Government agency awards sharing economy start-ups share of £180,000

Innovate UK has chosen businesses innovating travel, construction and DIY to work alongside industry partners to develop ideas to take to market

Six start-ups working in the sharing econmy have each been awarded £30,000 in funding as winners of government-backed Innovate UK’s IC Tomorrow competition.

Intended to recognise early-stage businesses creating solutions for travel and tourism, construction, DIY, innovation in new sectors, and data and analytics, the content has granted the six winners with the opportunity to develop prototypes of their ideas with industry partners such as innovation charity Nesta and online marketplace Airbnb.

Selected from amongst more than 200 other entrants, the six winners and partners are:

  • KnowNow Information, partnered with Sharing Economy UK – A personal data consent service helping sharing economy services improve trust for their customers, as well as enabling users better control of their data
  • Bubbl, partnered with Airbnb – A ‘geolocation’ tourism and travel mobile app called Airbubble that connects its users with local communities
  • Digital Algorithms, partnered with Nesta – A system that matches volunteers with local opportunities that suit their skill set
  • Makercase, partnered with Kingfisher – A platform that provides consumers with on-demand access to tools, equipment and educational content
  • Circology, partnered with Crossrail – A digital platform being developed to reduce waste in the construction industry by valuing materials to see if they’re able to be reused
  • Folk Labs, partnered with Peterborough City Council – A crowdsourcing data tool that visualises ‘urban systems’ to help communities understand how they can improve the sharing capabilities of their cities

Matt Sansam, programme manager for IC tomorrow, said: “We had a record number of entries for this contest and the competition has been tough at every stage, but these six start-ups have proven themselves as companies to watch as they work to address these new challenges.

“We hope these collaborations between our partners and these exciting start-ups will open up many new opportunities and will help to advance the sharing economy in new and interesting ways.”

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