101 British tech start-up ideas that caught our eye
They say the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Find out more about the latest up and coming British tech ideas and get inspired…
Digital marketing & intelligence
A truly unique concept, Chargifi hopes to solve the near universal problem of mobile phones dying with its global wireless charging network. Founded by Dan Bladen and Charlie Cannell, users can access mobile power using the free app in any public location with a ‘Chargifi Spot’ – such as a bar, stadium or hotel. The service, which closed a $2.7m Series A last year – also benefits venues by driving footfall and claims to increase dwell time by up to 40%.
Connecting businesses with their target demographic, FanFinders allows consumers to benefit from special discount offers in exchange for connecting them with their favourite brands via ‘clubs’. Their first club, YourBabyClub, is claimed to be the “fastest growing community for new mums in the UK” with around 40,000 mums a month signing up.
Attempting to disrupt older ‘media-type’ agencies, digital natives Aaron Dicks and Tom Craig founded Impression Digital. A full-service digital marketing agency, the Nottingham-based startup covers everything from SEO to pay-per click advertising. With Dicks and Craig still only both in their 20’s, we get the impression we’ll be hearing a lot more from them in the future.
A portmanteau of screen and reach, Robert Rawlinson’s Screach enables venues to transform their underused screens into a powerful marketing tool through the creation of a bespoke TV channel advertising its in-house promotions and events. Targeting pubs – of which there are an estimated 150,000 with under-utilised TVs – Screach could be on the verge of a significant market. To date, the company has raised £3.7m and just about to embark on a crowdfunding campaign. Read more about Screach here.
Believing that most of the media monitoring services set up in the 1990’s “failed to move with the times”, David Benigson, Wesley Hall, and Dr Miguel Martinez established Signal. A brand monitoring and market intelligence start-up, Signal collects three and a half million articles every day to give users a snapshot of all the most relevant stories, events, influencers and trends. Having raised a £1.2m seed round from investors in September 2014, all the signals are there that this Shoreditch based start-up is on the road to success. Read more about signal here.
“Utilising the real estate of the locked screen of smartphones”, Sliide is a mobile app that delivers curated content and weekly prizes direct to your phone’s lock screen. Founded by Corbyn Munnik, Frankie Kearney and Paul Johnston, Sliide raised £325,000 worth of seed round investment after Kearney and Munnik were granted a place on the Sirius Programme; UKTI’s graduate entrepreneurs programme.
Looking to get the elderly online, Breezie provides user-friendly, personalised tablets to some of the 5.7 million digitally isolated UK adults who’ve never used the internet. Believing bigger companies like Apple and Microsoft are too focused on the general population, Jeh Kazim believes he’s found a niche with the silver market. And it looks like he’s right with Breezie raising over £600,000 in just six weeks.
By the time they were revising for their GCSEs, Simon Hay and Joe Mathewson say most of their year group were using the platform they’d built to store and share revision notes. Just a few years on and their intranet and virtual learning environment Firefly is available nationwide, and can be used by teachers, pupils and parents, to see upcoming lessons, view and submit homework and school announcements.
Instead of the simplistic and workaday content offered by most educational games, Kuato Studios combines high production values and “pioneering learning methods” in an attempt to engage an audience raised on frenetic video games. The company offers an alternative to test-based learning, claiming to use game mechanics to target specific skills including critical thinking, collaborative learning and problem solving. Read more about Kuato Studios here.
I Can Make
Co-founded by the former chief technology officer of Moshi Monsters, I Can Make strives to get the 3D printer ‘out of the cupboard and into the classroom’. With funding from Bethnal Green Ventures, the Nominet Trust and Wayra, they’re certainly in good company.
A “Match.com for in-person tutoring”, LearnerLane matches students with the best suited personal tutor in their area. Founded by the trio of Richard Oki, Seun Debiyi and Tom Zabek, the Sheffield-based start-up was the recipient of the prestigious Duke of York’s iDEA award – proving they could probably teach us a thing or two!
