startup weekly today

Here’s your weekly round up of startup competitions, awards, co-working space and accelerator news.

RailTech accelerator

Hacktrain has announced the seven UK teams that have joined its RailTech accelerator.

The three month London-based programme brings together startups to solve some of the rail industry’s biggest challenges.

River Tamoor-Baig, co-founder of HackTrain, said:  “Much like everyone who travels by train regularly, we want customer service and operational efficiency to improve. It is something that we are incredibly passionate about and why we are so driven and motivated to play our part in making the UK the world’s hub for RailTech.

“There are so many startups with amazing ways to make our railways more innovative, whether it be through indoor navigation, speeding up the reclaim process for delay repay or bridging communication gaps between train companies and passengers,” he added.

The participating startups are: iGeolise, Powermat, Nimber, Vivacity Labs, Ticket, Dojo and Dispatch Messenger Ltd.

Social tech seed programme

Nominet Trust, a UK-based social tech investor, announced the winners of its fifth Social Tech Seed funding programme earlier this week.

The following eight ventures each received £50,000 in grant funding:

    • Bounce Works – Apart of Me: An interactive game providing a safe space for children to seek support when someone they love is diagnosed with a terminal illness
    • Cafedirect Producers’  Foundation – Digital Farm: A project that puts power back into the hands of farmers in East Africa by giving communities accessible tools for collecting and analysing their own data
    • Konnektis: A digital platform enabling more efficient communication between formal and informal carers of the elderly
    • Vision Technologies – GiveVision: Easy-to-use software for smart glasses that act as ‘eyes’ for people with sight loss
    • Games for Life (CIC) – Brain-Training comes of age: An attention training programme for young offenders to help break the cycle of prison and unemployment
    • Visual Assistant: Tech-enhanced sight for the visually impaired
    • CliqStart – ALICE SI: A philanthropy platform to help private donors see exactly what impact their charitable donation is making
    • Limitless Travel: A platform which lists and reviews the accessibility of hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions to open up travel to those with disabilities

2016 Natwest everywoman Awards 

Now in its fourteenth year, the NatWest everywoman Awards, which celebrate the success of Britain’s top female entrepreneurs, has launched this year’s nomination drive.

Previous winners include Jo Malone MBE, Kelly Hoppen MBE and everywoman Awards Patron and founder of Specsavers, Dame Mary Perkins.

The awards are free to enter and individuals can be nominated or can enter themselves.

Accenture FinTech innovation lab

In other news, six startups were selected to present at Accenture’s 2016 FinTech Innovation Lab Graduation Day.

Albert, PayKey, Cutover, Undo, Talent Rank and Clausematch pitched to venture capitalists and senior financial industry executives from the likes of Credit Suisse, Nationwide and Goldman Sachs.

Now in its fourth year,  Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab is a collaboration between Accenture and 16 leading financial institutions.

‘Pitch to Rich’ campaign

Tech City News attended a drinks reception for Virgin Media’s #Voom ‘Pitch to Rich’ campaign earlier this week.

The attendees, selected by 123-reg, featured tech companies such as AppyParking and non tech-related firms including Ezi-plug.

Prior the reception, attendees attended a workshop, hosted by 123-reg, to help them perfect their pitches, create business plans and gain insight into social media skills needed to promote their ideas.

Startup open house

This week saw the launch of Startup Open House in London. Following on from previous editions in Canada, the scheme enabled participants to get free access to visit the offices of participating startups across London’s Tech City.

“Working for a startup is a lifestyle choice. We are a tight knit community with an entire subculture of its own that speaks a completely different language. As an outsider, this may feel intimidating, but it’s up to us (those within the community) to make to an effort to connect, nurture and foster a sense of inclusiveness,” said Farah Kanji, head of recruitment at Founders Factory and lead organiser for the London chapter.

“It’s absolutely critical that we collectively support the next generation of startups as they build companies that will become tomorrow’s industry giants,” added Kanji.

Participants included Onefinestay and People.io.

Crowdfinders’ £100m funding drive

Crowdfinders, an SME investment event specialist, has launched a £100m funding drive for UK businesses that are looking to scale up.

Launched in partnership with UKBAA, Seedrs, SyndicateRoom and Crowdcube, the Race to Scale programme will distribute £100m throughout the year to promising businesses.