Startup Weekly: Manchester gets a new BioTech lab, Pitch360 opens for entries and more

Startup Weekly

Welcome to Startup Weekly – your weekly roundup of news from the UK’s tech startup world.

Innovate Finance Pitch360 contest

Applications are now open for Pitch360, the pitching contest for Innovate Finance’s Global Summit, set to take place in 2018.

The competition is open to any global FinTech startup and institution operating across verticals including distributed ledger; financial inclusion; cybersecurity; cross-border payments; peer to peer and alternative funding; RegTech; robo advice and personal finance management; AI and machine learning.

Shortlisted candidates will deliver a six minute pitch in front of a live audience of 1,000 delegates at the Guildhall in London.

The audience will comprise of financial institutions, influencers, investors and startups from the international FinTech community.

Previous judges for the event include Kosta Peric, deputy director of financial inclusion at the Gates Foundation and Rumi Morales, executive director for CME Ventures at CME Group.

Applications close on 31st December 2017 and the final winner of the pitching contest will receive a £10,000 cash prize.

Manchester’s first BioTech lab

Manchester’s first open access laboratory opened this week.

Based at Manchester Science Park (MSP), BiOspace is a joint venture with BioTech company Protein Technologies Limited.

The lab will provide early-stage BioTech and MedTech companies, as well as entrepreneurial individual scientists, with unrestricted, pay-as-you-go access to ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities and ‘multi-million pound’ equipment.

Dr. Farid Khan, founder of BiOspace, and chair of Protein Technologies Ltd, explained:

“In essence, BiOspace offers incubation at the very earliest stage. The hope then is that as start-ups grow, they make the natural transition to the next stage of the MSP ecosystem facilities like the MedTech Centre, Bright Building’s Mi-IDEA and the BioHub – at Alderley Park’s Mereside campus, in Cheshire.”

Veuve Clicquot’s 2018 Businesswoman Award

Champagne producer Veuve Clicquot has launched its quest to find the 45th recipient of its annual Businesswoman Award.

Nominations are now open to female entrepreneurs between the ages of 25 and 35, with the award counting Dame Marjorie Scardino DBE FRSA, Anya Hindmarch MBE and Alison Brittain, CEO Whitbread as past winners.

Judges for the 2018 Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award combines a selection of past winners, in addition to industry titans and networkers including Sarah Wood, founder of Unruly; Caroline Michel, CEO of Peters Fraser & Dunlop; Moira Benigson, CEO of MBS Group.

Julie Nollet, marketing and communications director of Moët Hennessy UK, commented:

We ask the public to nominate inspirational women who have influenced them; businesswomen that can encourage others to start a business or motivate the next generation to lead our biggest businesses.”

AXA launches 4th Year of HealthTech and You

AXA has announced four of the six new categories set to comprise the fourth iteration of its HealthTech & You awards programme for 2018. These are:

  • Innovations in the Early Diagnosis of Dementia Award
  • Women in HealthTech Entrepreneurs Award – to celebrate and support women pioneering innovative HealthTech
  • The Coaching Challenge – technologies to motivate people attempting a positive lifestyle change
  • The Mental Health in the Workplace Challenge – solutions to support mental health in the workplace

Two further categories will be unveiled and launched early in 2018.

Richard Cooper, head of digital at AXA PPP healthcare said:

“We are excited to be launching our fourth year of the programme with six new categories.  Coming through the programme we hope to discover pioneering health tech that will help with early diagnosis of dementia, mental health conditions in the workplace, and championing female health tech innovators.”

Steve Allpress joins BGF Ventures

Steve Allpress has joined BGF Ventures as an entrepreneur in residence.

Allpress is well-known in the wireless communications, silicon chip, and machine learning fields and will be working with BGF Ventures’ portfolio companies and assessing new investment leads.

In 2002 Steve co-founded Icera Inc. The Bristol-based business was bought by Nvidia Corporation of Santa Clara in 2011 for $435m.

A few years later,  he went on to co-found Five AI, the self-driving software company that recently announced $35m in new funding.

Harry Briggs, partner at BGF Ventures, said: “We are all very excited about having Steve join the BGF Ventures team. Not only does he have a broad network in Bristol and the West of England, but also world-class expertise in technology companies. These are areas where UK startups are at the global cutting edge, and we think that having Steve’s deep knowledge in these areas will help BGF Ventures filter out the noise and focus on the ideas and applications that can really make a difference.”

Allpress added: “Having worked in research and engineering, co-founded and built up a company and having experienced raising funds from investors, I’m now keen to learn more about the technology business from the other side and work closely with BGF Ventures’ outstanding team. I’m looking forward to joining Simon, Harry, Rory and Wendy and working closely with some of BGF Ventures’ portfolio companies, as well as playing a role in BGF Ventures’ national search for exciting startups to invest in.”

That’s all for today… See you next Friday!