31 innovative early-stage tech start-ups have been accepted onto Manchester’s leading scale-up support scheme and are now tipped to be among the region’s next big tech businesses.

The companies span the healthtech, proptech, edtech, fintech, agritech, and e-commerce sectors, and will make up the third cohort of Exchange start-ups, which have ambitions of scaling, securing funding, growing operations and expanding their teams during the course of the scheme.

The support programme runs for six months and is delivered with the support of Tech Nation as its knowledge partner. Exchange offers tech founders and entrepreneurs the resources and infrastructure to support them in succeeding, including a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, mentoring from business experts, exclusive access to a panel of scheme partners and introductions to funding opportunities and venture capital firms.

The scheme’s alumni include PixelMax, the immersive, 3D virtual workplace business which raised £2 million in funding and reached an £8 million valuation while on the programme, My First Five Years, an early-years edtech start-up that secured £1.4 million in investment to develop its technology and app, and Sparkbox, the data analytics and business intelligence start-up, that raised £1.5 million to support its next phase of growth.

The 31 member businesses will be based at Department Bonded Warehouse in the heart of Enterprise City. 18 of the businesses are new to the scheme and the remaining 13 firms have extended their membership to further benefit from the scheme.

New businesses join cohort three

Organisations chosen to form the most recent cohort include mental health first aid and wellness app, Candle, and proptech start-ups, Housr, an app that streamlines the student housing search for tenants and landlords, and Flexify, the marketplace that connects businesses and entrepreneurs with their ideal commercial property space.

Exchange will also welcome Sustainabl, which builds sustainability engagement tools for businesses, Bypass tech that allows any retailer to launch membership and generate recurring revenue, and Cyber Stroller has built the world’s first smart stroller.

In the media and creative space, InHaus is making e-commerce product videos cheaper and easier for online fashion retailers and Papermill is helping its customers overcome the “wrestle with Word” by producing perfect documents.

Health and fitness tech businesses, Intellithing, a start-up that uses  big data analytics and AI from wearable devices to identify patterns and improve health through data-driven choices, AINOSTICS, groundbreaking AI algorithms tech for the accurate diagnosis and management of neurological conditions, and AriSports winner of BTSport’s Innovate 21 competition with its concept allows football fans to predict on-pitch events, earning points in the process and competing against friends will also join the six month long programme.

Fintechs, Payful, a tech-based scoring system for B2B prospect payments, Ryft, a payment infrastructure for the decentralised economy, Versori creator of tech products and tools that seamlessly integrate into existing systems, and Bex Money, on a mission to improve financial literacy for the next generation with a focus on saving for children’s futures, will also be joining Exchange.

Agritech, Grow Your Own, is aiming to revolutionise urban food production, Wildfire is an e-commerce platform that allows film creatives access to equipment and COYOSO exists to make ethically made gadgets attractive and accessible to the masses.

Tanya Grady, head of enterprise and partnerships at Enterprise City, said:“We have now had two incredible cohorts of Exchange businesses and we believe the third group of start-ups will be just as successful. Exchange alumni have raised millions of pounds in funding between them, disrupting their industries and bringing excitement and innovation to the tech sector in the process. The businesses accepted onto cohort three have incredible potential and we are anticipating some incredibly exciting growth over the next six months.

In addition, the businesses will be joining the community we have developed at Enterprise City, Manchester’s innovative tech, media and digital cluster where the community develops together through peer-to-peer learning and idea-sharing. Welcoming this group of businesses will continue to establish Enterprise City as a booming tech district, attracting more business and creating opportunity to the wider area.”

Returning members

My First Five Years will be rejoining Exchange in cohort three, along with female focused financial wellness platform, Financielle, blockchain business, Digital Oracles, tokenizing and monetizing start-ups growth, and HouseFlow the industry-first supplier-agnostic bills package for tenants.

Umii, which combats student isolation and loneliness will also join the latest intake, alongside Otimo, reducing the time it takes for people to get their driving license, and Springchat which creates real-time conversations and connects sports fans to chat about live matches and trending sports news.

Data analytics & business intelligence business, Sparkbox, as well as zero-waste student marketplace, Hazaar, and House My Pet, a directory of trusted pet professionals will be undertaking their second term on the scheme.

Completing the 31-strong cohort are Koku Health, an app developed at the University of Manchester to keep older adults active, and Jyrney, giving travel and mobility companies access to a complete ground transport solution.

Liz Scott, head of entrepreneur engagement at Tech Nation, said: “The continued success of Exchange is incredibly exciting for tech and for Manchester. Our mission is to support founders across the UK, so we see all kinds of initiatives and accelerators, but rarely do they deliver the level of impact that Exchange does in a relatively short length of time. Being an Exchange member allows founders to tap into an impressive network of advisors, supporters, mentors and investors – an invaluable asset to these fledgling businesses. I’m looking forward to seeing the achievements of this cohort, of which I’m sure there will be many!”

To find out more about the Exchange scheme and innovation in Enterprise City, visit www.enterprisecityuk.com/exchange.


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