Lessons from the nation’s top tech startups

29 . 09 . 17

This week we sponsored the Elevator Pitch Live 2017, an event held by UKTN that discovers the nation’s top tech startups.

15 of the country’s leading startups across FinTech, PropTech, AdTech/MarTech, HealthTech and CyberSecurity went head-to-head in front of a panel of judges for their chance to win the prestigious competition, an accolade that could lift their startup to new heights.

Each startup had just 3 minutes to present their elevator pitch to a panel of leading investors, followed by a Q&A grilling. Every one of these businesses is using technology to inspire change. These businesses are all unique, built by people who believe they can and will make a difference – our kind of people.

Here’s what we learnt….

Community dominates adtech/martech

In the adtech/martech category a key theme was community-building, with businesses striving to make this crazy big world we live in a little smaller, and of course, monetising it as we go.

Take Monterosa for example, who build digital experiences that create a closer connection with fans and so power interaction for the masses. They created the Love Island app and a ‘happybot’ on Facebook for BBC Earth, turning audience excitement into revenue.

Vidsy, on the other hand, is building a better business community, allowing brands to link up with creators to produce original mobile video ads at scale, overcoming the challenge faced by brands in need of more and more content.

An interesting end note was provided by Paul Bojarski, CEO of Sceenic, a startup that transforms TV watching into an interactive watch-together event, who responded to a question on the future of TV by saying: “We have to look at the past to understand what the future will hold.”

Putting our health in our hands

The healthcare industry has had a complicated relationship with technology. Generally speaking, adoption of technology has been slow due to the complexity of the NHS ecosystem. Now, the system is under massive strain, and regardless of whether the industry is ready for digital disruption or not, service users are.

The startups in this category are using technology to give people more control over their own health and care services. Take Cera, for example, a technology-enabled homecare provider on a mission to make home care more transparent, reliable and responsive.

Then there’s the more preventative approach to health care from Lysa and Thriva. Lysa is the first cross-platform AI-powered nutrition assistant and Thriva is a subscription-based preventative health care service that gives people control of their own health.

An incredibly strong category, all with ambitions to transform an industry that emotionally and physically impacts everyone. We’re just glad we’re sponsors and not the judges.

Disruption is only just getting started

The property and financial industries have made progress with the likes of Purplebricks, previous Elevator Pitch Live winner; Trussle; and our clients When You Move and Homelyfe pushing these antiquated industries to modernize. But there’s still a long way to go, and the startups in the Proptech category this year show how big this opportunity is.

Take the start-up Doordeck, which is on a mission to replace keycards, fobs and access passes in the workplace; an issue that everyone in the room related to. And SPCE, which allows the higher education community to search and pay for accommodation, like Airbnb for students. These startups are challenging the way these notoriously change-averse industries do things through an intense knowledge of their markets and a simple product.

Your proposition turns pitch into profit

As sponsors, we, of course, are going to remain impartial, but we’d be willing to put money on the fact that this year’s winners will be those that have a crystal clear proposition, who know exactly what they stand for, and what makes them stand out. The startups only had 3 minutes to convince a panel of judges, and so needed to get their key messages across in seconds. The startups that achieved this instantly became front-runners.

Good luck to all the innovative, game-changing finalists competing this year. If you want to read the full highlights, head to UKTN’s blog here.