Ones to watch out for 2021 UK Tech
By Bruntwood SciTech
From tech startups and digital pioneers, to international life science companies uncovering world-leading discoveries, some of the UK’s most innovative people and businesses can be found across the Bruntwood SciTech network.
Across Manchester, Cheshire, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham, some of the UK’s most economically thriving regions and recognised innovation hotspots, the Bruntwood SciTech network is home to 8 specialist science and tech campuses, located in the heart of innovation districts. These campuses are home to a community of over 500 science and tech businesses and a diverse range of partners who are all helping power the UK’s booming science and tech sector by shaping our healthcare, wellbeing, environment, energy, cities and professional services.
So who are some of the companies to watch out for in 2021?
Manchester has long been known as a hotspot for pioneering tech, world-changing discoveries and creative people, so it is no surprise that the city is the top fastest growing and economically productive city in the UK.
Amongst the 7,500+ creative, digital and tech companies that work in the city is tootoot - an award-winning pupil voice and safeguarding app located at Manchester's newest city cente neighbourhood, Circle Square. After experiencing bullying himself, co-founder and CEO Michael Brennan enlisted Kieran Innes, co-founder and CTO, to develop the world's first reporting app for children and young people in schools.
Since locating to the Tech Incubator at Circle Square, tootoot has now supported over 600,000 children and young people globally to report over 60,000 wellbeing and safeguarding concerns, directly to their place of learning.
Michael Brennan said: “We started tootoot with a simple mission. If we can help one child to report a concern, then we have done our job. Five years later we are now trusted by schools globally and have extended our offering to support sports clubs and National Governing Bodies, including the Scottish FA, the Junior Premier League, StreetGames and more.’’
tootoot’s latest move has been the introduction of a new workplace wellbeing platform called Stribe, which already has customers across a number of sectors including Legal, Education, Sport, Technology and Public Sector.
Another forward thinking startup on an important mission is Hallidays Hydropower who are expanding hydroelectric technology across the globe. By revolutionising the 300 year old hydropower industry, its resulting hydropower supplies clean, affordable and efficient energy via innovative turbine technology that works in equilibrium with the environment and aquatic ecosystem.
This hydropower works at 50-70% annual efficiency, lapping UK solar power (which has an 8% annual efficiency) and wind power (which has a 21% annual efficiency) to deliver clean, green energy.
The future is green and Hallidays Hydropower is certainly behind the wheel of this revolution!
Named in 2021 as one of the UK’s strongest tech hubs with an economy worth £64.6 billion, Leeds’ most disruptive tech startups and scaleups can be found in the city’s dedicated tech hub at Platform.
Perform Partners is one of 80 companies located at Platform - a business and technical change delivery consultancy that is currently leading one of the largest cloud migration programmes in Europe, despite only forming in 2018.
Perform Partners works with companies to understand what they want and why they need it, sending in the right people to make it happen. In doing so, the team are now an official supplier to the UK HM Government through their G-Cloud, Digital Outcomes and Specialist frameworks and are currently partnering with Leeds Beckett University to support their MBA Business Programme. This year, Perform Partners will sign a partnership agreement that will see its consultancy service championed across several organisations in Yorkshire.
Other Things agency
Tapping into Leeds’ growing reputation as the UK’s gaming hub (which already contributes over £11m GVA to the economy), Other Things agency is another Platform-based startup that is providing an alternative and often ‘bonkers’ service to gaming businesses all across the UK.
Matt Hitchcock, Managing Director at Other Things agency said: “ Other Things is a creative agency that specialises in producing disruptive advertising and marketing solutions for the gaming and entertainment industries. Sometimes this means doing things that many other agencies would consider bonkers. For example, working directly with a client’s in-house creative team to collaboratively produce work, and thereby not charging agency fees for designers. A client may have some incredible designers or developers on staff, and we’re willing to identify the skills they have in-house and utilise them where possible.’’
As the gaming sector is set to grow rapidly not just in the UK but across the globe, there’s no doubt that Other Things agency will be growing along with it.
With over 13,000 tech businesses working in the city, Birmingham was deservedly crowned as the UK’s startup capital for the 7th year running this year. With the youngest population of any major city in Europe, combined with an ecosystem of tech accelerators and co-working spaces that encourage important collaborations between start-ups and corporates, it’s no surprise that the region is a hotbed for fast growth tech and digital businesses.
Clean-tech engineering startup, Energym, is one of many startups that has benefited from the accelerator programmes and partnerships at Innovation Birmingham - the region’s leading digital tech campus. By capturing energy from workout equipment, Energym’s technology not only reduces energy costs, but keeps users’ carbon footprint down – as well as incentivising fitness. Having taken part in Bruntwood SciTech's Serendip corporate innovation programme, Energym set up a permanent business base at Innovation Birmingham and has continued to grow ever since.
Will Flint, CEO and founder of Energym said: "You’re working alongside people who are as passionate about problem solving as you are. There’s a sense of community and it provides a great pool of experience for you to tap into and to collaborate with. From this we've been fortunate to form several key partnerships to help deliver the technology and gain valuable market insight. With a fast growing team, we are now transitioning into a much larger office while we continue to scale up."
So keep your eyes peeled for this new generation of gym equipment... a treadmill minute might not feel quite as long when you're harnessing your own energy to convert it into usable, green, electrical power!
Another innovative startup taking advantage of Innovation Birmingham’s Serendip accelerator programme and its location in the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter is Kaido. Founded in 2016 by sports scientist Rich Westman, Kaido helps people take control of their physical and mental health through its digital workplace wellbeing platform, accessible to both employees and the company.
This platform has played a huge role in supporting mental health during the pandemic, with a huge 88% of challenge participants sharing that completing a Kaido Challenge helped them to cope, and 70% of businesses agreeing Kaido helped them to keep their remote teams engaged, connected and talking at a difficult time.
Having worked alongside Gymshark in the same programme, Kaido was able to access funding, its first clients, partnerships and consultancy expertise which helped the team release its first product and gain crucial feedback from paying customers.
Kaido has now supported teams and companies all over the world including HSBC, the NHS and Google and continues to scale at pace during these unprecedented times.
The launch of Glasshouse in 2020 transformed Alderley Park’s status as the UK’s largest single site life sciences campus, to a campus that also offers beautifully modern workspace for innovative high-tech companies. Alderley Park is a place where the brightest minds in science, tech and digital can come together as a community.
BiVictriX is just one innovative life science startup located at Alderley Park that is benefiting from being part of this campus community, as well as having lab and office space that is surrounded by 400 acres of surrounding countryside.
BiVictriX is reinventing the approach to cancer with pioneering new technology that aims to reduce harmful side effects of treatment whilst increasing its potency. This technology improves therapeutic index through targeting a unique cancer-specific cell surface antigen fingerprint, absent from healthy cells.
Towards the end of 2020, BiVictriX announced the completion of a £1m funding round which will allow the company to progress its lead asset called BVX001. BVX001 aims to provide a game-changing new therapy for AML, a highly aggressive form of blood cancer which is notoriously difficult to detect and treat.
The work happening at Alderley Park as we speak is nothing short of amazing, and will shape the future of our healthcare for generations to come.
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