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Tech Nation announces the 10 winners of its latest Rising Stars competition

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by Startacus Admin


The best early stage tech startups from across the UK revealed in Tech Nation’s final Rising Stars competition.

technation logoTech Nation, the growth platform for tech scaleups, has today announced the 10 winners of its fifth and final iteration of the Rising Stars competition, which recognises the brightest and best early-stage tech companies from all areas of the country. This year’s finalists and winners have raised a combined £52,489,231 in investment to date, demonstrating the ability of the startups to scale quickly, and their potential to become the UK’s tech ‘unicorns’ (companies with valuations of $1bn+) of the future. As one of the winners of Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition, each received a bespoke package of support, including an opportunity to showcase the company to investors, accelerators, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and the UK tech community. 

In its fifth and final year, the competition received 400 applications in total. Rising Stars is structured to ensure strong regional representation and to counter-balance the traditionally strong London tech scene. This year 132 City Winners were initially selected from the 400 entrants. After a live pitching round, this was reduced to 33 Regional Winners, three each from the 11 countries and regions of the UK. A semi-final pitch further reduced this to 20 Finalists and of these, 16 were from outside London and the South East.

This year’s winners have been selected by a panel of 8 judges (industry experts with extensive experience in starting and scaling tech businesses), including Ed Prior, Rising Stars judge adjudicator and principle at GP Bullhound, Lyubov Guk founding partner at Blue Lake VC and Douglas Lloyd, founder of Macademia. Companies were selected based on their value proposition, competitive advantage, market traction, team experience and potential to scale.

The winners of this year’s competition are  PurrmetrixdigiLab, VidiVetTrumpetAugnetStratigensBioLedgerIncluTech, OneShot AI and JUST: Access. These companies are working to transform a range of different industries, ranging from AI and Marketing Tech to Law Tech and Safety Tech.

FsYJLOMX0AAfPg5.The Rising Stars 5.0 winners have a median raise of £1mn and a total combined raise of £11.8mn . They have an average number of  8 employees, and all of the winners are revenue-generating. Half of the winners are female founded companies, including VidiVet who give pet parents instant access to a vet from anywhere in the world at any time of day, Stratigens whose software provides strategic decision intelligence, IncluTech whose software helps people feel safe and secure in an emergency and enables them to know what to do and when to do it. It focuses on building greater inclusion and access; shaped by research and user-centric design. Not only will its technology save lives now, but help to predict and prevent future emergencies. And also JUST:Access who are disrupting the manual transcription sector and Purrmetrix who provide better insights into building performance by combining energy and environmental data from a redeployable IoT toolset.

Commenting on the win, Becca Hume, Inclutech said: “Inclutech are grateful to be chosen as a Regional Winner in this year’s Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition. We feel honoured, in part, to represent Northern Ireland’s tech community, along with being delighted to share our own story in building public safety software which helps protect, preserve and predict for our citizens. The additional sense of community and support gained from Tech Nation Northern Ireland has been brilliant!”

Hermione Crease, Purrmetrix said: “At a time when getting housing to net zero is urgent, we are so excited to be recognised as a Tech Nation Rising Star regional winner. Purrmetrix is building the tools to make it easy to measure housing and heating performance, helping our customers target and manage their housing retrofit. As we build on our initial market traction, the Rising Star programme validates our approach and will help us raise our profile with investors, customers and landlords.”

The rest of the winners range from digiLab’s self-optimising machine learning platform to Trumpet’s centralising of the entire sales cycle to one link. Bioledger provides SAAS for biofuel supply chain traceability and compliance for businesses regulated by the EU Renewable Energy Directive which includes all oil companies, biofuel producers, agricultural producers and waste management companies and Augnet extracts unique data through an encrypted global network of devices to validate the quality of hundreds of SMS providers. Messages sent via Augnet will be optimised via its routing algorithm. Last but not least is OneShot, a fully autonomous sales prospecting solution for B2B companies. OneShot removes the need to hire sales people to generate new business meetings.

Commenting on their win, Patrick Lynch, Bioledger said: “Bioledger was spun out of industry to try to solve a global, systemic risk of fraud in the global supply chains of certified sustainable commodities. Recognition as a regional Rising Star adds validation to our progress so far and our choice to be digitally headquartered in Derry City.”

Daniel Gill, Augnet said: “Although Augnet is a start-up, we are selling to some of the largest companies on the planet. Being a regional Rising Star winner provides a firm signal to our target audience that Augnet has the credibility and expertise to resolve the global issues within the $25bln Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS ecosystem. To combine the guidance that Tech Nation have provided, along with the increased profile to our target audience has been an exciting stepping stone in our story.”

This marks the fifth year anniversary of the inception of Rising Stars and the final one from Tech Nation as the organisation ceases operations on 31st March 2023. Artificial intelligence and deeptech have consistently been the most prominent technology sub-sectors over the last 5 years of the competition, with big data becoming increasingly common over the last two years and mobile apps becoming less common. Health tech has become more prominent - as the second most common sector across this year's City Winners, compared to being only the sixth most common sector for the first and second iteration of the competition. Over the past five years, 306 finalists and winners have raised a combined total of £261,678,831. The competition has shone a light on promising companies beyond just London, with 83% of finalists and winners across this five year period hailing from outside the region. Notable alumni include Bottlepay Selazar, SeedLegals and Spherics which was recently acquired by Sage.




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Published on: 29th March 2023

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