Finalists announced for Innovation Showcase Competition
14 October 2019
A shortlist of 12 businesses will go on to pitch their innovations to a panel of investors and an audience of potential customers during next month’s Innovation Showcase Competition.
The finalists will have a chance to win two top prizes of up to £10,000 worth of business support packages, with one winner selected by the Innovation Showcase panel, and another chosen by the Venturefest event audience.
There will also be winners under the following categories: Product Innovation, Service Innovation, Digital Innovation and Most Innovative Established Business.
The prestigious annual competition received entries from more than 120 businesses this year. It was open to all start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses based across the North West.
In addition to the award incentives, those shortlisted will also have a strong opportunity to pitch their innovative business ideas to an audience of angel investors and venture capitalists, to secure funding offers which might otherwise have been out of their reach.
In the last three years alone, Innovation Showcase entrants have generated £5.2million of investment offers after taking part in the competition.
The full Innovation Showcase Competition finalists are as follows:
Digital Innovation finalists:
Dream Agility – A Ramsbottom-based tech company developing the latest in Visual AI and Machine Learning, retailers such as Samsung to grow sales.
Rhythm Digital – Based in Manchester, Rhythm Digital make Piing, a web product which gets crowds playing, shouting and interacting by joining big screen arcade games, using their phones as controllers.
Wattl – A new video platform established in Manchester which blends user-generated videos with professional content from broadcasters and brands.
Most Innovative Established Business finalists:
Alison Handling – The UK’s largest independent stockist of new and used recyclable plastic storage boxes, trays, totes, pallets, pallet boxes and more, based in Kirkham, near Preston.
Eco-Mist Biotechnics – A Cumbrian business that has developed a range of exclusive, highly effective healthcare and hygiene products that eradicate 99.9999% of pathogens in rooms and vehicles, yet are harmless to humans, animals and the environment.
Seven Bro7hers – A brewery in Salford which has gone on to become one of the most popular craft beer breweries in the UK.
Product Innovation finalists:
NGPod Global – From its base in Manchester Science Park, the business provides innovative solutions to the patient safety issues surrounding nasogastric (NG) tube placement.
Neptune Solutions – A Failsworth organisation that designs innovative, modular, adjustable and environmentally friendly fluid management systems for flood management and water retention.
AI Rehab – Based in Lytham St. Annes, they produce patented apps and devices for patients having hip and knee surgery; encouraging effective rehabilitation behavioural change through gamification and the implementation of Artificial Intelligence algorithms.
Service Innovation finalists:
Clever Cogs – Based in Salford, Clever Cogs develop unique immersive mobile Learning Experiences for teachers and pupils that are fun, productive alternatives to school trips.
Dicey Tech – A Manchester edtech company that enables young generations to become technology creators by using 3D-printing to teach secondary-school students tech, enterprise skills, and careers insight.
Artemis Analytical Ltd. – A start-up company based in Manchester that is developing a quantum-based technology for enhancing the sensitivity of mass spectrometry by more than a factor of 1,000. This is currently being used to develop a table top device for carbon dating.
Business Growth Hub Director of Business Growth Richard Jeffery said: “The competition not only celebrates the businesses and innovations that come out of our region, but also has very real and potentially game-changing benefits for those involved. The prestige and increased profile that comes from pitching in front of leading players from across the North West – not to mention the high-level media coverage – has enabled previous finalists to significantly widen their client base, launch products and services and secure new funding."
Andrew Leeming, Programme Manager at Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub said: "Lancashire has a wealth of amazing, innovative entrepreneurs and business success stories. It’s a testament to the county’s thriving business community that Dream Agility and AI Rehab are competing in this prestigious showcase alongside some of the best, most forward-thinking companies the North West has to offer."
Andy Devaney, director of Business Innovation at Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “The Innovation Showcase has had many high-calibre entrants and I’d like to congratulate all those who have been shortlisted. This competition is a celebration of businesses and entrepreneurs in the region, and offers them a fantastic opportunity to showcase their ideas to leading players from across the North West."