Startup Weekly: Elevator Pitch LIVE 2017 calls for entries, Moleskine’s Open Innovation Program and more


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

Elevator Pitch LIVE 2017 now open for applications

We’re delighted to announce that Tech City News’ flagship competition to find the UK’s top tech talent is back.

If you are a UK-founded tech startup making waves across the FinTech, PropTech, AdTech/MarTech, HealthTech and Cybersecurity sectors, we want to hear from you!

The live pitching day will take place in London on Tuesday 26th September and will see 15 finalists battle it out on stage to be crowned a winner.

For your chance to take part, fill out this application form and let us know why you should be given the chance to pitch your product in front of an audience of industry experts, investors, influencers and entrepreneurs.

We’ll be announcing the judges, sponsors and prizes soon, so keep your eyes peeled at: http://elevatorpitch17.co.uk/

The government’s Faraday Challenge

UK businesses can now apply for a share of up to £30m to work on innovation projects to design, develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles. A separate £10 million is available for feasibility projects.

The competition will seek to fund projects that focus on identified technical or commercial challenges in battery innovation, development and manufacture through UK supply chains.

These, a statement said, should lead to battery technologies that can be exploited at scale by the automotive sector in the UK and globally.

Projects should range in size from total eligible costs of £1m to £15m and should last up to three years.

A retail logistics challenge

TrueStart and John Lewis Partnership Ventures have come together to launch a retail logistics challenge.

JLP Ventures and TrueStart are looking for startups which can help to improve some or all aspects of the following areas:

  • The flexibility, reliability, efficiency and pace of the supply chain from manufacturer to customer
  • Faster and more efficient order to delivery fulfillment e.g. last mile delivery innovation, bespoke order visibility, effective ways to update customers on progress of deliveries, more “eco-friendly” deliveries etc.
  • Premium fulfilment i.e. differentiated services or a high-end service proposition
  • Shrinkage reduction i.e. lowering the level of waste in the supply chain
  • IoT (Internet of Things) in supply chain e.g. Smart product IDs – Product or IDs which know what they are made of, where they originated, when they expire etc.
  • More efficient returns capability for the benefit of consumers and subsequent returns processing
  • The speed and flexibility of the Click & Collect service

Applications open on Monday 24th July and close at midnight on Sunday 20th August. The review and selection period will run to Friday 8th September. Successful applicants will pitch to senior executives within John Lewis from Friday 15th September.

Moleskine’s Open Innovation Program

Moleskine and Digital Magics have announced the launch of the Moleskine Open Innovation Program: an international call for startups to submit their ideas.

The firms are looking for early-stage firms with whom they can share expertise and professional experience, and bring ideas to life that fit its brand.

A maximum of four startups will be selected to take part in the six month incubation process, during which they will have the opportunity to draw on a network of professional business, marketing and product development experts.

Applications close on 24th September. Following the submission deadline, 12 startups will be shortlisted and invited to the Moleskine Innovation Day at the company’s head office in Milan on 26th October 2017.

“Contributing to the development and sharing of human knowledge and culture is at the core of our reason for being” states Arrigo Berni, CEO at Moleskine.

“We are very excited to partner with Digital Magics for the launch of the Moleskine Open Innovation Program. By inspiring and supporting innovation, this program fully embodies the Moleskine values of recognising talent, fostering exploration and acknowledging authentic passion.”

JLAB 2017 cohort

The John Lewis Partnership has selected five retail tech startups for JLAB 2017, its accelerator programme run in association with innovation partner L Marks.

The finalists will spend 12 weeks working from the head offices of both Waitrose and John Lewis, developing their ideas while gaining invaluable access to John Lewis and Waitrose resources, as well as industry-leading insight from specialist mentors.

At the end of the 12-week programme, each team will have an opportunity to pitch for up to £100,000 in funding in exchange for equity, from a combined fund of £200,000.

The selected startups are as follows:

  • Mucho – a smart grocery shopping app which provides daily personalised recipes.
  • Exaactly – an intelligent addressing system that enables customers to mark any location for delivery.
  • WeFiFo – This digital social hub connects home chefs, supper club hosts and professional chefs with paying guests.
  • BB1 – a data analytics solution that uses customer behaviour to help  businesses optimise their ways of working.
  • Journifi – linking online and in-store shopping by providing customers with personalised in-store experiences.

‘The Next Big Thing’

Food and wellness giant Nestlé and global advertising agency McCann are sponsoring ‘The Next Big Thing’ pitch competition, giving tech startups the opportunity to pitch for a $50,000 pilot at ad:tech in London on 29-30 November.

Nestlé is looking for innovative tech startups who can help deliver this, using HENRi@Nestlé – an open innovation platform offering funded pilots.

The winner will gain the opportunity to partner with the world’s largest food company and high profile award to accelerate growth

Applications close on 29th September. Some 15 startups will be selected by Nestlé, McCann and other industry partners to pitch in heats at ad:tech London on 29-30 November.

Three heat winners and one wild card will make it through to the grand final on 30 November.

TechPitch 4.5 Music, Media & Entertainment

Startups from the music, media and entertainment industry can now apply to take part in the upcoming TechPitch 4.5 pitch day.  The event is due to take place on 19th September in London.

Eight MusicTech companies will pitch their business, followed by questions from the panel of judges.

Simply Business hosts InsurTech hackathon

Coders Without Insurance was crowned winner at Simply Business’ ‘Break the Block’ hackathon, taking home a £5,000 prize.

The team used an Ethereum-based solution to develop a weather insurance platform for organisers of major outdoor events, with automated claims payouts based on weather APIs and IoT tools.