UK wireless start-ups, inventors and entrepreneurs have until 19th August to enter Discovering Start-Ups 2013 and be one of the 15 finalists to win the opportunity to pitch their technologies and business plans to a dream line-up of 22 leading investors and industry experts. This year, the judges include senior executives from BT, Google, Orange Labs, Qualcomm Ventures, Samsung and Vodafone Ventures as well as investors such as Cambridge Angels and NESTA.
“Samsung is continually on the lookout for innovative new technologies that can enhance our products,” says Raj Gawera, Vice President of Samsung Cambridge Solutions Centre. “That global quest naturally focuses on the UK as one of the tech centres in the industry and the Cambridge Wireless Discovering Start-ups competition is a great way for promising start-ups to catch the eye of potential investors, customers and partners. I’m pleased to be involved as a judge and help select the best of the best.”
Now in its fourth year, the free-to-enter Discovering Start-Ups national competition is run by Cambridge Wireless and Silicon South West – two of the UK’s leading industry networks – along with the support of Tech City. It is sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures, along with, Google, Rohde & Schwarz, SETsquared, Microlease/Agilent Technologies and Taylor Wessing, who will host the pitch event at its London headquarters on 30th September.
“Business development and fundraising remain tough and you have to take advantage of every opportunity,” said Clennell Collingwood, of TTP Ventures. “Discovering Start-Ups is a great way to get out there and get noticed and I am always impressed by the quality of the companies pitching in the finals. I would encourage any ambitious entrepreneur to get their entry in.”
Serial investor and entrepreneur Peter Cowley from Cambridge Angels and Martlet added: “It is both fascinating and encouraging to see the breadth and depth of the teams and ideas presented at the Discovering Start-Ups event. There are always several great potential growth businesses and investment opportunities among the high standard of entrants and choosing winners is never easy.”
Current entries to Discovering Start-Ups 2013 range from wearable smart glasses and super-fast broadband solutions to mobile learning platforms and apps to help people with disabilities and depression. Last year’s winning technologies included silicon carbide power semiconductors; a new software design automation system; a mobile-phone based service to detect skin cancer; a radical single-antenna for portable devices; and a web service to find and share information and resources.
From the fifteen finalists, five winning organisations will each receive a prize fund worth £4,000 including a £500 cash prize sponsored by Qualcomm Ventures. The prize also comprises 12 month memberships to both Cambridge Wireless – the not-for-profit industry forum with a network of nearly 400 members involved in the development and application of wireless technologies – and SETsquared, including a business MOT, networking and mentoring support, investor readiness training and the prospect to be selected for various investor showcases in London and the US. In addition, they will get the opportunity to pitch in the Innovation Hothouse, as part of Cambridge Wireless’ The Future of Wireless International Conference 2014.
“It can take months to get in front of potential investors and industry influencers, so the chance to pitch to 22 at the same time presents a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs and start-ups,” said Simon Bond, Founder of Silicon South West. The closing date for entries is 19th August and Discovering Start-Ups is open to start-ups and early-stage companies looking to take their businesses forward as well as design groups in larger companies looking to exploit new technologies and students or academics in education.
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