Firms to pitch in search for best startup

FOUR Yorkshire startup businesses have been shortlisted to pitch at a competition in the search for the Best British Tech Startup.

Gav Winter (left) and Andrew Mason from RapidSpike. Picture by Simon Hulme

The competition, which is now in its fifth year, is run by professional services firm KPMG who reviewed more than 180 applications to come up with a shortlist of 32 innovative UK companies who will pitch their business to a panel of industry experts at five events across the country.

RapidSpike, a website performance and security monitoring firm; WIFIPLUG, an app controlled smart plug; and online training platform Synap, all based in Leeds, plus Castleford-based Optalysys, which is developing ground-breaking optical processing technology to deliver supercomputer power to the desktop, will compete in the North and Scotland round.

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Eight startup businesses in total will battle it out at the event to be held on January 30 at KPMG’s Manchester office in St Peter’s Square.

The winners of the regional events will be flown to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona the following month to compete for the title Best British Tech Startup 2019.

The judging panel includes Martin Port, founder and chief executive of BigChange in Leeds.

Graham Pearce, head of technology at KPMG in the North, said: “This competition offers local early and growth-stage businesses from North the opportunity to pitch in front of major industry players looking for the next potential startup to invest in, buy from, or form an alliance with.

“All of the shortlisted businesses demonstrate just how strong Britain is in building disruptive technologies and innovative business models.

“Some of these players could already be making a huge impact in their fields, others may be hidden gems getting ready to reveal themselves to the world.

“I am looking forward to hearing their pitches at the competition and finding a local business who will champion innovation from our region.”

The Mobile World Congress is one of the world’s largest annual technology industry gathering, organised by the GSMA. Last year the event attracted over 100,000 attendees from all parts of the world.