Our latest issue, Women in Tech and Female Founders is just around around the corner, so for our next event, which is now going to be held digitally on Thursday 15th October, we will be donating all profits to the Young Women's Trust a feminist charity set out to help young women. We spoke to Laura Perkins, Director of Fundraising at Young Women's Trust to find out a little more about the organisation.
When it comes to reimagining what the events industry will look like in the near future, these are the four things we should be thinking about according to Wolves Summit’s Vice-President, Mike Chaffe. Mike grew Wolves Summit to become one of the largest tech conferences in CEE. In March this year, when most tech events were put on hold, he made the decision to organise Wolves Summit 11th as a fully virtual event. Over 1,500 participants, 600 startups, and 300 investors tuned in online to be part of the former edition. Since then the Wolves Summit team has also organised other events on behalf of some of the largest organisations in Poland and worldwide. Wolves Summit now offers technical support to CEE & CIS based Hopin clients. Hopin is an event software that has recently secured $40M in funding. We spoke to Mike to find out more about the future of events.
According to research from outsourcing provider, Woven, more than three-quarters (78%) of consumers trust online reviews when it comes to making a purchase. As UK businesses continue to manage the fallout from lockdown, customer service experts from Woven have revealed the significant impact that positive reviews could have in helping small businesses recover.
In September 2020, Citigroup bank appointed a female CEO. Why is this big news? Because in doing so, the firm became the first big Wall Street bank to do so. Barriers are being broken down by female trailblazers in all walks of society and even traditionally masculine environments are being transformed into more balanced ones where everyone, regardless of their gender, has an equal chance at success.
Throughout the pandemic, SMEs have had to adapt to survive - which has been no mean feat. In many cases, technology has proved to be essential in keeping operations running during lockdown. Whether it be shifting entire workplaces to remote working, or using video conferencing tools and cloud accounting software, small businesses have been relying on tech more than ever before.
It’s no secret that women are still widely underrepresented in the gaming industry, particularly when it comes to video and mobile game development. Whilst this has been historically accounted to the common misconception that gaming is a predominantly masculine hobby, women actually make up a significant amount of the industry, representing nearly half of hyper-casual gamers.
Bounce Back loans, the most popular HM Treasury support measure, used by SMEs are running low, finds the latest insights1 from fintech business lender, MarketFinance. These SMEs are aware they can get more HM Treasury support by applying for larger loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) but did not know the deadline was end of this month.
Just when the lockdown period seemed to be drawing to a close, cases of Coronavirus took a sharp upwards turn and local lockdowns were enforced. Already, almost ten million people in the UK have been confined to their homes once again. Nationally, too, restrictions have tightened and fears of a second lockdown period are circulating as Health Secretary Matt Hancock refuses to rule out the possibility of another strict set of restrictions being brought in.
When you’re building something from the ground up, it’s essential to have a strong foundation for support right from the start. Your business needs to have one main idea you can use to create a brand identity, to generate strong branding and to produce an effective brand development strategy to reach your goals.
Xero is calling on the government to step in on tech adoption for small firms after its report reveals the impact on the post-pandemic recovery. The resilience and recovery of a small business is acutely impacted by how digitally enabled they are, according to Xero’s new report on the global impact of COVID-19.
A rise in startups born during the pandemic is hugely positive but also not surprising. We’ve had more time to think and do and explore new avenues, particularly where existing business models or employment have ceased to exist. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. But while the pandemic has created new opportunities, the lending environment for startups looks set to be challenging.
As we carry on focusing on female founders and women in tech, we decided to catch up with Kristy Chong, CEO & Founder of Modibodi, a femtech startup that provides people of all ages and body types all around the world with access to reusable and sustainable underwear, swimwear, active wear and maternity wear.
Boosting employee morale is one of the most crucial topics that every leader should consider when finding ways to steer their small businesses to grow exponentially. Low morale can result in poor cooperation, low productivity, and augmented turnover. Several studies have demonstrated that focusing on enhancing morale in the workplace can have a tremendous impact on a company’s growth.
Back in 2015, representatives from nations all around the world met to sign an initiative that would help combat the damaging effects of climate change. This very first globally collective effort in terms of reducing greenhouse emissions, to which 179 countries have formally agreed their commitment, focusses on limiting the rise in global temperature increases by two degrees above its preindustrial measurement.
The return to the office has sparked some interesting debate. Our own research has found that individuals are more concerned about their work-life balance and having to commute than the impact of COVID-19 to their health. And similar themes have been explored around the attitudes of staff in different countries and why the UK is lagging with a proposed return compared to European counterparts.
Founders typically establish a business with one of two game plans in mind. They either want a lifestyle business and one that fits their work life balance, or they want to build a business and grow it with the ultimate goal of building something of value that they can exit when the time is right for them. For any founder seeking to raise finance for their company, or to sell it, whether a lifestyle one or one with more ambitious plans, there will always be the need for a valuation.
In this era where life is fast-paced, customers’ demand and needs keep changing at a rapid rate. If your company is to consistently meet these needs, then it must be equipped to keep changing as the market dictates. In addition, competition is tough, and others are waiting to take advantage of where you are slacking off. If you are to survive the competition, remaining innovative is the only survival tactic. In fact, you should always anticipate future demands and work towards meeting them. That way, you stay a step ahead of the competition.
Here, Startups Magazine’s Lanna Cooper speaks to former NHS surgeon, Dr Owain Rhys Hughes, who handed in his stethoscope after 18 years in medicine to tackle the UK’s broken referrals system, which he noticed was costing the NHS valuable time, money and resources and was contributing to long waiting times.
London’s entrepreneurs have been given a welcome boost thanks to funding from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Virgin Group. The funding will support the not-for-profit organisation - Virgin StartUp – to run its Ready Steady Grow programme which is aimed at supporting London based founders. The funding is valued at £1.7m over three years, half of this will be funded by the Virgin Group with the GLA funds matching the contribution. The extension is distributed by the GLA from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
ATI Boeing Accelerator has opened applications for its second cohort, to invest into sustainability-enabling startups that will benefit the UK aerospace industry across three key areas of focus: Industry 4.0, Lifecycle and Resilience, and Energy. Launched last year, the accelerator was created in partnership by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Boeing, and is delivered by European accelerator Ignite. GKN Aerospace is a corporate sponsor and more partners will be announced in the upcoming months.
