Rare Founders Demo Day a huge success

On the 22nd April, Rare Founders brought together a staggering number of investors and founders under one roof. This created a dynamic environment brimming with opportunity for the founders that had the opportunity to pitch their innovations.

With over 100 startups in attendance, ranging from pre-seed to Series A, they each sought funding and connections, and truly showed how filled with innovation and fresh ideas the UK startup scene is.

Rare Founders initiated this platform where business leaders could pitch their company in a one-minute pitch, followed by a three-minute Q&A. What truly distinguished the event was its origin: it was crafted by founders, for founders. This perspective ensured an authentic and practical approach, tailored to the real needs and aspirations of early-stage entrepreneurs.

Five stages pulsated with captivating content throughout the day. Attendees gained invaluable insights from esteemed investor panels, were enthralled by dynamic pitches from the future stars of the startup world, and participated in targeted founder sessions designed to empower their entrepreneurial journeys.

This event represented a unique opportunity for the investment community. Participants networked with co-investors, peers, and fellow Limited Partners (LPs), all while gaining exclusive access to a curated selection of high-potential startups.

Before the event, Vasily Alekseenko, Founder of Rare Founders and host of The London Startup Scene, stated: "This is more than just a demo day; it's a founder-focused revolution.

“We're breaking the mould of traditional, limited-access demo days by creating a dynamic, inclusive platform that amplifies the voices of emerging entrepreneurs."

Predictions for 2024 UK Investment Landscape

The first session on the Investor stage saw Oliver Hammond from Fuel Ventures, Theo Xydas from FGF, and Molly Woodburn from SeedLegals, moderated by Jonny Seaman, discussing their predictions for he 2024 UK investment landscape.

Covering pre-seed and seed startups, Hammond, while stressing that the investment landscape has quite obviously slowed down since the boom in 2020-2021, remains healthy. The rates of investment that we are currently seeing are likely to remain, which is still at a healty rate. When looking back on the last couple of years, he claimed that level of investment was unsustainable, and current levels will stay.

Though, as investment during this boom enabled most companies to gain funding, the bar for investment is now higher. Though optimism, which is the driving force in the market, remains high.

The investment landscape in the UK is levelling out compared to 18 months ago, but investors and startups alike remain optimistic for the future of funding.

Pitching stages

Across the day, startups from various sectors took part in pitching on the various stages. The pitches followed a one minute pitch with a 3 minute Q&A format.

The first pitching stage Deputy Editor Anna Wood watched was the EdTech stage saw many startups within that industry pitch for funding and customers. The stage hosted the following startups:

  • Nous AI – Nous finds, organises, and helps people discover insights from world-class experts
  • Prismatext – Learn a foreign language while reading a book
  • CocoRio – a Nanny marketplace for creatives
  • STEM@Home – customised STEM kits for home learning, that line up with the curriculum
  • How to Change The World – education at scale
  • Web3sy – courses and bootcamps on advanced tech skills for the next generation of specialists in these fields
  • Stix Mindfulness – screen-free mindfulness for children
  • Vision Marker – A marking co-pilot for teachers and exam professionals

The following pitching stage hosted startups within the AI and Machine Learning field. These startups were all innovating in different sectors, with completely different solutions. The startups on this stage were as follows:

  • OW Smell – digital smell technology startup
  • Ditch Carbon – AI-powered data and analytics for sustainable procurement
  • EtiqAI – a tool to test and identify AI risks and errors
  • Top Marks AI – a tool which automates marking for teachers
  • BizPlan.AI – Generates business documents, like business plans and grant funding applications
  • FAIR – Football AI Research to help predictions for football clubs, which can also help with recruitment of players
  • MockAI – an animation co-pilot for AR/VR, films, and games
  • AI.Kat – an AI generator that makes on brand content for brands
  • AI Geometric – immersive AI interview training for jobs
  • Revcat – an AI-driven CRO co-pilot

There were plenty more pitching stages covering a wide range of topics, from blockchain to sustainability to film and entertainment.

Having the chance to witness such a spectacular event filled with excitement and innovation was a site to see, and hopefully this is first of many Rare Founders Demo Days.