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Startup Weekly: Virgin Voom Tour launch, Barclays demo day and more

Startup Weekly (2)

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.

Virgin Voom Pitch

Serial entrepreneur and billionaire Sir Richard Branson launched Voom Pitch, one of the biggest pitching competitions in the UK, earlier this week.

Over the next six months, the Voom Tour will be stopping over at several locations across the UK, including Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Dublin, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Winchester.

Virgin Media Business will be on the lookout for people wanting to pitch their business idea at each tour stop, giving them the chance to win a regional prize of £5,000.

The national competition is set to return in March 2018 and will see the winner walk away with a share of £1m in prize money.

For more details, visit:

Barclays Rise London

Barclays launched Rise, its flagship FinTech innovation site in London this week.

Rise will seek to host a curated community of FinTech startups alongside the bank’s corporate clients and experts.

Jes Staley, Barclays Group chief executive, who hosted the opening event, said: “We believe that technology must be a core competency of a global financial institution, and we intend to be a leader in the industry.  Last week we announced the creation of 750 new jobs in our UK technology centres.

“FinTech startups are at the front of the technology wave that is changing our industry. Through Rise, we glean important insights; we can actively experiment with emerging technologies, and we can spot early trends and new markets as they form. This allows our employees, customers and clients to do things faster, better and at lower cost.”

11 FinTech startups also pitched at the newly unveiled space this week.

They were:

  • Alyne – a RegTech firm providing a SaaS cybersecurity solution to help with compliance and risk management.
  • Barac – A streaming analytics platform which seeks to help businesses analyse and collect data in real time using AI.
  • Bean – A recurring payments manager for bills and subscriptions.
  • Bokio – an automated accounting platform to help companies manage their invoicing, payroll and accounting.
  • Citizen – leverages biometric cryptography to help with identity.
  • Courtsdesk – a business litigation research platform
  • Flux – seeks to digitise receipts.
  • Homeppl – seeks to make it easier for people to rent properties.
  • Nivo – a secure mobile messaging platform.
  • ShieldPay – operates a digital escrow facility for P2P payments.
  • Simudyne – provides AI simulations for financial institutions.

Startupbootcamp InsurTech demo day

Ten insurance technology startups pitched at Startupbootcamp InsurTech’s demo day in London this week.

The companies were as follows:

  • Adapt Ready: risk intelligence platform that transforms risk data with predictive analytics into actionable intelligence.
  • Aerobotics: a data focused drone company that has developed one of the foremost aerial data analytic platforms, applying machine learning to multi-spectral images to provide insight and competitive advantage to farmers.
  • Aimo: technology that combines AI and 3D camera sensors to measure and analyse human movement. The solution can disrupt a number of industries by replacing human expert movement analysis with automated scans.
  • Emerge Analytics: helps insurance companies to make money from insurance operations, through a SaaS solution that delivers bespoke machine-learning models across the customer value chain.
  • Insure A Thing (IAT): provides a platform turning insurance as we know it on its head. IAT aims to reverse the trust relationship with retail customers by only earning fees when acting in their best interests, settling claims.
  • NuvaLaw: the platform reduces interRparty costs between insurers by reducing both the number and cost of litigated claims – and therefore the required, regulated reserves.
  • PORT: a cloud based platform as a service (PaaS) that gives people control of their personal information to enable better relationships with businesses.
  • Sharenjoy: the world’s first crowdsourced for millennials attending entertainment events, insuring experiences at low cost and on the go.
  • TikkR: a third party insurance processor that provides short-duration, bundled insurance solutions that integrates with user lifestyles by providing protection during periods wherein they perceive rise (e.g., while cycling, running, commuting, etc.)
  • TrackActive: provides insurers, their health providers, and customers a health platform to optimize rehabilitation from injury, assist in the prevention of injury and chronic disease comorbidities, such as arthritis, diabetes and mental health disorders, and facilitate the ongoing self management of health.

Sabine VanderLinden, managing director at Startupbootcamp InsurTech, commented: “We have seen 1,000s of propositions presented to us during the past few months. We are pleased to have worked this year with a varied group of entrepreneurs with two clear underlying goals: 1) to make data more relevant for every single insurer and 2) to personalize engagements with businesses and individuals.”

For more information on the Startupbootcamp InsurTech 2017 cohort, visit:

£25,000 in startup funding

Shaf Rasul, a Scotland-based businessman, is inviting entrepreneurs to participate in the ‘PropTech Innovatoon Challenge’, in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

Each of the five winners will walk away with prizes of up to £5,000. The deadline for applications is 17th May, with the event taking place on 14th June.

For more information, please visit:

New Office Group space

The Office Group has been given planning permission to create a 92,000 sq ft flagship building in London Vauxhall.

The building, previously occupied by the Metropolitan Police, will house an office, co-working space, art gallery, cafe, gym, production studios and workshop space

Charlie Green, co-CEO of The Office Group, said: “Our starting point was a building with unbelievable natural light and stunning views, directly on the Thames.

“We think the building will add to the regeneration of Vauxhall, offering an affordable, flexible place to work, open to everyone. We’ve worked very hard on the design and the content to make this a real destination for people,” he added.

That’s it for today … see you next Friday!