British startups Jiva Materials (featured recently on Startups Magazine) and SoluBlue have been awarded a place in the final for the 2020 Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge. The two startups, working to tackle some of the most challenging types of waste pollution, have won at least €100,000 each and are now in the running for the €500,000 grand prize.
It is often said that turnover is vanity and profit is sanity. But, even more importantly, do not forget that cash is king. Put simply, businesses fail because they do not have enough cash or other liquid assets to pay their bills or meet their immediate obligations. So, whilst increasing turnover and growing profitability are what every business owner is aiming to achieve, it is crucial to still have a very strong focus on cash flow and the levels of cash in the business.
Around the world, fertility rates are falling dramatically. Researchers have described the decline as “jaw-dropping” and the impact that it is going to have on societies is difficult to fathom. According to their research, nearly every country is set to see a serious decline in the number of babies being born. To make the shift even more monumental, the worldwide population is also ageing dramatically, and many countries are likely to see as many people turning 80 as there are being born.
It’s received wisdom that successful startups solve real world problems. But there’s a commonly overlooked footnote to this mantra: you can’t try to solve a problem unless you’ve lived it first. Because without gaining the authentic understanding of lived experience, you’ll never find a solution that works in practice as well as in theory.
Before any business is established the founder will of course have spotted a gap in the market, thought of the original idea, conducted research, and come up with the MVP. Taking these basic thoughts and then forming a business around them, with all the necessary steps that regular readers will now be very familiar with, does of course take considerable time and effort.
Superstrata’s 3D printed e-bike, and traditional bike has soared past the company's initial crowdfunding target, hitting £3.3M in pre-orders as more than 2,800 backers from 66 countries have supported the project so far, and due to demand has decided to extend the campaign until Saturday 12 September 2020.
As much as we hate this phrase, Babble was born in the cloud. We don’t have any fixed technology so naturally, when Boris gave the order to stay at home our business found it easy to adapt. Our employees work, collaborate and communicate around one central platform, available on any device, anywhere. Our contact centre isn’t fixed to an office with phones and headsets, and our cyber security isn’t something we ever need to worry about.
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, many employers are having to think about how they go about bringing back employees to the office, and what this might look like in the future. Anthony Rose, CEO and co-founder of SeedLegals here gives his take on what London's top startups are saying about the office.
The words ‘martech’ and ‘Marketing Technology’ constantly get thrown around a lot. According to research conducted by the martech Alliance, they’re used some 678.7k times a year - but it begs the question… how often are they being used correctly? For anyone who is unfamiliar with the word ‘martech’, it is otherwise known as marketing technology, and it is the term for the software and tech tools that marketers leverage to plan, execute and measure marketing campaigns.
It is that time again! Here is the next article in our series with Liverpool-based tech cofoundery Nova, and this week's startup in the spotlight is picturepath - a digital visual timeline developed to be used by children with Special Educational Needs in classrooms and at home. We spoke to Founder Richard Nurse.
According to a new report by global recruiter, Robert Walters and data provider, Vacancysoft - 'Cybersecurity: Building Business Resilience' - UK SME’s are at risk of 65,000 cyber security attacks daily - with around 4,500 of these being successful - and the figure could be much higher since the beginning of COVID-19.
When you consider just how much of our daily lives is now dominated by electronics, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that globally, e-waste is now the fastest growing waste stream – a problem exacerbated by the fact that we are living in an increasingly ‘smarter’ world where electronics are now integral and essential to daily life, while at the same time, are infinitely more disposable.
Over the past few months, most businesses have had to rethink how they operate and how they reach their customers. At the same time, there’s been drastic changes in customer behaviour, with huge increases in online purchases. For example, Shopify saw a 68% MoM growth of UK consumers estimated to make a purchase online from a UK Shopify merchant for the first time in April 2020.
Artificial Intelligence, VR, AR and machine learning are all some of the hot topics at the moment, especially as our latest issue has a strong focus on AI and emerging technologies, so we thought there isn't a better time to catch up with Andrson, a sound-driven A&R platform, which is a brand new AI and machine learning-powered tool using sound-based search to connect emerging artists to the right industry professionals.
Talking all things AI and new and emerging technologies at the moment, as we prepare for our next issue - out tomorrow! Startups Magazine spoke to Andy Baggott, Marketing Manager at Kafoodle - a fast-growing food tech company launched in 2016 with the goal to simplify food safety and kitchen compliance, helping the hospitality industry manage their ingredients, recipes and allergen information.
In the second episode in our mini-series with Nova, a Liverpool-based tech cofoundery that partners with entrepreneurs to turn ideas into successful, scalable tech startups, in sectors including healthtech, fintech and edtech, Startups Magazine caught up with Bharat Vasandani, Founder of ParentCare.
The debate around the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what it means for humanity is very much alive. It probably has been since 1927, the year Metropolis was released. If you haven’t seen it, the film stars a humanoid robot intent on world domination and human slavery. As you can imagine the robot doesn’t go down too well, and so began our difficult and ever-evolving relationship with AI.
In many ways, startup leaders are the envy of the business world. They are able to create an appealing workplace culture that works employees across different generations, and can attract the best talent. Problems are often solved through creative thinking while there’s typically a flat hierarchy and open communication channels.
Budding entrepreneurs looking to build something new for social good after COVID-19 could find the ideal partner and supporter via the Impact Central accelerator programme, mentor network and angel investor platform. The six-month programme is designed to help new businesses that will help rebuild society and the environment, as the UK tries to find a future beyond COVID-19.
Blenheim Chalcot, the UK-based digital venture builder, and Imperial College London welcomed its first business members to Scale Space on Imperial’s White City campus this week. This new 200,000ft2 facility, will be home to scale ups and innovative businesses across the technology, digital and life-sciences sectors.
