The Great British Startups Cup: Knockout Stages (Groups C & D)

Our 'start-ups World Cup' knockout stage matches continue, with YPlan, Mallzee, Grabble and DesignMyNight all involved...

Referees: Oli Barrett & Holly Tucker

See the full judging criteria 


YPlan tactic to blitz the opposition from the first whistle paid rich dividends, the early lead from their strong company name doubled when their website pulled away from its marker to head in at the far post. Mallzee, as they did in the group games, grew into the match but seemed unable to turn the tide, not helped by some of referee Holly Tucker’s strict officiating.


Referee’s comments: YPlan
“YPlan is not, as it turns out, the latest diet sweeping North America. It is, in fact, a thoroughly well (to the tune of $12m) backed start-up from Britain. And an impressive one at that. This is all about seizing the moment (Y plan, when you can be spontaneous? Get it? Keep up at the back!). The app is good-looking and easy to use, making great play of being able to ‘pay in two taps’.”

It was always going to be tough for the personalised shopping app against a ‘going out app’ in the form of its life. So it was no surprise the second half started as the first had ended, with YPlan’s pitch making it 3-0. With the game beyond them, Mallzee threw caution to the wind, chasing a goal to restore some pride, and it came by virtue of a “healthy” social presence, referee Tucker belatedly evening things out with a generous award.


Referee’s comments: Mallzee
“Wasn’t overly keen on company name – although I immediately thought of shopping, the personal shopper element didn’t hit home, and it’s not a name I would immediately think of when considering something to buy. I did, however, like the social side of the app and can see it being a hit with younger women and teenagers. Social presence is very healthy and it’s clear a lot of time is spent on that side of the business.”


YPlan Mallzee
Company name 4 2
Website 5 3
Elevator pitch 4 3
Social presence 4 4

YPlan are through to the Quarter Finals.


DesignMyNight scraped through the group stage thanks to referee Oli Barrett’s call on growth potential. Their two draws and a defeat meant there had been almost nothing to choose between Frugl and Twentysomethinglondon. Yet the relief of making it out of the group appeared to play a part here. Even early exchanges gave way to DesignMyNight’s seizing the momentum with their website. Grabble’s protestation that referee Tucker had unfairly penalised them fell on deaf ears. 1-2 at the break.


Referee’s comments: Grabble
“A big fan of this company – love the concept. A straightforward business model with a lot of opportunities. Company name is very relevant to purpose and the elevator pitch is succinct in description, although could be a little punchier. Appreciate the website is having a make-over, but it still feels a little disorganised. They have a good social presence, which I’ve no doubt will grow very quickly. I see a lot of potential for growth.”

The second half followed the pattern of the first. Grabble looked equal to everything DesignMyNight had to throw at them, but fatigue and desperation crept into their game. And when DesignMyNight’s social presence rose at the far post, Grabble’s tired legs had no response. They’ll undoubtedly be back and referee Tucker’s report offered some great positives, but it wasn’t to be and referee Barrett echoed the sentiments of many in suggesting DesignMyNight is “one to watch”.


Referee’s comments: DesignMyNight
“Already partying its way across five UK locations, DesignMyNight seems like an excellent place to find suggestions for a night on the town. For the better organised, and for party planners, this is one to watch.”


Grabble DesignMyNight
Company name 4 4
Website 2 4
Elevator pitch 3 3
Social presence 3 4

DesignMyNight are through to the Quarter Finals.


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