Founded by husband and wife team Stephen and Ollie Gardener, welsh start-up Noddlepod is an online learning tool which helps groups of learners share relevant content using a safe and private online system. Having focused on learning and development in their previous careers, the couple hope to make education more engaging in the age of information overload.
Aiming to take the ‘search’ out of ‘research’, RefME is one of those ideas you wish was around during your University days. Founded by Tom Hatton, the free to use service crowdsources information to make referencing your work in an easy automated, quick and easy.
Noticing the potential for technology and the internet to transform the education sector for the better, social gaming entrepreneur Masayuki Watanabe started Quipper: a mobile e-learning platform allowing teachers to create and share lessons with their students online. The London-based service has secured $10m since launch to fulfill its mission of making the “world a smarter, better-connected place”. Read more about Quipper here.
Founded by former journalist Victoria Bond, School Guide prides itself on being the ‘one stop shop’ for school data. Taking information from over 30,000 UK schools and presenting it online, School Guide allows parents to cut through curriculum jargon and find the best place to educate their child. Seed-funded in its first year of business (2013) by owner of Natter.com, Neil Stanley, School Guide has since raised £150,000 in SEIS funding.
Former investment bankers Harry Jawanda and Andrew West turned their hands to edtech to bridge what they saw as a growing gap between educators and students in the use of different communication channels. Together they launched WAMBIZ, a platform that creates social networks enabling private peer-to-peer communication such as the sharing of course work and admin information. Based out of Innovation Birmingham, the start-up has raised $2.6m in funding to date. Read more about WAMBIZ here.
Entertainment & leisure
Not just an app to allow music fans to book tickets to see their favourite bands with no booking fee, Shoreditch-based DICE employs an expert editorial team that hand picks each and every gig. Additionally, the ‘Waiting List’ feature enables users to request tickets to sold out shows and be first in line for resale if fans can no longer attend a gig. Shortlisted for App Business of the Year at the Startups Awards 2015, DICE has raised £2.5m in seed funding.
According to eet, people are far more likely to walk into restaurants and bars than book in advance. Founded by former banker Ali Meruani, eet enables London diners to “un-plan” their dining experience by informing users how busy venues are before they head out, as well as offering information on aspects such as the menu, opening hours, location, reviews and pictures. The company – which raised a £300,000 funding round – currently provides details on more than 10,000 restaurants in the capital. Read more about eet here.
Describing itself as “Tinder for food”, former financial market professionals Charles Fattouche and Mehdi Kheloufi’s app saves Londoners from choice paralysis by allowing them to swipe ‘YUM’ or ‘YUK’ on images of meals to receive tailored restaurant recommendations based on cuisine, ingredients and cooking method. The so-far entirely self-funded business is connecting hungry users to hidden gastronomic gems and helping restaurants pull in punters. Read more about FoodMood here.
After 20 years as a PR director organising and promoting thousands of events for some of music’s big names, 53-year-old Suzanne Noble’s eye for a bargain led to her starting Frugl – the affordable event finding app. With co-founder Tikiri Hulugalle, Frugl got off to a flier, quickly acquiring a German competitor soon after we profiled the Farringdon-based start-up.
After an ‘aha’ moment, entrepreneurs Sam Fresco and Syd Nadim designed SwipeStation – an in-venue device now valued at £1.25m. Allowing customers to pre-order food and drink at major events via their phone (even without internet connection), SwipeStation also gives event-goers the chance to redeem vouchers and promotions in-house.
Surprised that the hospitality industry was so slow to adapt to the demands of affluent millennials, Alex Macdonald and Zia Yusuf founded Velocity – an app that enables diners to reserve, pay and earn rewards on their phone. Founded in 2014, the company has already embarked on a campaign of acquisition, taking over a number of international rivals including UK competitor Uncover. Read more about Velocity here.