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Startup Weekly: MasterCard Start Path Global calls for applications, Google opens Digital Garage & more

Welcome to Startup Weekly – your round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces, accelerators and any other exciting things happening in the UK tech sector.

MasterCard Start Path Global

Mastercard has opened the application process for its Start Path Global winter intake. The engagement programme works with startups to help scale their businesses and increase profitability.

The six month virtual programme also aims to help startups tackle business problems and introduce them to new opportunities around the globe.

Established in 2014, Start Path has worked with over 90 companies across 24 countries, and MasterCard is currently running active pilots with or has directly invested in nearly 20% of the companies.

Stephane Wyper, global lead at MasterCard Start Path, commented: “We believe every startup is unique and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to working together. We have put in place different mechanisms including pilots with Mastercard business lines, access to our APIs, and connectivity to our customer base and partner networks.”

MasterCard Start Path recruits a new class of startups quarterly. It is currently accepting applications for its next class here, and is open to all non-US based startups.

The deadline for applications is 11th October 2016.


WeWork has announced the opening of two new locations in the first half of 2017.

The news comes as WeWork says it is planning to open more than 10 new London locations by the end of 2017.

Additionally, WeWork has partnered with The Entrepreneur Network, to launch “Mission Possible,” an entrepreneurship programme, which will seek to provide firms with 3-12 months of sponsored workspace at a designated WeWork location.

Entrepreneurs currently outside of the WeWork network working on projects or businesses in any industry are eligible to apply here.

Blockchain accelerator

Synechron, a financial services consulting and technology services provider, has launched its blockchain Accelerator Programme. The programme will provide blockchain technology delivery and training programmes through Synechron’s FinLabs.

The accelerator programme will also provide UX design that will enable financial institutions to customise their blockchain application to their business needs.

Synechron’s blockchain accelerators include:

  • Blockchain accelerator for global payments
  • Blockchain accelerator for trade finance
  • Blockchain accelerator for smart margin calls
  • Blockchain accelerator for insurance claims processing
  • Blockchain accelerator for KYC
  • Blockchain accelerator for mortgage financing & processing

More information on the programme can be found here.

IoT network

Digital Catapult has launched Digital Catapult Things Connected, a startup programme that will empower digital startups and SMEs to embrace the opportunities of IoT.

Collaborating with a number of partners including BT and UCL, the Digital Catapult programme will initially provide 50 LoRaWAN base stations across London. Free to use, the programme will help drive innovation across the capital.

Businesses and innovators interested in testing out IoT innovations with Digital Capital Things Connected as the full network goes live can find out more here.

Google Digital Garage

Google has opened a pop-up ‘Digital Garage’ in Glasgow to boost Scotland’s digital skills.

The Digital Garage experts provide free one-to-one mentoring support and group masterclasses, and the pop-up is open to anyone interested in learning or furthering their digital skills.

It will also host bespoke training events for charities, computer science education sessions for local students and teachers, and a range of other activities in partnership with local organisations.

Google aims to train over 250,000 people by the end of 2016, encouraging them to learn crucial skills for the digital age. This is part of its multi-million pound investment outside of London.

Anyone in Glasgow who wants to improve their digital skills can sign up for workshops and events organised by Google and its partners on this website. The Digital Garage will be open until the end of January 2017.

‘Tech for good’

Nine social tech enterprises have been selected to receive grant funding from Nominet Trust’s Social Tech Seed programme.

The ‘tech for good’ fund will help successful participants to develop their technology and demonstrate the positive social impact they can achieve by improving people’s lives.

Successful ventures include Open Bionics, a 3D body scanning and printing technology firm, and Ami, an online matching platform to combat loneliness and isolation in local communities.

Vicki Hearn, director of Nominet Trust, said: “The significant interest this round of Social Tech Seed generated clearly demonstrates the vital role that Nominet Trust fulfils in providing early stage grant funding to entrepreneurial organisations in the tech for good sector. We’re really looking forward to working with this cohort to support their growth and the social impact they can deliver.”

The call for applications for the seventh round of the Social Tech Seed programme is now open, and funding proposals can be submitted here until the 25th October 2016.

Kickstart Accelerator startups

Kickstart Accelerator, an initiative of digitalswitzerland, saw 5 UK startups present at its demo day on Wednesday:

  • Tio – a children’s robotics company
  • Crowdaura – digital platform solutions for on-demand issuance, execution and trade lifecycle management of financial products
  • Pantry Ace – professional kitchen technology solutions
  • Dalou – breakfast delivery service for companies
  • myAllergy – online destination for food allergy sufferers

The startups are competing for three awards: Best Startup Pitch (for each of the four verticals – FinTech, Smart & Connect Machines, Future & Emerging Technologies, and Food), Social Media Award and Audience Award.

Unilever Foundry

Unilever Foundry is searching for startups to take part in two upcoming industry events.

The first, The Next Big Thing at ad:tech London, will give startups the change to win a $50,000 Unilever Foundry pilot and the title of ‘The Next Big Thing’.

Some 15 finalists will be selected to pitch in front of over 750 brands, agencies and media owners on the 2nd & 3rd November 2016.

At the second event, Unilever Foundry 50 at unbound London, 50 disruptive MarTech and AdTech startups will be selected to attend, showcase their solutions and network with Unilever and other industry leaders.

For a chance to be ‘The Next Big Thing’ and join the Unilever 50 Foundry at unbound London, startups can visit this page to apply before the 3rd October 2016.

That’s all for now … see you next week! For more updates, follow us on Twitter.