Following an intense semi-final in Edinburgh, three UK-based technology entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch for a top prize worth over £200,000 at this year’s Startup Summit.
Chris Hughes (Present Pal by Estendio), Scott Weir (Pillow Property Partners), and Deborah Wake (My Way Digital Health) were chosen from eight semi-finalists pitching their technology enterprises from a range of industries including Health, Energy, Education and Robotics.
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Present Pal by Estendio is a software product designed to make presenting easier for those who struggle with dyslexia or anxiety. University students across the UK are already using the software for their work.
Pillow Property Partners has built an online platform that matches property owners with guests from around the world. They use technology to deal with the hands-off business aspects for their clients, such as marketing.
MyWay Digital Health is disrupting the health sector with AI-driven products. Their main product, MyDiabetesMyWay (MDMW), is an award-winning digital management system for people diagnosed with diabetes.
The overall winner of the annual Startup Summit Competition will receive business support from IBM, STV, Adopt An Intern and Johnston Carmichael. They will also be given a fully funded place on the FutureX Silicon Valley Accelerate 2019 programme, where they will have the opportunity to meet with leading investors and executives from some of the most well-known global brands operating out of California. In previous years, delegates have met representatives from Google, Facebook, Silicon Valley Bank and Rocketspace amongst others.
The three semi-final judges, Nick Jones of Galvanise, Gordon Coulter of Exmos and Kirsty Irvine of Johnston Carmichael, assessed various aspects of the competing businesses, including entrepreneurial spirit and potential growth.
Kirsty Irvine, Senior Business Development Manager at Johnston Carmichael, commented: “It was a tough call choosing the final three companies to put through to the Startup Summit competition final – the calibre of the eight companies that walked through our doors to pitch at the semi final was high and they all demonstrated those vital entrepreneurial qualities; passion, purpose and an unbeatable work ethic. The final three – diverse in geography, sector, age and stage- had the slight edge to nudge them into the final and JC look forward to working with them to accelerate their business growth.”
Gordon Coulter added: “It was great to see such a diverse range of businesses being pitched by a wide range of people, young and not-so-young, male and female, all showing that entrepreneurial grit and determination that drives us along. What they didn’t see from me was the inner smile. Having participated in the Silicon Valley Accelerator program in 2017, I know what one of them is about to experience and it’s pretty awesome. For those unfortunate not to win this competition – find a way to fund it yourself. You won’t regret it.”
Bruce Walker, Co-founder of FutureX said: “With only one spot available on the Silicon Valley Accelerate programme, the competition tends to be fierce. One of these final three tech entrepreneurs will get to spend time learning from the most successful leaders in Silicon Valley. The quality of the applications this year has been exceptionally high, which is testament to the thriving technology ecosystem in the UK. I can’t wait to see the finalists pitch live on Startup Summit main stage and find out this year’s winner!”
The competition final will be hosted on the main stage at Startup Summit 2018 on October 31st, where the audience vote will hold weight in the judging.