Northern Stars 2017
3 minutes. 1 pitch. 10 winners. 1 huge prize package.
Last Thursday in Manchester, the region’s top tech startups battled to win the UK’s most exciting pitch competition, Northern Stars. 20 of the North’s finest delivered their 3-minute pitches in front of an audience of investors, press and tech industry peers, in the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. With only 10 of the startups in with a chance of being crowned this year’s Northern Stars, only the very best will make the cut. This intense competition started four months ago with regional pitch events, challenges and intensive training. Today is the final opportunity for the 20 finalists to showcase themselves and sell their businesses. So who will convince the judges that they are a Northern Star?
Let’s recap this amazing experience! Victoria and Thomas, two of Launch22’s very own went along to get the inside scoop.
14:00–15:00: EVENT OPENING & NETWORKING
Everyone was welcomed with nice and warm beverages and some good grub. (Seriously we need the need the name of the caterer). This was also the chance to network and meet plenty of innovative entrepreneurs and get ready for the intensive pitch session ahead
15:00: OPENING WORDS & INTRODUCTION
The time has finally arrived, we are all in our seats and excited to hear the pitches. Martin Bryant (@MartinSFP) was a great host, entertaining us with lots of witty jokes and making sure we all had a good laugh.
After a brief introduction and history about the Northern Star challenge, Martin welcomed on stage the judging panel. It is composed of 4 industry experts coming from highly respected organisations across the UK, we were very impressed. The panel was constituted of Suzanne Ashman (Partner @LocalGlobe), David Fogel (Co-founder @ADV), Keith Wallington (Investor and Advisor @OX) and Sarah Turner (Co-founder @ Angel Academe).
15:15–19:30: LET’S PITCH
It’s happening! All the finalists had interesting pitches. Which is not as easy as it seems. The 3-minutes pitches were the sum of months and months of hard work and long nights. From innovative marketing software companies to efficient learning platforms and revolutionary ways to reduce energy consumption. This is definitely going to be a tough call for the judges.
19:30: ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS OF THE NORTHERN STARS 2017
What a wonderful evening! It is now time for the judges to make a decision. Drum roll please….
And the winners are:
BigChange — The paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track any mobile workforce. [Leeds]
Membr — Connecting the fitness industry with its members, helping inspire, educate and motivate them to a healthier lifestyle. [Manchester]
Nivo — The fastest, safest, and most cost-effective way for service providers to talk to customers. [Cheshire]
Relative Insight — Helping brands choose the best language to use with their target audience. [Lancaster]
Ruler Analytics — Closing the loop between leads and revenue. The platform matches real customer form-fills, live chat and phone calls, against the marketing campaign and keyword from which they were generated. [Liverpool]
Sport:80 — A cloud-based platform designed to enable sports organisations to simplify the way they work and deliver online services to members. [Sheffield]
Synap — An intelligent platform that uses machine learning to help students and professionals to learn more in less time. [Leeds]
Technically Compatible — Helping tech recruiters make better hires and CTOs build better teams, by giving them a 360-degree view of potential IT hires via an innovative skills assessment platform. [Sunderland]
Tutora — Helping students and parents find the best local tutors for private, one-to-one tuition. [Sheffield]
VYPR — Enabling fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses to turn product innovation into a science, ensuring successful outcomes of the product development process, every time. [Manchester]
We were particularly impressed with Liverpool based Ruler Analytics (we promise we aren’t biased). Indeed, the use of Ruler provides the campaign team with a deeper level of insight and reporting than previously measured. Truly impressive and a must have for marketing analytics. They would get our vote.
This splendid day ends with a well deserved celebration. All participants, judges and guests are invited to another room to enjoy drinks and tasty dishes. It is also a good opportunity to meet innovative entrepreneurs, listen to their advice and learn from their experience. We definitely had a great day, and maybe too much wine.