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Startup Weekly: Virgin VOOM 2016 winners, JLAB finalists & more

startup weekly 1st july

Here’s your weekly round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces, accelerators and any other exciting things happening in the UK tech sector.

TrueStart finalists

TrueStart, an accelerator and investment fund, has announced the finalists for its Summer Collection accelerator programme.

The seven finalists are:

1. All Shades Covered, a health and beauty marketplace for Afro-Caribbean consumers
2. Appaparel, smart clothing labels that turn any item into a wearable device
3. BeeLine, a handlebar-mounted device that helps urban cyclists discover the city without the restrictions of traditional turn-by-turn navigation
4. Casso Cocktails, ready to drink, low calorie cocktails
5. Hullabalook, visual discovery engine for retailers
6. Induo, cotton fabric that uses technology to make clothing that is liquid and stain repellent, and breathable
7. Quikkly, a scanning platform making real-word shopping as fast and convenient as online

The finalists were introduced to investors and partners at a launch event in Victoria (London) last night.

Publicis90 Startup Initiative

See Fashion, a London-based fashion tech startup, has received funding from Publicis Groupe, a large advertising group.

The startup beat 3,555 applicants to receive funding and mentorship from the Publicis90 Global Startup Initiative.

The scheme, set up in celebration of Publicis’ 90th birthday, will invest up to £10 million in See Fashion and 89 other startups in the tech and digital space.

Aaron Jones BEM, CEO of See Fashion, said: “It is such an honour to be validated by a leading communications group like Publicis, especially since we share a similar mission – to help young entrepreneurs realise their dreams.

“Through the Publicis90 Initiative we can create a new era of fashion production were young designers have the tools to grow and shape the future of fashion,” concluded Jones.

VOOM 2016 winners

MacRebur and bio-bean have won this year’s Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM’ competition – each walking away with a slice of the £1m prize fund.

The winning startups will also receive mentoring and marketing support to accelerate and grow their businesses.

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder, said: “I love seeing entrepreneurs pitch an idea to me which they are incredibly passionate about and it was both a difficult and inspiring task to choose just two winners.

“All the finalists of the Virgin Media Business VOOM competition showed they have the dedication and intense desire to take their business to incredible heights and I believe they will all do so,” he concluded.

John Lewis JLAB

John Lewis has announced the five retail tech startups that will join its JLAB accelerator programme run in association with innovation partner L Marks.

  1. DigitalBridge – solves the problem of the imagination gap by allowing customers to visualise new home furnishings using Computer Vision and Machine Learning technology.
  2. Ding Labs – a doorbell that taps into the smart home revolution by enabling homeowners to talk to the person at their front door from anywhere in the world
  3. Link Big – a tool that turns Instagram to a social checkout by allowing customers to buy products seamlessly from their Instagram feed

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