I’m going to focus on digital products/services in this article, increasing the contribution of digital products/services only makes more sense for any business in a COVID-19 and post COVID-19 world. All things being equal to grow post COVID-19 we need to manage at least one aspect of the digital customer life cycle better than we were doing before COVID-19.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has caused large-scale disruption to businesses worldwide, remote working has been a shining example of how to ensure ‘business as usual’, particularly in areas such as customer service. If Gartner predictions are correct that over 40% of all employees will continue remote working post-COVID, businesses must redefine remote working by ensuring customer service staff - contact centre agents and supervisors - are equipped with fit-for-purpose technology to ensure they deliver a truly first-class service to the customer. Anne-Meine Gramsma, Chief Commercial Officer at ContactCenter4ALL, explains.
Forty nine percent of employers are planning to stagger return to work based on employees’ own health risks related to COVID-19, whilst 46% will be staggering employees return depending on how critical their role is to the business. The next most popular strategy is the creation of smaller work groups (40%), followed by changing work hours (34%), a voluntary return scheme (33%), and splitting shifts (28%).
Much like any relationship, co-founders start their journey together full of optimism and excitement for the future. Falling out is far from their minds. But, with research showing that as many as 65% of promising startups fail because of founder disputes, smart founders should put a plan in place to deal with disputes.
As the UK high street continues to battle for survival in the aftermath of lockdown, new data shows that online retail sales are up 72% year-on-year in the UK. It’s the latest evidence that our retail future is going to be online-first, and hence it’s no surprise that, across the country, many independent retailers are shifting their businesses into the digital domain to stay in touch with changing consumer preferences.
Commercial real estate, HR and technology professionals are focused on finding innovative ways to meet the challenges of a post-COVID workplace through safe and effective back to work strategies. John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, considers what this means for businesses heading back into the office.
The drive for businesses to make positive changes around inclusion and diversity in the workplace is now more important than it ever was before. To encourage businesses to take stand against discrimination and drive forward a progressive future, global workplace providers, Instant Offices have gathered and analysed data into what diversity and inclusion looks like around the world.
Following the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, we have seen widespread business closures, pay cuts, reduced hours, and redundancies, resulting in many workers looking for a new venture. Today, LinkedIn is one of the go-to platforms for budding job hunters searching for a new role, therefore the competition is high. To help those looking to enter a new career field, online educational platform, Preply has provided tips on the things to consider when messaging a recruiter on LinkedIn.
Action, Allies, Achievements, and Accountability are the cornerstones of a strategy for achieving diversity goals. As the CEO of Hyve Dynamics, Cecilia Harvey works with the leadership team to ensure that diversity and inclusion is reflected in our strategy and operations. She does this, not just because she is passionate about it, or because the tech industry is one of the least diverse, but because it makes both moral and commercial sense.
A new index by Business Fibre has analysed 34 of the world’s Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) capital cities to find 2020’s best cities to be a tech student. The index has analysed each city according to metrics such as the number of universities offering technology and engineering courses, total tech companies and employees in each city, the monthly living cost and the top cities investing in tech-related research. An infographic is available here.
Online shopping is arguably one of the best inventions out there. Nothing beats that feeling of joy when your parcel arrives! But what about the times when your parcel isn’t successfully delivered and you arrive home to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ card through your letterbox? iParcelBox solves the problem of missed deliveries, providing a smart, secure and weatherproof parcel delivery solution that users can monitor and control from their smartphone.
Whilst social media and too much screen time can increase the risk of depression and anxiety, technology can also have positive outcomes on our mental wellbeing too - even in our busy digital world. Many us will be familiar and fond of clever apps like Headspace, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think which can offer support with a number of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Here Natasha Bougourd from TSG, chats to Startups Magazine about tech aiding stress in the workplace.
This crisis period has proven what so many of us in our industry already knew. The UK manufacturing industry is and always has been resilient and adaptable, and has continued to grow even in times of trouble. Overall, the UK’s industrial sector has increased by 1.4% a year since 1948, according to the ONS. Much of this has been down to the fact that we always adapted and moved forward fast; year on year we shifted production from low to high productivity goods, invested more in research and development and adopted automation and technology.
A crisis seems an unlikely time to use for improving growth, but for many startups there’s an unexpected opportunity to slow down and refocus their growth and marketing plans on their fundamental, long term growth opportunity. It’s crucial for startups to build resilience and a path towards sustainable growth by building the right growth marketing framework and strengthening customer relationships.
In the COVID-19 era many people are taking the opportunity to organise and simplify their home working spaces, making good use of the ample time at home. But de-cluttering your virtual space - including your computer/laptop, phone, cloud storage, etc - is just as important as de-cluttering your physical space.
The amount of information we are exposed to exceeds our ability to process it. Out of the about 70,000 thoughts we have per day, our short term memory can hold no more than seven for only about 20 to 30 seconds. How does this relate to branding? Our long-term memory stores our associations with specific brands which is also ultimately the desired effect of marketing campaigns or PR activities - for people to remember your company (or you as a person!) when in need of the products or services you provide.
The home kitchen and dining area have become the most lucrative money making locations in Britain, that combined are generating £37.4bn to the British economy during lockdown - that’s being coined as ‘Kitchen Table Talent’. The research commissioned by Attic Self Storage, revealed that although restrictions are being lifted, 41% of office workers are expected to continue their jobs from home, with 44% saying it’s the most productive place they have ever worked.
Are you working at home and struggling to maintain productivity? For the majority of Brits currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those looking to do more home working in the future, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared 10 tips on how you can create an office space that leads to maximum productivity.
The current situation has taught us a lot of valuable lessons, particularly about the true power of digital. With brands like Primark reducing their revenue to zero as a result of having no e-commerce strategy and B2B businesses that previously relied on trade shows forced to transfer online, the value of having a strong digital brand presence is now more important than ever before.
Today, many businesses are executing large-scale digital transformation efforts to keep up with the changing market demands and fast-paced competitors. In fact, a global survey conducted by McKinsey discovered that more than 80% of respondents stated their organisations have undertaken such efforts in the past five years.
Whilst the UK implements strategies to gradually return to life as normal, the question on everyone’s mind is how we plan to do this safely and effectively. With the process of working from home potentially coming to an end in the foreseeable future, regardless of what sector individuals work in, new safety precautions are essential to put in place to ensure the health and safety of employees and customers remain strong.
