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Startup Weekly: VOOM finalists, The Europas winners & more

startup weekly 17th june

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.

Mi-IDEA to launch in Manchester

Manchester is set to get a new innovation centre following a partnership between Cisco and Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP).

The centre will seek to support the growth of key innovation clusters and early-stage startups in the North of England and will help growth companies scaleup.

According to a statement, the partnership will focus on smart cities, Internet of Things, digital healthcare and the digital creative sector.

Phil Smith, chief executive, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “The city of Manchester has innovation in its DNA. Our investment in the city builds on our ongoing commitment to support new digital businesses and high-tech entrepreneurs across the UK. Mi-IDEA will be uniquely positioned to tap into local, national and international innovation ecosystems.

“It will benefit from MSP’s existing partnerships across the region and be a key part of the NVI. Coupled with Cisco’s successes at IDEALondon and Cisco CREATE, we’re confident that Mi-IDEA will deliver a unique environment in which tech companies in Manchester can grow,” he cocluded.

The Europas startup winners

UK tech startups were honored at the Europas Startup Conference Awards, held in London this week.

Startups such as Deliveroo, Credits and Funding Circle were accoladed by their peers during the one day event.

Mike Butcher MBE, founder of The Europas, said: “It’s been an incredible year for European startups, which have continued their exponential growth over the last few years. Europe right now couldn’t be better for startups. Every year we wonder if we are in a bubble. But the truth is we are in a 4th industrial revolution, and this is transforming our industry and society at large.

“Forget whether a company has raised a tonne of money or become a unicorn or not. The point is that tech has changed the lives of 3.5 billion people on the planet. And it’s about to change the lives of the next 4,” Butcher added.

Winners on the night included:
Best Education Startup: Peak
Best Startup Accelerator: Entrepreneur First
Best FinTech Startup: Funding Circle
Best Hardware Startup: Technology Will Save Us
Best Share Economy Startup: Student.com 
Best Cybersecurity Startup: Darktrace 
Best Blockchain Startup: Credits
Best Travel Startup: Secret Escapes
Best Cleantech Startup: Pavegen 
Best Angel Investor of the Year: Jeremy Yap
Best VC Investor of the Year:  Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital
Best CEO of the Year: Sarah Wood, Unruly  
Best Startup Founders: Deliveroo’s founders Will Shu and Greg Orlowski 
Fastest Rising Startup of The Year: Deliveroo

Obama’s former EdTech advisor comes to the UK

Richard Culatta, President Barack Obama’s former director of the Office of Educational Technology at the US Department of Education, has joined EdTech UK’s advisory board.

Established by the The Education Foundation, EdTech UK is a strategic body established to accelerate the growth of the UK’s educational technology sector across Britain and on an international scale.

Culatta – who guided the US Department of Education’s creation of the National EdTech Plan – brings with him 20 years of experience and will join the likes of Eileen Burbidge as part of EdTech’s UK board.

Ian Fordham, CEO of Edtech UK commented on the appointment: “Richard will bring a wealth of experience to Edtech UK’s and The Education Foundation’s work including supporting a transatlantic network of innovators and policy makers. He is also now Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Rhode Island and will look to make connections between schools in the US to schools in Britain.

“We are delighted to have Richard on board to build on the special relationship between the UK and USA and he will bring invaluable insight and advice on education and technology strategy and policy to Britain,” he concluded.

6 businesses eye £1m prize in VOOM2016 competition

Virgin Media Business has announced the six businesses that have made it through to the finale of its ‘VOOM 2016’ entrepreneur competition.

The final six will now pitch to Richard Branson and a panel of business heavyweights, including Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely, Marcus Butler and Peter Kelly.

Peter Kelly, Managing Director of Virgin Media Business said: “The calibre of businesses we’ve seen this year has been outstanding and they should all be proud of what they’ve achieved. The competition was fierce but the final six are extremely worthy of their place and we look forward to working with them to develop their business in the lead up to the finale and beyond.”

The three start-up businesses are: MacRebuer, FOLDi and Vibe Tickets.

The three ‘grow’ businesses are: bio-beanSibberi Tree Water and FoodCloud.

Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “Congratulations to all the finalists for making it through to the last and most crucial stage of the Virgin Media Business ‘VOOM 2016’ competition.

“We set out to find ambitious businesses who will shake up the market, step up on a global stage and who will have a positive impact on the UK economy – this year’s finalists all demonstrate these attributes. I can’t wait to meet them at what’s set to be an energetic and highly competitive finale,” concluded Branson.

… Until next week!