrace innovation and to keep Wincanton at the forefront of the logistics industry.”

“We believe working with start-ups via the W² Labs programme will allow us to drive the future of the UK logistics industry by tapping into their passion, desire to succeed and creativity,”he added.

Haus opens new co-working space in Covent Garden

Haus has partnered with Covent Garden-based restaurant Sway to open a new co-working space.

The firm works with restaurants and bars that are closed during the day and converts them into useable workspaces.

“Our first Haus coworking space is delivering a beautiful workspace to early stage startups and freelancers” said Kaniyet Rayev, CEO of Haus.

“We’re excited to bring our business model of cost-effective and flexible workspaces to the London market. Haus fills the gap in the market, where freelancers and early stage startups had to choose between free coffee shops and expensive coworking spaces.

“Haus also unlocks a lot of value for restaurants and members. Restaurants can now spend additional financial resources for their operations and our members can spend more on marketing, product etc. But most importantly, we create a supportive community of early stage entrepreneurs and freelancers, who can come to Haus and socialise and make new friends,” added Rayev.

WeWork to open new London venue

WeWork is to open a new co-working space, credited with being the largest in the firm’s global portfolio, in London’s Southbank.

Eugen Miropolski, managing director for WeWork in Europe & Israel, spoke about the news:

“London represents one of WeWork’s most vibrant communities in the world, and, in a show of strength and commitment to our second largest market, we are announcing our largest location worldwide here in London.

“We are incredibly proud to announce WeWork Waterloo at Two South Bank Place. WeWork Waterloo will be the largest location in our fleet and will represent the next iteration of the WeWork offering that will enable more members in our London community to create a life not just a living  – a major hub for innovation, collaboration, wellness, work, and fun.”

This new location will seek to accommodate UK businesses throughout their growth journey, as well as major corporates looking to embed themselves within the innovative community of startups.

That’s all for today … see you next Friday!