Lockdown is beginning to end, but changes in how we do business have only just begun. One country that might be able to shed some light on the upcoming unknown is Germany - having had their ‘Super Saturday’ back in April. Germany has already tackled the next economic phase that small businesses (SMEs) in the UK will have to adapt to.
Even in the bleakest of times, entrepreneurs have found a way to innovate and create disruptive products that have enhanced our daily lives or solved a problem. Take the humble chocolate chip cookie, baked for the first time after the Great Depression. During a period of severe economic hardship, this new treat offered some richness and comfort and remains immensely popular to this day.
Over the past few months, the world of business has been turned upside down due to COVID-19. During such unprecedented times, maintaining customer confidence and loyalty is a key focus for companies. The way in which businesses manage its customers throughout uncertain times is often the difference between losing or retaining clients, and ultimately business survival.
The COVID-19 pandemic has massively accelerated the pace of change in the business world. Leaders and employees have had to adapt to operate in a challenging environment, where the only certainty is change. Not only have organisations had to rapidly adjust to the changing needs of its people, customers and suppliers, but it has also navigated the financial and operational challenges. This has led to many businesses prioritising the now, focusing on reshaping its operations to stabilise revenue and align with short term demand.
No Isolation was founded with the aim of reducing loneliness and social isolation through the creation and implementation of warm technology. Following the success of its first product, the AV1 telepresence avatar, designed to tackle loneliness amongst children and young adults affected by long-term illness, the company brought its second product, KOMP, to the UK in 2019. KOMP - a one button communication device, designed to connect seniors with their wider family unit - has been bought by 3,300 families across Europe.
With all the doom and gloom currently out there, especially for a lot of startups and small businesses, Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars created the Summer Startup Fellowship this year in response to obstacles created, and elevated, by the coronavirus pandemic for current college students and recent graduates. The Fellowship program was developed in March of this year in response to the impacts of coronavirus on student job, internship, and entrepreneurship opportunities (50% - 60% of which were dropped or rescinded).
One of the biggest trends in software development has been the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS). With SaaS, vendors and customers follow a pay-as-you-go subscription model, which eliminates the large upfront payment and aligns their incentives more easily: vendors get more recurring revenue while customers are freed from having to host and maintain their own applications.
A call has been launched for applications to the Startup Leadership Program London 2021. The Startup Leadership Program (SLP) is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to support entrepreneurs on their path to success and make our world a better place. It is also part of the world's largest network of entreprenuers!
Just as monetising mobile was the biggest opportunity of the previous decade, monetising the 3D worlds is the biggest opportunity of the next decade. It’s time to get onboard. From radio to telephone, TV to desktop computer and now mobile, the last 150 years have been filled with technological progress that has transformed our private and professional lives. Today, we are approaching another media transition: spatial computing - commonly known as immersive technology, XR or VR/AR.
Recently I connected with a non-profit civic engagement company called New Union to create a 'tactical urbanism toolkit.' Its aim is to bridge the gaps between governments and their citizens, starting conversations, and ultimately teaching communities that they can and should enact change within their communities – often for little or no cost.
We’re ending our leadership series by taking inspiration from the 1989 film ‘Field of Dreams’ and focusing on your role as a leader in creating a place where people love to work. If you’ve got a vision for what you want your business to look and feel like, you play a significant part in helping to create the environment so that people can deliver that vision and more.
Britain’s small businesses achieved three years of innovation in just three months as they battled to keep trading during the coronavirus lockdown. While such efforts to keep revenues flowing have been successful for some owners, concerns about employment prospects and future investment remain for many as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
We live in changing times. Rapidly changing times. Times always change and move forward but what has been remarkable recently has been the fact that the speed of change continues to increase year on year. It is no surprise, therefore, that many founders, both first time entrepreneurs and serial entrepreneurs, often ask themselves, and me, ‘where do I go from here?’
The world is changing and what we witnessed in the last months all over the world is the creation of a stronger sense of community: people supporting each other and companies getting together to fight the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The old world is over, as its rules. The new world is going to be different, with new rules.
Let’s not beat about the bush: social media has tonnes of benefits. It empowers people to stay connected across huge distances, it has kept people motivated during crises such as the coronavirus pandemic (you thought you could read a blog without that being mentioned?), it empowers quick and simple customer service, and for businesses, it’s a free way to demonstrate your brand values.
Driving disruption, embracing change and new ideas and generally just jostling for place at the bleeding edge of innovation has always been part and parcel for any company in the tech industry, particularly at the startup stage. But how do tech companies ensure they’re always one step ahead, and how do they create agility and disruptive thinking at the strategic leadership level?
2019 was a record breaking year for VC investment in UK startups ($13.2bn, an increase of 44% compared to the previous year) and the amount of VC dry powder in Europe is higher than ever before(more last year’s raises here). Success stories of companies raising millions without a formal pitch deck (Hopin, an online events platform) or still in beta and during lockdown (Clubhouse, a voice-based social media app) do sound inspiring.
With the IMF warning that the ‘Great Lockdown’ global recession will be the worst since the Great Depression, organisations are being forced to reset and reinvent faster than ever before. The race is on for entrepreneurs and business owners to craft new plans, develop new products and deliver new solutions in order to survive.
Quickly responding to the impact COVID-19 and lockdowns are having on tech startups, Capital Enterprise has collaborated with OneTech and Mindful Team, with support from J.P. Morgan, to launch the Startup Resilience programme. Over six months, startup founders will be provided everything from webinars and community slack channels, to mastermind sessions and accountability groups, to be helped through this period of uncertainty.
With almost 11 weeks of lockdown in the UK, we have only just got to grips with our new working conditions. Now, with lockdown restrictions slowly beginning to ease, offices are planning for reopening. A new ‘blended’ model of working will become the norm, with some employees always working from home, in the office or a combination of both.
Wearables allow users to monitor their health, receive alerts for potential health issues, and preemptively contact a doctor. With many people housebound during COVID-19, wearables help people track daily exercise habits and maintain a healthy lifestyle while many gyms remain closed. Here, Emily Clark, Content Developer for The Manifest looks at the market for healthcare wearables and discusses how people use wearables for healthcare and the limitations of these wearable devices.
