Tech Nation has announced the five regional winners based in the South West of its Rising Stars 3.0 competition. In its third year, Rising Stars 3.0 is the UK’s only national competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies, designed to showcase the best in the country and to help companies on their growth journey.
The five regional winners for each region and nation across the UK have been selected by a panel of industry experts, and are regarded as tech leaders within their respective regions. These companies will now compete nationally for the chance to be named as one of Tech Nation’s 10 Rising Stars 3.0. The Rising Stars UK Winners will be revealed in February 2021.
Tech Nation’s Rising Stars are on track to become the world-leading tech companies of tomorrow, using technology to tackle the world’s greatest challenges. The competition provides the opportunity for the best of the nation’s early-stage scaleups to meet leading investors, influencers and corporates.
Last year, two of the 10 Rising Stars Winners were based in the South West: Southampton-based Sparkbox’s B2B SaaS solution helps retailers ensure they are maximising profit while shifting units. With ONS data showing that online sales have increased from 20% to 35% of all retail sales during the pandemic, the startup has been perfectly positioned to help companies. Shortly after winning Rising Stars 2.0, Sparkbox raised £150k of VC in an effort to grow its customer base and double headcount by the end of 2020. Sparkbox was also named as “one of the best startups to work with” by Retail Week, its cofounders Lindsay Fisher and Matt Wong also shared a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in its ‘Retail and E-Commerce’ category. To top it off, Sparkbox was accepted onto the 12-week Google for Startups Immersion programme that helps “exceptional founders” tap into London-related opportunities.
Since being named as one of the Rising Stars winners Codices, which creates live interactive shows, was listed under the World Economic Forum’s top 10 tech trends to watch, as online entertainment boomed. Codices also won awards from CogX and the Digital TV Group in 2020. The startup hit a milestone of 1 million unique monthly users in May. Codices also attracted the attention of the Cornwall and Isles Scilly Fund (COSIF) and Haatch Ventures, which together invested around €700k for Codices to roll out new live show formats in the next year.
The Five Regional Winners from the South West:
Bowimi (Bath, Adtech & Marketing)
Founders: Dom Bowcock and Dan Ghadimi
Bowimi allows brands to get their products into their target audiences hands by sending free samples to their mobile phone when they are at the point of sale. Bowimi uses WiFi, QR codes and weblinks to on-board consumers and send them free products to trial alongside engaging digital experiences, with no app download needed. No other company provides a sampling experience like this.
Founder: Ian Rummels
Cloud8 is driving digital transformation within the employee benefits industry. Their flagship product, BEAM at Work, showcases employee benefits on a simple, people-friendly, intuitive platform. BEAM is offered on a subscription model to employee benefits consultants, brokers and intermediaries to help them deliver a better benefits experience for their clients (employers) and employees.
Founders: Tanuvi Ethunandan and Erin Morris
Data Duopoly’s mission is to revolutionise the visitor experience in any venue worldwide. They are solving the issue of congestion and visitor frustration by facilitating personalised incentives to discover and navigate venues, and creating win-win situations for visitors and venues by giving value to visitors for their data.
Founder: Sara Hill
How jobs are designed and job descriptions are created is critical to attracting and retaining talent, but the process for designing jobs is broken, manual and disconnected. RoleMapper helps organisations to design and manage jobs, and create great job descriptions that increase hiring diversity and workforce flexibility.
Founders: George Sandilands, Mike Chatziapostolou and Ciaran Wood
Aiming to help millions of organisations reach net zero by 2030, Spherics helps businesses understand their climate impact. Their system integrates with established software packages, and tracks and visualises a company’s carbon footprint in real-time. It makes custom suggestions on how to reduce impact, matching data trends with research and climate science, and finally offsetting any unavoidable carbon emissions.
Vicky Hunter, Entrepreneur Engagement Manager – South West, Tech Nation comments: “The South West winners represent a wide spread of the region with companies from Bristol, Bath, Exeter and Cornwall. Their tech reflects some of the strengths of the region including AI and NetZero, and applies these to industries such as leisure, hospitality, recruitment and HR. I wish all the Rising Stars regional winners good luck but of course I’ll be cheering on the South West companies the loudest and hope to see them all in the final.”