Ignite100 is one of Europe’s top accelerator programmes for early stage technology start-ups. In February it opened its Campus North doors for the 2014 interns to strut their stuff and pitch for cash.
Money isn’t everything, but if you are a small business with a potentially world changing idea then the advantages that a wedge of hard cash brings can be the difference between life and death. In February the tech accelerator programme Ignite100 got its current recruits to pitch a public audience of tech-heads, business folk, journalists and ex-Igniters with their life-changing products, in the hope of hitting the jackpot.
Showcase host and Ignite managing director Paul Smith greeted the audience and introduced the teams, who included fashion entrepreneurs, shipping experts, photography afficionados and bespectacled boffins from around the UK and as far afield as Romania. Campus North opened in Newcastle in June 2014 – a refurbished warehouse sandwiched in between the two city universities – and is now the home for the accelerator programme, educational events, tech meet-ups and co-workings spaces, among other things. It attracts a diverse community of tech-related people and is on a mission to transform the tech scene in the north east.
Those selected for the Ignite programme are put together with mentors and investors and given £18,000 in return for eight per cent equity in their business. During 2015 Ignite will fund 25 teams (applications are closed so prepare for February 2016). Take a look at what the ten 2014 teams had to offer and polish up your ideas for next year. As Ignite100 says: ‘Do more, go further, burn brighter’.
Lasu is a fashion app aimed squarely at the growing menswear market, particularly mid-to-high end fashion. For the male hipster with higher disposable income, the app promises a personalised shopping experience linking in to the latest designer fashion and streetwear brands.
People who need motivation to get fit and those who allow gym memberships to go unused are the target for personal trainer site fitgurus.com. Fit Gurus allows members to match up with trainers and workouts that fit their personal goals, marrying the two together for individual sessions or a full fitness programme. Whichever sport or physical activity you enjoy, Fit Gurus aims to couple members up with a near perfect match.
Bargain shoppers everywhere rejoice. Now you can keep up with the ever-shifting sands of coupon and discount shopping for favourite outlets or labels with boo.ly – a browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox – informing users about the latest deals, coupon codes and prices in an instant. It covers the UK and US, but Europe and Australia will be added soon.
Scarlett of Soho
Why is it such a hassle to buy glasses? That is the question that Scarlett of Soho asked and the answer they came up with could revolutionise shopping for eyewear. Selling subscriptions, like a mobile plan, to prescription glasses is a new way to shop for an essential item and the company sends out sampler boxes – rather like those Graze boxes filled with nutritious treats – so the user can try on different styles and lenses at home.
Dubble is a free photo remix app for iOS that does one thing – it takes photos and blends them together with images from other users worldwide. Simple and yet the results can be magical, creating an entirely new and riveting remix. “When two great images match up, the serendipity can be charming,” says popular technology site The Verge.
Obsessed with the internet of things, then Restack is the tool for you. This online tool allows users to connect and manage devices, debug, develop integrations and APIs, perform analytics and create control dashboards (that reward users through gamification).
As drones jet us firmly into the future, Dronelab aims to make mapping with UAVs easy-peasy. Quickly and easily share maps between any device, upload geo-referenced images and share them rapidly with others. Users can also view any maps created directly in the browser on almost any platform. Neat.
Photo storage just got ultra-easy with Lifebox. There are no sign ups, no app downloads, just an upload and then a link that you can share with friends, loved ones or the entire world. Works on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, phones, tablets, computers, you name it. Create your own albums or allow others to upload to them, and (this is the magic bit), Lifebox remembers your albums without any account sign up…
Cargo shipping has revolutionised the world of business and consumer goods, but now Kontainers aims to revolutionise the shipping system by making it easy to book container space and ship things anywhere in the world. Works on any device with a simple user interface to book container space and get the goods from or to anywhere in the world by sea.
Electronic dance music (EDM if you must) has become the most popular musical genre in the world on its exponential rise from the early days of acid house. Online music TV and DJ site Chew.TV wants to plate up the world’s best DJs via its online platform that allows users to create their own channels. Learn to mix from the pros or layback and absorb some phat beats with your skinny latte.