The world is now facing a public health crisis known as Covid-19 and a financial crisis. The crisis on our hands manifests differently for individuals and companies. The uncertainty over our ability to revert to our normal state creates pressures on mental health, relationships, and business performance.
Europe’s AI ecosystem is consistent with many of the continent’s other expanding startups, with the UK emerging as the most dynamic country for AI: that’s according to new research from PNY Europe in collaboration with 33INSIGHTS. The UK leads the pack with 529 incorporated companies (27%), followed by France with 424 (21%) and Germany with 182 (9%).
When you are trying to navigate the management of a business in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s all too easy to neglect the maintenance of your company culture. Yes, it’s true that other priorities might seem more pressing right now; after all, your clients and suppliers won’t be sending you impatient emails demanding to know how you plan to safeguard your internal team relationships.
In the midst of a global pandemic our leaders are necessarily focused on the immediate. Survival - in life and in work. Entrepreneurs and executives alike are shoring up business, optimising current operations and cashflow; the need to stay afloat taking precedence over the long view. But with the passing of this crisis, may there come a sustained shift in values?
For all businesses operating in the digital arena, there has long been an advantage to be gleaned from better understanding how your customers behave online. Can you identify which website visitors are on the verge of clicking ‘buy’? Can you spot a disgruntled customer desperately searching around an online FAQ for the product support they require? Is it possible to determine whether a prospective subscriber is ready to commit, or whether they need further incentives to push them over the line?
As companies across the globe are closing their physical offices, the business world has transformed dramatically within just a matter of months. More emphasis is placed on business being conducted online. For example, retailers, IT service providers and even personal trainers are utilising their online platforms and video chat software to remain engaged with their customers.
When starting a business it’s easy to get consumed by P&L and that all-important bottom line (understandably so), but as Sezer Sherif, Founder and CEO of brokerage and investment advisory firm Vector Capital Group explains, that doesn’t mean you can’t build a business with a strong code of ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Echo is an online NHS pharmacy which allows patients to order prescriptions directly to their door - and during COVID this has been invaluable for people who are self-isolating and can't risk a trip to bricks-and-mortar pharmacies for the sake of their health. Ana Maria Ciubotaru, Operations Manager at Echo spoke to Startups Magazine about how the team have had to work extraordinarily hard, shifting dispensing and dispatching operations to 24 hours a day, six days a week.
If I was to tell you that water is the most used material in the world, I doubt you’d be surprised. However, if I asked you what material comes second in that list you may be left scratching your head. Plastic? Copper? Carbon Fibre? Good guesses all. However, you’d be wrong – it’s actually concrete.
The founders of Bulb, a green gas and electricity supplier, met five years ago when they were both working in the energy industry and disillusioned with the way the industry treats its customers and how much businesses were charging for renewable energy. Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka are aiming to make the industry better with Bulb by making energy simpler, cheaper and greener.
You know you need cloud skills within your startup, you have prepared the job spec for the right person (see our Cloud Skills Startip for details), and now you want to make sure that the world knows you are looking for this person and that your startup is the best place to work on earth. And preferably, you don’t want to spend a penny finding that person, because your startup is a lean startup. So how do you do this?
We’ve all seen ultrasound images, undoubtedly so if you’re a parent. And while the technology is used for a multitude of other healthcare-related reasons, the procedure has traditionally been the same, involving the patient having to pay a visit to a hospital. However, this could be about to change with the growth of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). Here, Startups Magazine speaks to Nevada Sanchez, Co-Founder of Butterfly Network, a company pioneering such technology.
The world is embarking on a period of great technological innovation. This means that innovators themselves need a place where they can grow their ideas. Technology startups are fast becoming a growth area for semiconductor manufacturers, as they are often at the coal face of design innovation, pioneering the journey towards the fourth industrial revolution.
Many startups know what building a culture means in their startup, and most founders will - smartly - work to prioritise that closely to ensure their company culture is warm, positive, and creative. But few know what building a digital culture means. Without a digital culture, your business will struggle to scale, and will struggle to expand internationally. It’s often ignored and that means you can make it a real positive difference between you and your competitors.
ÜberEnergy develops artificial intelligence algorithms that predict energy requirements for residential and commercial buildings. The artificial intelligence engine uses information such as weather patterns and forecasts, current indoor and outside temperature, human building occupancy, electrical usage patterns, along with a myriad of other data points collected by the system to produce predictions of future energy consumption requirements.
The government’s £500m Future Fund is now open for applications with innovative and high growth British businesses able to secure investment to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. UK-based startups can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5m, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.
Space Forge, the organisation leading the space manufacturing revolution, has secured a £600k of funding package from the Development Bank of Wales, alongside Bristol Private Equity Club and Innovate UK. This funding will help the company continue developing their reusable manufacturing satellite, ramp up their capability in Newport, Wales and Bristol and build upon UK and European partnership schemes.
One of the significant demands resulting from the Coronavirus crisis of 2020 has been the need for new and novel ways for voluntary support to be facilitatedfascilitated. The ability for assistance to reach the most vulnerable or living in isolation or quarantine in safe ways is vital to saving lives and mitigating the spread of the pandemic.
Having worked as a solution architect and designed multiple SaaS applications over the years, I could see most startups struggling to choose the right SaaS architecture for their product offering. In this article, I’ve compiled all my learnings into a cheat sheet to help startup founders, who’re looking to build SaaS applications, make a pragmatic decision backed by proven facts and data.
One of the biggest trends right now is IoT, especially Industrial IoT (IIoT) and the security around data. Having taken off massively in the past few years, in the tech startup industry if you were going to create a business, these areas would be two of hottest in the current climate. Innovative startups or scaleups with cutting edge IoT hardware technologies capable of securely retrofitting industrial facilities for predictive maintenance, are extremely sought after and very desirable to investors and businesses. Also we have seen a rise in the number of startups working within data security at sensor level to avoid data breaches.
