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Former ‘Just Started’ Versarien takes gold at Start-Up Games

Startups 100’s MediaDevil awarded bronze at the international event

Forget the Olympics, Startups’ entrepreneurs stole the show at London’s Start-Up Games last week – winning gold and bronze at the global event. Gloucestershire-based advanced materials manufacturer Versarien, which was profiled in our Just Started section last year, took the gold at the historic event, while MediaDevil – which we ranked #6 in July’s Startups 100 list – was awarded the bronze medal. Another of our Startups 100, The Giving Card, which took the #17 spot in our selection of the UK’s 100 best new businesses, was highly commended by the Games’ judges. Launched by the prime minister in January, the Start-Up Games invited high-potential start-ups from around the world to take part in a business spin-off of the Olympic Games, just miles from the Olympic park in thriving Tech City. Organised by UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) Tech City Investment Organisation, in partnership with StartUp Britain and sponsored by Kraft, the Games saw 270 entrepreneurs from 120 start-ups battle it out through intensive training and competition. Bright business talent from more than a dozen countries worldwide – including Italy, Brazil, Australia, India, Russia, Spain and the US – traded ‘stakes’ in each other’s companies, with each company being valued at £1m with 100 shares at the start of the competition. Each company’s total valuation at the end of the Games and their ability to gain the support of their peers, as well as their growth potential and team strength, were used to determine the overall winners. Accepting his medal at 10 Downing Street on Friday, Versarien co-founder Neill Ricketts said: “We didn’t know what we were letting ourselves in for but it was a superb event and gave us the chance to meet and network with companies from around the world, and to have conversations with companies like Google, which we simply wouldn’t have been able to do without the Games.”   Afonso Santos, founder of silver-medal winning Tuizzi.com, which is based in Portugal, added: “This was an awesome experience and exceeded all my expectations. “I’ve come away with investors as my friends and a mentor. I’m now going to be saving up to relocate and expand my business to London as a result of the Games.”

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