Startup Weekly: Welsh ICE funding, Accenture HealthTech Innovation challenge & more


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.

Call for FinTech startups

Calling all FinTech startups!

Founders Factory is looking for innovators in the space and is now accepting applications for its accelerator programme, backed by insurance firm Aviva.

Startups, a statement said, will remain independent but will gain access to Founders Factory’s corporate backers alongside Aviva including L’Oreal, Guardian Media Group and Holtzbrinck Macmillan.

Serge Taborin, global digital innovation director at Aviva, said: “We are very excited to work with these startups through our Founders Factory partnership. Both companies provide valuable skills and insights in areas that will have a significant impact on the insurance ecosystem – HealthTech and blockchain.

“As well as the two areas above, we’re very keen to hear from startups focusing on IOT, data analytics, savings & pensions and artificial intelligence and operating in both consumer and corporate segments,” he added.

George Northcott, co-Founder and head of business development, Founders Factory, commented: “Places are incredibly limited for this accelerator programme and competition is tough as our offer is unrivaled.

“We understand how tough it is for founders to build businesses and the Aviva partnership provides them with credibility, product-market fit and real scale using Aviva’s huge audience access, digital media expertise and innovative models for running pilots,” concluded Northcott.

To apply, visit: https://foundersfactory.co/accelerator/#what-we-do

A new accelerator

The Shopify Partner Accelerator will allow creative professionals form the e-commerce industry to come together and collaborate on Shopify projects to improve their tech and entrepreneurial skills.

The three month intensive program has now expanded to include four different locations across North America and Europe: New York, Montreal, London and Austin.

As part of the programme, Shopify will provide training, learning, mentorship and collaboration opportunities.

Additionally, successful applicants will be able to work from WeWork co-working spaces.

Applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. New to freelancing or want help improving their business/freelance/web design/development skills
  2. Want to collaborate with like-minded professionals in their area
  3. Want or need a co-working space
  4. Want to work closely with Shopify

To find out more, visit: https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/accelerator

Scale Up Club open for applications

To qualify to apply for this year’s Scale Up Club businesses must have a minimum 20% year-on-year growth and more than 10 employees.

Successful applicants will be invited to take part in a programme of mentoring sessions, networking and workshops from some of the industry’s biggest players such as the CEOs of Graze and Just Eat.

Previous members include some of the UK’s most successful tech companies such as Mind Candy, SkyScanner, TransferWise and Swiftkey.

Janet Coyle, director SVC2UK at London & Partners, commented: “We are very proud of what we have achieved over the past 10 years with Silicon Valley Comes to the UK.  We have had the pleasure of working with some the UK’s most exciting young tech companies and watched them grow to become global players and industry leaders.

“This year’s programme promises to be one of the most ambitious to date, with incredible speakers and mentors. I look forward to meeting our next cohort of scale ups on 3 November,” he added.

Applications can be made on the SVC2UK website.

Welsh ICE funding

The Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise, Welsh ICE, has opened its round offunding and is now accepting applications from startups and entrepreneurs.

The funding, a statement said, is designed to give startups a route to sustainability. Support will be delivered through the centre’s ICE 50, where 50 startup businesses will receive a fully-funded package including a full-time desk, a tailored mentoring programme, creative workshops, telephone and high-speed internet access and one-to-one support for a year.

Mandy Weston, COO at Welsh ICE said: “The response to our previous round of applications was phenomenal – so much so that we couldn’t cap our places at 50.
“This year we hope to have a similar level of demand, especially since we recently announced our new space on campus, the Octagon.

“We want to reach out to those who have recently started a business and are finding that working from home is not all they thought it would be. There may be many people struggling to find work such as recent graduates, or those unsure about their future after a recent redundancy. Many people leave university or employment full of ideas and enthusiasm, but perhaps lack the necessary experience or finance.

“We would encourage these budding entrepreneurs to put their business ideas on paper and apply. With the guidance and support of the ICE community, it really is possible to start and grow your own business.”

The deadline for the first round of applications is 2nd October. Businesses are invited to submit their ideas to ICE through the website (www.welshice.org).

Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges, with businesses being notified in late October.

Headspace to launch Manchester space

Flexible work and event space provider Headspace Group is to expand its UK footprint having secured a 15,000 square foot space in Manchester.

Based at 2 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5WQ and currently under renovation, the building is expected to launch in January 2017.

Jonny Rosenblatt, managing director, Headspace Group, said: “Manchester is a thriving hub for small businesses and a genuinely exciting place to be launching. There’s been investment and development across the board and there is a growing demand for modern, innovative workspaces.

“We’ve been analysing Manchester for over a year, and it’s clear to me that it boasts one of the UK’s most exciting tech and creative scenes, but is underserviced by high quality operators. We also strongly believe in LJ Partnership’s vision for The Albert Estate and working with such a progressive landlord has made our decision significantly easier,” he added.

Accenture HealthTech Innovation challenge

Accenture has announced the creation of the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge, which will aim to bring together leading-edge startups with prominent life sciences and health companies to tackle some of the world’s greatest health challenges including access, affordability and transparency.

As part of Accenture’s broader HealthTech Innovation program, startups from around the globe will compete to bring innovative technology and creative solutions forward to improve the way people access and manage healthcare.

Selected finalists will present to an exclusive panel of judges, comprised of senior executives from globally recognised life sciences and health companies, gaining exposure and access to these industry-leading companies to bring their ideas to market.

“Digital disruption is fundamentally changing the life sciences and health industries. New digital players from within and outside the ecosystem have the potential to make a significant impact to the way the world approaches healthcare,” said Anne O’Riordan, senior managing director of Accenture Life Sciences.

“With all the activity in the startup space, many established healthcare organizations are asking how do they decide which innovators can help them best deliver patient care. With the launch of the Accenture HealthTech Innovation Challenge, Accenture will identify emerging innovators and disruptors and act as a catalyst by connecting them with the companies who can fast-track market impact,” she added.

The final judging round will take place at the StartUp Health Festival in San Francisco during the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on 9th January 2017.

Startup businesses can enter at www.accenture.com/healthtechinnovation from now until 21st October 2016.

That’s all for now … see you next week!