SharkNinja although known for producing vacuums, have been doing some very different work during the COVID-19 crisis, as they had some more time on their hands, and wanted to help. We spoke to Mohammad Hatia, SharkNinja Prototype Lead Workshop Manager and asked him a few questions as to what SharkNinja have been up to.
As investors look beyond the pandemic, Clim8 Invest - the app that offers everyone the opportunity to have a positive impact on climate change through sustainable investment - has reached £1.35m in pre-launch crowdfunding from 1,200 investors. This exceeds its crowdfunding target by more than 300% and makes it one of 2020’s most successful raises on the Crowdcube platform.
After weeks of lockdown, start-ups across the UK are beginning to ask: 'What next?' As many prepare to return to workplaces and look to bring back employees back to work this is likely to be one of many questions they have. Here, in a special feature, Harper James Solicitors’ provide the answers to nine problems many start-ups may be facing as they look to the future.
The model and motivations are in alignment and all bodes well for the energy company’s collaboration with a startup. Excitement is high, as are expectations. There is one thing left to attend to though: the environment you create. Will it be a space where collaboration can thrive? Or where it will wither on the vine?
Being a business owner is now more stressful than ever, with the outbreak of COVID-19 seeing companies both big and small shaken and left to find new ways of working. For small businesses and new business owners especially, this is a particularly daunting time with cash flow and employment being some of the biggest worries to face over the coming months.
This Startip provides a concise list of skills needed to migrate to the cloud or from one cloud provider to the next, so that you can fill the gaps in your team’s expertise. Startups have to have a cloud migration strategy or know how to build cloud-native products, and therefore need the skills to do so.
More than six weeks after the Government ordered people to work from home many businesses have gone under while others remain fighting for survival. Yet thousands are also finding a way to get through - often by diversifying the way they work and seeking out new opportunities. In this special report by Harper James Solicitors - who support more than 1,000 firms from start up to scale up five firms share the story of their life in lockdown.
Grenade is one of the UK’s leading healthy snacking FMCG brands, offering high protein and low sugar nutrition products. Officially launched in 2010, Grenade successfully secured a prominent position in the Sunday Times’ Fast Track Top 100 for four consecutive years, with its products now sold by leading retailers in over 80 countries worldwide. Here we talk through defining moments in developing Grenade, whilst providing top tips for female entrepreneurs inspired to launch and grow their own business.
The Institute of Economic Development (IED) has today launched the Commission for Economic Renewal, which will bring together some of the UK’s foremost economic development practitioners and academics to formulate the policies and interventions it believes will be needed to rebuild economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) should check the security and data protection of the technology they are using during COVID-19 lockdown, urges the MCA. Although there has been a rapid adoption of technology by firms, some have not been able to assess security quickly enough, risking exposure of confidential data and client information. The MCA has created a free checklist for SMEs to ensure that they ask the right questions about technology and how staff could use it before it is purchased.
Youth Business International (YBI) has been awarded a $5m grant by Google.org to support over 200,000 underserved micro, small and medium businesses in 32 countries to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are particularly vulnerable to economic downturn.
Founding Lanistar was the start of a revolution. The personal finance world has been broken for far too long – to banks, customers are simply numbers on a spreadsheet, instead of real people with feelings and desires. I knew that there must be a better way to manage money, so I started Lanistar not just to challenge the current financial system, but to completely take it over.
Science, technology, engineering and mathematical modelling save lives – we see that more than ever in this C-19 crisis. We are relying on our scientists, technologists and engineers to come up with solutions, fast, to improve health and survival rates, to support businesses, organisations and the economy, to enable virtual social connection. They are essential contributors, key workers and equal among them are many, many women.
Amid the current pandemic, the economy is taking a brutal hit, and as fledgling businesses, startups have a particularly fierce challenge to keep afloat. To try and help companies that aren’t eligible for existing relief schemes during this time, such as the CBILS loan, the government has announced a £1.25bn fund to try and help these companies - including startups - survive.
For the majority, the word entrepreneur conjures an image of a male in his twenties or early thirties. It’s unlikely the picture of someone in retirement age would come to mind and even less likely a woman in her 60s. However, a new wave of silver start-ups is emerging and with good reason! One such disruptor is Sheila Holt. Having traded on a smaller scale for a few years, Sheila embraced her entrepreneurial spirit and began scaling her finance business, Sapphire Lending Ltd, at the age of 60.
After graduating from university in 2016, I found myself working for one of the biggest tech companies in the world, Amazon. Although ironically, I was working as far away from tech in operations, managing up to a hundred warehouse staff at a time. I watched the guys working in tech and the entrepreneurs starting new ventures with envy thinking there was no way I’d be able to segway my career in that direction now that I had started climbing the corporate ladder.
It’s always been clear to me that I’m not a math person. Or at least that’s the story I’m used to telling myself. Soon after graduating from Political Science and International Relations, I started working for Panama's foreign service in Geneva. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, representing my country on issues I cared for like gender, climate change, and mass migrations.
Balpro helps businesses balance aggressive revenue goals with employee wellbeing, creating aspirational corporate cultures that are safe to log off from. A typical client would be a company that’s flown through hyper-growth but forgotten to nurture their staff along the way, meaning that they’re suffering from a decline in productivity and have started haemorrhaging staff. Balpro helps their leadership get their mojo back, reignite employee engagement, help employees reconnect to the corporate vision and create a more safe, supportive and sustainable environment. Here we interview Founder Amber Coster.
In 2020, companies throughout the world are investing significantly in colleague training. 94 per cent of British businesses’ suggesting, ‘that even in the current economic climate, learning and development is at the heart of their strategy’. The report by UK L&D noted how none of the companies who are spending more than the national average of £300 on training for each employee have a retention rate of less than half a year. Clearly, staff morale and job satisfaction are enhanced by sufficient training.
Inspiration can be found in the most unusual of places, although clinging to a yacht’s mast in the middle of a Caribbean storm might not be an obvious source of entrepreneurial zeal. However, this was the case for Jelte Liebrand, Founder of marine navigation platform Savvy Navvy, who has also recently been named as the Seedrs Entrepreneur of the Year. We caught up with him to find out more.
