Startup Weekly: Campus Capital’s £2m fund, Innovate Finance FinTech competition & more

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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.

Campus Capital fund

Campus Capital is launching its first £2m fund and has signed up the University of Sheffield as its first partner.

Based on successful US models, the fund will invest in early-stage tech companies – whether they are university spin-outs, alumni businesses or local startups.

Students will be given the opportunity to act as venture capitalists by participating alongside investment professionals in the management of the portfolio.

Launched by serial entrepreneurs Michael Howe, founder of Sheffield-based artificial intelligence firm Otus Labs, and Samantha Deakin Hill, who previously ran a digital agency and now supports tech startups at the University of Sheffield.

It has the backing of Tech North, whose former head Claire Braithwaite is among the advisory board members, along with Rupert Wingate-Saul of AXM Venture Capital.

Michael Howe said that on-campus venture funds had enjoyed considerable success in the US, and some US-based VC firms also employed student ambassadors. “Many tech companies including Facebook and Snapchat were founded on campus and universities are at the forefront of research and development, so it makes sense to have funds based on campus,” he added.

“Many students are passionate about business and enterprise and in tune with new technology so are well placed to spot emerging trends and scout for potential investments. By giving them a deeper insight into the world of venture capital, we are nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors,” he noted

CADshare gets over £200,000

Belfast-based CADshare has raised over £200,000 from techstart NI and private investors based in Northern Ireland, the US and support from Invest NI.

Founded by mechanical engineer Chris Acheson, CADshare is a platform that allows manufacturers of heavy machinery to bring their aftermarket customer service online.

The money will be used to grow the team.

He says that CADshare has significant international growth potential: “Technology is opening up new opportunities to transform the aftermarket business, and CADshare provides a way to unlock new revenue streams and better service. It is a platform that offers significant benefits to manufacturers globally.”

Acheson said: “Technology is opening up new opportunities to transform the aftermarket business, and CADshare provides a way to unlock new revenue streams and better service. It is a platform that offers significant benefits to manufacturers globally.”

“I am delighted to secure the new investment, which will really help bring the vision for the business to reality. I am also very grateful to Entrepreneurial Spark for the mentoring and support, which has been invaluable in terms of really focusing our technology on its best application. I would strongly encourage other startup businesses to take the opportunity to become Entrepreneurial Spark Chiclets,” he added.

Digital Catapult IoTUK Boost programme

Digital Catapult has today announced the winners of the IoTUK Boost programme, who will lead the roll out of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) across the UK.

AB Open, Advanced Digital Innovation (UK) Ltd, Cambridge Wireless, High Tech Bristol and Bath CIC (HBB), Sensor City Liverpool and the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre have been selected to build experimentation test-beds for businesses and entrepreneurs to develop Internet of Things (IoT) products and services.

IoTUK Boost will seek to address barriers to entry into the IoT marketplace across the country, with the selected partners spanning from Bristol to Yorkshire.  The initiative will look to drive experimentation and innovation in areas including healthcare, traffic and transport services, energy management and environmental sensing.

Minister of state for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “The Internet of Things stands to benefit a great number of people as well as the wider economy. Due to the strong interest shown so far in this initiative, we have doubled the amount of funding available to give more entrepreneurs the opportunity to test their products. Boost will help to provide local infrastructure and support for promising IoT businesses to innovate and bring exciting new IoT products and services to market.”

Innovate Finance FinTech competition

Innovate Finance has announced the launch of Pitch360, its first ever FinTech startup competition.

Open to startups and institutions from around the world, Pitch360 aims to strengthen the global FinTech community by showcasing the hottest innovations in financial services.
The winner will be given £10,000 in prize money.  Applicants can enter Pitch360 by filling out a form online.

Innovate Finance is looking for FinTech startups that work across the following verticals:

  • Distributed Ledger

  • Financial Inclusion

  • Cyber Security

  • Cross Border Payments

  • Peer-to-Peer and Alternative Funding

  • RegTech

  • Personal Finance Management and Robo Advice

  • AI and Machine Learning

  • Sandboxes

The deadline for submitting applications is Monday 16th January 2017.

Telleroo closes £100,000 pre-Seed Round

London-based FinTech startup Telleroo has raised £100,000 in investment, with the funds being used to launch the product next month and lay the foundation for a rapid scale up.

This round was led by payments entrepreneur, Will Neale, alongside Seedcamp, and Pioneers Ventures, an Austrian VC fund that’s in partnership with Speedinvest.

“In my previous role as Product Manager at Onfido my clients included Deliveroo, Uber and Monzo. I discovered how online businesses struggle to deal with the withdrawals by their users and the disbursement of funds to third party suppliers.

At around 20-30 banks transfers a day, the manual processes that banks require become a constant drain of resources and they have to spend hours doing this every. To fix one single failed payment costs 50 pounds of admin costs,” said Telleroo co-founder and CEO Fabian Flatz.

“When Fabian told me about the problem, I immediately saw the opportunity. In the UK alone 3 billion bank transfers are made every year. And the market is poised to explode as bank transfers, such as Faster Payments, are now not only much faster than card payments but also cheaper. The missing piece so far was a specialized solution that works with businesses making payments at scale,” concluded Telleroo co-founder and CCO Michael Riedler.

That’s all for this week. Until next time … !