Sat. Jan 18th, 2020

Meet the Rising Stars semi-finalists: the Midlands’ top three early-stage companies

Source: https://technation.io/news/meet-the-rising-stars-semi-finalists-the-midlands-top-three-early-stage-companies/

Meet the Rising Stars semi-finalists: the Midlands’ top three early-stage companies

Last year saw Tended (from Lincoln) succeed in being crowd a winner of our Rising Stars 2019 competition. Early-stage companies from across the UK are once again set to pitch at this year’s Rising Stars 2.0 semi-final on 15-16 January in Manchester – and we’ve had a chat with founders of the three competitors who are set to represent the Midlands. Read on for their thoughts on reaching the semi-final, and what it’s like to be a digital tech company based in the region.

Fluence World

Fluence World (@FluenceWorld) allows regulators to automate complex, subjective quality assurance processes, enabling them to automatically review documents based on their own values, requirements and standards. This means regulators can disseminate quality assurance in ‘predictive models’ through their respective industries, creating new revenue streams, improving quality and reducing cost. Cofounder Jennifer Hore tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars semi-finalist?

It’s really exciting to be taking part in something where we’ll be able to see other companies pitch. It feels really good to be involved, and it’s come at the perfect time for us as we’re going to be launching our big Series A investment round in the first quarter of 2020. Pitching so early on in the year means that it’s the perfect time for us to get those conversations started.

What’s it like being a digital tech company in the Midlands?

The living-to-earning cost ratio in Birmingham is very good. I’d also say there’s some amazing talent in the Midlands, and being one of the more exciting startups in the region means that we have some really good people on board. The Midlands might be a bit less discovered, but that’s definitely working to our advantage. We talk to VCs and they can’t believe how much we’ve been able to build the tech that we’ve produced with the kind of money that we’ve spent –and that’s down to the region being a very competitive place for work. It’s a great place to work with many exciting opportunities, but the digital scene is quite new and we’re at the forefront of that.

StaffCircle

StaffCircle (@staffcircle) is an all-in-one culture and performance management platform that creates consistent connections and processes between management and workforce. It offers an integrated performance and communications experience for growing businesses, enabling the digitisation of comms, recognition, appraisals and check-ins across office and non-desk employees. Founder Mark Seeman tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars semi-finalist?

It was a great piece of news. I was three hours into a car drive at the time when I got the phone call and it certainly brightened my day. In terms of recognition, the notification on LinkedIn alone that we personally posted had more than 2,000 views. It’s really helped put us on the map a little bit. We’re still very much in startup mode and not massively shouting about ourselves until next year. We had a very clear strategy from the start – year one was build, year two was polish and produce case studies, and year three was the first year of scale which we’ll be entering in January – so it’s come at just the right time to help with visibility.

What’s it like being a digital tech company in the Midlands?

It’s great. This is the fourth SaaS (or software-as-a-service) company I’ve built in Leicester, and it’s a great area for building tech businesses. We’re close enough to be an hour away from London but we also have reasonable living costs, decent universities and good quality people in the area. I’ve been a Leicester lad all my life, and all the businesses I’ve built have been based around here. So I’m really familiar with the territory, and it’s a great place to be a startup from my perspective.

Shopper

Shopper (@shopperdotcom) is a community-driven global marketplace for online and offline voucher codes, covering thousands of e-commerce sites. It automatically applies the best value voucher code at checkout in one click for both mobile and desktop devices. Cofounder Sonu Bubna tells us more.

How does it feel to be a Rising Stars semi-finalist?

It’s always good to get recognition! It feels good for a big company like Tech Nation to give that acknowledgement that you are one of the Rising Stars. You know that others might think the same about you, and it helps you stand out from the competition.

What’s it like being a digital tech company in the Midlands?

The Midlands hasn’t always had the digitally-focused startup ecosystem that it has now; it wasn’t that great when we moved here 10 years ago. We were based in London but ended up being in Birmingham due to factors including the council investing in us. We used to want to return to London, but Birmingham has been phenomenal for us and it’s now a very good place to base a business. Plus, if we were in London I am not sure we would stand out as the competition is so tough there.

The post Meet the Rising Stars semi-finalists: the Midlands’ top three early-stage companies appeared first on Tech Nation.

Source: https://technation.io/news/meet-the-rising-stars-semi-finalists-the-midlands-top-three-early-stage-companies/

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