This morning, ten teams will take the stage at Google's London Campus to share their companies at the conclusion of the latest Techstars London Startup Accelerator program. Six of the companies will be pitched by their female CEOs.
Techstars began its London program in 2013. This current batch is one of the most diverse ever, both in terms of gender and nationality. The cohort has brought together teams with 18 different nationalities and includes companies from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Slovenia and Nigeria.
Companies pitching today:
- Anything World: An AI-enabled platform that allows the creation of "worlds powered by voice".
- Banjo Robinson: A globetrotting cat helps children learn about their world through interactive letters.
- Cledara: A SaaS purchasing and analytics platform to manage subscriptions.
- Faster than Light: Helps developers and startups run analysis tests on large codebases simply and easily.
- myTamarin: Connects parents with childcare options through a unique matching platform.
- Noir Food: A global community for gastronomy enthusiasts and craft producers.
- OHNE: Sustainably produced, eco-friendly tampons and CBD-infused "cramp oil" to manage periods.
- sees.ai: Remotely operated drone platform allows industrial firms to collect aerial data at scale.
- Versus: Unique "listen and learn" technology platform unlocks bespoke market insights about African consumers.
- Vitrue Health: Collects assessments of patient motor function to aid treatment for those with musculoskeletal disorders.
I connected with Eamonn Carey, the managing director of Techstars London to learn a little bit more about the program and the teams pitching today.
tech.eu: When it came to selecting the teams for this program, what stood out to you about these teams in particular?
Frequently, the who and the why behind a business is far more interesting than the what of the product at an early stage. in every case this year, the founder's passion for what they were building and the way that they connected with and understood the problem they were solving and the people they're solving it for was what really stood out. Sometimes it's serendipity. Elissa from Faster Than Light is someone I've followed and chatted to on Twitter over the last few years. When she said she was starting something new, it was a very easy set of conversations to see how their product and team had incredible founder-market fit and a clear path to market and to revenue. With Zarja from myTamarin, it was an intro from an investor who I really respect. As I spoke to Zarja about the idea of parentcare and her own experiences as a parent, her passion and vision were pretty much tangible in every conversation - and when you see that, it's hard to be anything other than excited about the potential!
tech.eu: The first day of this accelerator program took place back in July. Can you talk a little bit about the growth of the teams over the course of the program, and the changes you've seen in the teams from then, until now?
It's really incredible to see the difference that the mentors, partners and people around Techstars can make for companies - from support with ops and logistics, to running interviews to just making connections. Anything World have secured partnerships with three of the biggest companies in the music, gaming and social space, which will see hundreds of millions, and potentially billions of people exposed to products and features created using their platform. Ohne's B2B business grew 120% in just a month. Noir saw a 5x growth in revenue over the course of the program. Vitrue Health have secured partnerships and trials with some big names in the physio and sports world and Sees.ai will be making a major partnership announcement later today that will really give them a massive edge.
tech.eu: When investors look at these teams today, what should stand out to them?
Every company on this year's program had raised coming in - from £150k SEIS to much bigger raises of 800k+. During the program, Cledara announced their round with Anthemis and BBVA, Banjo Robinson will be announcing funding from a major NYC fund on stage today, Versus closed their first few UK investors - and that's just the start. Last year's group were incredibly successful raising during and post-program. We've already had extremely positive feedback after the investor lunches we ran earlier in October, so I'd expect to see that pattern repeat this year.