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Startup Weekly: Google Campus Exchange, Activate Capital accelerator & more

startup weekly 7th 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.

Google’s search for startups

Global tech giant Google is on a nationwide search for startups in an attempt to mentor 10 of the country’s most innovative businesses this summer.

Selected startup founders will receive bespoke support – including access to London’s mentors and investors – and connections to a global community of entrepreneurs.

Graduates of Campus Exchange, as the programme is known, have gone on to Silicon Valley-based programes such as Blackbox Connect and secured funding from some of London’s top Angels and VC investors.

Francesca Dean, head of programmes at Campus London, said: “Amazing ideas can come from anywhere, and there is incredible entrepreneurial talent across the UK. Pooling this talent with the knowledge and expertise of our international community of entrepreneurs, puts Campus London in a unique position to help propel the best startups to global scale.”

Startups have until 29th July to apply. The programme will begin on Monday 22nd August.

Forward Partners hire

Martyn Holman

Forward Partners, an investor in idea and seed stage startups, has appointed Martyn Holman as a partner.

Holman, formerly an investment director at Oxford Capital, has previously led investments for Scottish mobile games developer Outplay Entertainment and web data extraction platform Import.io.

He has also held senior positions at Google and Betfair and co-founded ‘Future 50’ listed LMAX Exchange.

Nic Brisbourne, managing partner and founder of Forward Partners, commented on the hire: “We are thrilled to be able to announce that Martyn has joined us here at Forward Partners. His online, investment and entrepreneurial expertise is proven and I look forward to the energy and direction he will bring to our business.

“Martyn’s passion for the support of startups and entrepreneurs made him the obvious candidate for Partner here. His approach fits perfectly with the Forward Partners ethos and I look forward to working alongside him to support our Partner companies,” concluded Brisbourne.

‘The Next Big Thing’ competition

Tech startups now have the change to win a $50,000 Unilever Foundry pilot by entering The Next Big Thing before 26th October.

The pitch and award competition will seek to connect the most disruptive startups with Unilever’s brands at an innovation focused AdTech event in November.

Thirty startups will be selected by a panel of brands, agencies, VCs and accelerators to attend a mentoring day in London this autumn.

Aline Santos, Unilever’s EVP global marketing, said: “We all know that the explosion of new marketing technology and game-changing consumer trends has had a profound impact on our industry and how we take products to market. Our commitment to sourcing and integrating the most cutting-edge technology is fundamental to securing our future success.”

She added: “This year we’re looking for the startups that will be powering our future and paving the way for consumers and brands.”

IC Tomorrow sharing economy competition winners

Innovate UK has announced the names of the six winners of its IC tomorrow sharing economy competition.

Each startup will walk away with a maximum of £30,000 to help them develop solutions with their partners.

The winning startups, which were selected from more than 200 entries, are as follows:

  • KnowNow Information Ltd, partnered with Sharing Economy UK
  • Bubbl Ltd, partnered with Airbnb
  • Digital Algorithms Ltd., partnered with Nesta
  • Makercase Ltd, partnered with Kingfisher (owner of brands such as B&Q and Castorama)
  • Circology, partnered with Crossrail
  • Folk Labs, partnered with Peterborough City Council, Opportunity Peterborough and Cranfield University

Innovate UK’s lead technologist, digital economy and programme manager for IC tomorrow, Matt Sansam, said: “The advance of the sharing economy is beginning to affect many different sectors and industries and this Innovation Contest sought to build on the new opportunities and challenges that this has created.”

He added: “We had a record number of entries for this contest and the competition has been tough at every stage, but these six startups have proven themselves as companies to watch as they work to address these new challenges. We hope these collaborations between our partners and these exciting startups will open up many new opportunities and will help to advance the sharing economy in new and interesting ways.”

AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards winners

Winners of the Tech4Good Awards, organised by national charity AbilityNet and supported by BT, were announced earlier this week.

Nigel Lewis, CEO, AbilityNet said: “It is wonderful to see the AbilityNet Tech4Good Awards go from strength to strength. They shine a light on some truly inspiring people and help all of us make the most of technology for the good of others.”

The category winners are as follows:

  • Digital Health Award winner: MyWard
  • Digital Skills Award winner: BBC micro:bit
  • AbilityNet Accessibility Award: Wayfindr
  • Community Impact Award winner: UglyMugs
  • BT MyDonate Award winner: Neighbourly
  • BT Young Pioneer Award winner: eWATERPay
  • IT Volunteer of the Year winner: Maureen Johnston

Activate Capital accelerator programme

Activate Capital, a UK tech startup lab, is now accepting applications for digital startups to join its second startup lab accelerator programme, in Ealing (London) in September.

Selected applicants will be invited to take part in an intensive six-week programme estimated to be worth more than £30,000.

Matt Mower, co-founding Activate Capital partner, says “London is bursting at the seams with incubators, pre-accelerators and start-up hubs where curation has become the primary offering for start-ups. Activate Capital, as a digital startup lab, aims to bring the focus back onto managed acceleration, empowering entrepreneurs and helping them develop their business idea, proposition and model.”

Following the successful completion of the programme, applicants  will have the opportunity to gain access to £100,000 worth of seed-stage funding.

General Assembly campus

General Assembly (GA) unveiled its brand new campus in London yesterday.

Located in Aldgate, the venue will accommodate both full and part-time courses on a wide range of topics including coding, data, design, digital marketing and product management.


That’s all for this week … See you next Friday!