As the global retail industry continues to feel the full impact of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Swiss retail technology company meepl - the easy-to-use and time-saving online shopping companion for clothing - has announced it will offer complimentary access to their smartphone-enabled, 3D body scanning technology for vulnerable SMEs working within the fashion industry.
With many office-based businesses still required to work from home, it can be stressful trying to manage your company and protect your employees, customers, and interests. Capital on Tap's CEO, David Luck shares his 'business health MOT' checklist, to ensure you’ve got the best plan in place for your business’ longevity.
During times of great uncertainty for businesses large and small, global affiliate network Awin is giving startups and SMEs a helping hand, by waiving the monthly fee for the first three months for companies launching an affiliate programme using its Awin Access self-managed solution. This is in addition to zero setup fees.
When Google for Startups announced its accelerator on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in November, it did not foresee how dramatically day-to-day life would soon change. The COVID-19 pandemic and its widespread health, social and economic consequences have made the goal of the program - to help founders build technology to solve serious issues facing our world - even more pressing.
For the UK, innovation has become a top priority. Indeed, adapting to the coronavirus economy is the most important objective for most businesses and those that innovate successfully will thrive. However, R&D has become a much more public discussion over the past few weeks. In the recent Budget, the Government put significant emphasis on increasing R&D activity. It recognises that the UK could be more of a global innovation hub.
Every business was once a single person with an idea. Some companies stay that way of course, but most founders will inevitably reach a point where they need help from others. If not before, then at the time when they’ve finished building a product, found a foothold in the market, and their natural next step is focusing on growth.
UK startup OpenSpace, whose digital twin platform measures real-time passenger movement, have discovered a new use for their technology in the fight against coronavirus. The pioneering system currently deployed at St Pancras station in London, can monitor social distancing through detecting and visualising the distance between passengers in real-time. It can also compare historical weekly and daily information for trend analysis.
As parent to a young child growing up in London, entrepreneur Chris Turner wanted a greater understanding of the air quality in the capital and how it impacts on peoples’ lives and that of his family. However, when he failed to find the air pollution monitor that he was looking for, he decided to set up his own company, BREATHE Tech, and create his own. Startups Magazine caught up with him to find out more.
Half of women have experienced discrimination while working at a tech firm, new research from Studio Graphene has revealed. The London-based digital agency commissioned a survey of 500 full-time workers in the UK tech industry. It found that 49% of women have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace, while 20% have resigned from a role in the past because of discrimination or harassment.
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed” - Steve Jobs. You know you have an incredible idea with which you could disrupt the market. But to do that, you need first to transform it into a software product. And you're possibly wondering what the starting point is, and at what stage you need to take to the market. You're worried because you know of people who did not make an impact despite their great idea. These thoughts are but natural and every entrepreneur goes through them.
Your brand identity is how customers perceive you. A simple way to look at it, is to view your brand as a person. Someone unique, with their own beliefs, values, look and feel. Your brand identity is what sets you apart from others. So, it’s important to have this down pat. Here, Carie Barkhuizen, founder of Seymour PR, shares her top tips for building brand identity quick-smart.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 there is increased concern around next steps for businesses, particularly regarding the impact this could be having on supply chains and contractual obligations that need to be met. As the situation evolves and disruptions are becoming commonplace, there is every chance that you may need to find alternative means of carrying out your contractual obligations.
Upscaling can be a daunting task for any business, many will find it difficult to step outside their comfort zone or be reminded daily the risks with investing in new opportunities. While this approach may work in our personal lives, it can be detrimental to new business opportunities as well as the entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to upscaling your business.
Congratulations! You are officially moving from the status of startup to scaleup. It’s a big move that brings lots of opportunities, and you have managed it because you have been successful. What that success looks like will be different for different companies. For some, it’s because of sales: either a few big global sales, or in other cases, huge numbers of small scale sales. For others, it will be because you’ve landed investment. In some parts of the world, grants allow a startup to accelerate their growth and really anchor themselves in the market.
Atypical is combining the finest natural ingredients with cutting edge customisation technology to create luxury bespoke skincare. Each product is individually made and personalised to suit individual skin types, skin goals and lifestyles. Empowering people to co-create their own skincare products with the help of Atypical Cosmetic’s clever customisation algorithm, using real data to create a bespoke product that helps meet their skin goals.
The Institute of Coding (IoC), a government-supported initiative designed to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap, recently hosted its second annual conference at the IET Savoy Place in London. At this two-day event, new research from the IoC and Deloitte was shared that provides powerful insights into the factors that motivate women to study and work in the digital sector.
To remain competitive, every company across every industry is now compelled to rethink its established ways of doing business. Change is set to continue, the ride is only going to get faster and the differences more fundamental. The risks of not adapting are now outweighing the risks of staying the same.
The startup landscape is notoriously difficult to navigate. The numbers speak for themselves – 60% of startups will fail in the first three years of launching. Whether it’s because their core proposition is unworkable and fails to fulfill a market need, or the fact they simply haven’t built the right team, there are a variety of reasons that could lead to a company ultimately closing its doors.
CerbAir offers complete Anti-Drone solutions to secure sensitive sites and events against malicious drone use. With a number of detection and counter-measure systems already installed around the World, the French leader in Anti-Drone systems announced the conclusion of a 5.5 million € round of financing.
Disruptive, next-gen online booking tool partners with global TMC to unleash the benefits of best-in-class travel management for the SME market. taptrip, part of the Barclays Techstars Accelerator is currently the most disruptive name in online booking, has entered into a new partnership with the leading corporate travel and events business and pioneers of technology, the ATPI Group, which will roll out in the UK from March 2020, with Benelux, France, India and Asia set to follow later in the year.
Building a website is about more than just an online page that shows who you are in today’s society, it is part of your brand identity, and imperative to your company or business. Wix really understand that, it’s not just putting some text and images onto a page and sharing your website with people. It’s something that reflects your business which is a part of you, and that’s why it includes a number of features that help you take your website further.
Companies have been marketing their business in weird and wonderful ways for centuries, but, in 2019, what is the best way to draw in, and retain a solid customer base through strategic marketing. When you think of Nike, you think of ‘Just Do It’, when you think of McDonalds, you think of ‘I’m Loving It’.
The main challenge met by recruiters when hiring developers is to find qualified candidates for the job vacancy. Because mis-hires are increasingly costly in the tech industry, it is imperative to assess a programmer’s technical skills during the recruiting process to validate whether or not they will be a good fit for the job.
Described as the world’s most important mobility event, MOVE is just around the corner and promises even more disruptive technologies and innovation to drive much-needed change. Taking place at ExCeL on the 11-12th February, MOVE focuses on models, technology and sustainability, and also has a section dedicated to startups.
Professor Mike Trenell is Co-founder and CEO of Changing Health, a company than began as a spin-out company from Newcastle University in 2016 to empower people to live longer, healthier lives at scale, delivering personalised behaviour change programmes for Type 2 diabetes management, prevention and weight loss.
In each of our lives, some weeks are more predictable than others. Some people are a little afraid of change and facing new, unexpected challenges, whilst others face the world with a ‘can do’ approach and even relish unpredictability and the need for flexible thinking and action to jump over the hurdles put in our way. And just like the best race horses, this keeps us fit and agile.
This round-up’s inaugural theme looks at startups that help users incorporate sustainability and sustainable development into everyday living. These companies stand out for how they ask for a nearly imperceptible lifestyle change while providing impressive solutions. These are some startups we stan:
As a mentor I get involved in a huge cross section of businesses in different sectors and at different stages of their development. As a result I have been involved in many hundreds of meetings about almost every aspect of setting up and running a business, but it would be true to say that raising money is the most common conversation of all.
A survey of 200 startups and scale-ups – commissioned by Envestors in 2019 – has uncovered a number of misconceptions which are ultimately impacting the ability of companies to successfully raise funds using the crowdfunding model. Furthermore, the results show the approach - which hasn’t changed since its genesis in 2011 - is ripe for disruption.
What people require from their employers, managers, and colleagues, is different to what it was in past years. The days of having one job for life are long gone. In the highly competitive tech industry, hiring is but the first challenge - retaining and growing a sustainable team for the future is the holy ground.
As highlighted by last Friday’s global Climate Strike, the world is increasingly aware that we stand on the edge of an imminent climate and ecological crisis. It was heartening to see that, around the world, so many people took to the streets to call on government and business to make serious changes.
For the supremely talented entrepreneurs and startups doing great work around the world, marketing and PR are often low on their list of priorities. After all, there’s the running of the business to get on with, the development of amazing technology and launching of innovative projects, investment to secure, and people to hire.
A company formed a decade ago in 2009, Deciwatt is older than you’d imagine most startups to be. Created off the back of a brief from Solaraid with therefore, a London-based product design consultancy, Deciwatt’s first product GravityLight was an answer to this problem: develop an extremely low-cost solar light for $5, a sustainable alternative to the dangerous and expensive kerosene lamp depended on by millions as a source of light.
When Mikela Druckman, Marco Paladini, and Nikola Sivacki founded Greyparrot in January 2019, the three founders set out to utilise their computer vision and Augmented Reality (AR) experience in the B2C sector and translate it into the B2B industry with the mission of creating a positive social impact.
The Victoria Embankment in central London might not be the obvious place to find out more about Scotland’s vibrant startup scene. However, representatives from the country’s board of trade, business incubators, educators, R&D partnerships and innovation centres headed south for London Tech Week, and Scotland House, where they spent the evening showcasing the business opportunities north of the border, creativity, the potential of data science and the country’s talent.
As a child growing up in Western Australia, Neil Daly was fully aware of the dangers associated with exposure to the sun, and the importance of covering up when playing outside. We have all of course had the experience of being sun burnt at some point in our lives and as such, it’s not surprising that skin cancer is actually the most common form of the disease in the world.
Having written your business plan, identified your existing and potential market and your target clients, and decided how best to market and sell your product, you should now of course actually be making sales. But how open has you mind been whilst undergoing this process, and how limited are your ambitions? Many smaller companies, whether startups or more mature, have a tendency to only look at selling to the home market of the UK rather than broadening their horizons and selling internationally.
When one thinks of countries with a focus on innovation, the true global leaders - USA, the U.K., Canada and Israel – traditionally lead the way based on the strength of their startup ecosystems. Not surprisingly, the next country to gain a foothold is Australia followed by no fewer than a dozen of the top industrialised nations in Western Europe.
The Internet of Things is an exciting and expanding market. It’s one that many large organisations are already actively involved in, with competition mounting rapidly as a result; but it’s also a market ripe for innovation, with countless unexplored opportunities – across all industries – almost too compelling for an ambitious entrepreneur to ignore.
Subcon is introducing the Launchpad & Launchpad Awards to this year’s event. The Launchpad aims to propel startups and entrepreneurs by giving them a platform to share their innovations with thousands of engineering and manufacturing professionals with the power to influence and guide them to future success.
The audience at the Dublin Tech Show 2019 fell silent and slipped into awe as it listened to the man who broke into Mir using a Swiss Army Knife, flew into Earth orbit three times, was Commander of the International Space Station (ISS), has spent 166 days in space and was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space: NASA Colonel, Chris Hadfield.
On the ScaleX stage at Dublin Tech Summit 2019, April 10th, a panel comprised of: Andrew Lindsay VP Corporate Development and Business Development at Hubspot; Alan Costello Venture Investor Leader at NDRC; Niall McEvoy Manager of High Potential Startups at Enterprise Ireland; and moderated by Graham Hussey co-founder of The Startup Van, discussed how to position your team and brand for international scaling.
In the first of this series of articles we looked at the fact that there was actually quite a lot of help available to you when you set up your own business, and specifically we started to look at entrepreneur accelerators and the roles that Mentors play within that overall service. This time I wanted to take that further and start to explore the actual role a Mentor plays, how best to choose one, and then how best to maximise that relationship.
Like many startups, Carv was born out of an education project, namely a PhD thesis. CEO and founder Jamie Grant completed a Master of Physics at University of Oxford before undertaking a PhD in Financial Economics at Imperial College London. He then applied both these disciplines to his passion for skiing.