Tech Nation, the UK’s leading network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, has today revealed the 33 regional winners of its nationwide competition. Rising Stars represents the UK’s most exciting and innovative early-stage tech companies.

The UK is already a world-leader in producing successful tech companies, creating more $1bn tech companies than any other European country and Israel. While London is undoubtedly at the forefront of global tech, the rest of the UK is also home to thriving clusters of tech innovation. The UK has six cities that are home to at least two unicorn companies – Cambridge, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Rising Stars, the UK’s only truly national early-stage tech scaleup competition, is designed to help the most exciting early-stage tech companies take their business to the next level and become the world-leading tech companies of the future.

The 33 regional winners revealed today were required to be at Seed to pre-Series A funding or generating annual revenues up to £1.5m. Selected by a panel of industry experts, the companies have been regarded as tech leaders within their respective regions. Following the semi-final in January, the competition will culminate in a Grand Final in February 2020, where the top 20 companies will pitch to a high-profile panel to become one of Tech Nation’s 10 Rising Stars.

The competition’s prize package has been built to significantly raise the profile of the winning companies on both a national and international level. Companies will have their profile raised throughout the competition and have access to pitch coaching to enable them to compete to the best of their ability. Furthermore, at the Grand Final they will have the opportunity to pitch to over 200 high profile investors and corporate leaders.

Now in its second year, demand for the competition from early-stage founders has seen a 39% rise in applications compared to 2018, demonstrating the value the Rising Stars competition holds for founders at this critical stage of growth.

The judging panel of industry experts included Louize Clark, Director ConnectTVT, Mark Lyons, Investment Director, Praetura, Simon Bailie, CEO, Digital DNA and Pam Sheemar, Entrepreneur Development Manager, Natwest.

The Rising Stars competition has been supported by sponsors BDO Drive, Microsoft, Soldo, Talent Works International and TLT.

UrbanChain, Culture Shift and tootoot have been announced as the North West regional winners of the UK’s only truly national early-stage tech scaleup competition, Rising Stars.

tootoot (Manchester, SaaS)
Founders: Michael Brennan, Kieran Innes,         
tootoot is award-winning software that supports the psychological safety and wellbeing of individuals within education, sport and the workplace. tootoot provides a way for individuals to raise a concern to their organisation with complete confidentiality. 

UrbanChain (Altrincham, Blockchain/AI & Energy)
Founders: Somayeh Taheri, Mohammad Hajhashem, Ayesha Naureen
UrbanChain develops world-leading products and services by using blockchain and AI technologies to integrate services in utility sectors, such as energy, transportation and health. They aim to transform these markets, democratise their structure, and optimise and integrate processes to reduce the costs for end users. 

Culture Shift (Manchester, Tech for Good)
Founders: Gemma McCall, Carl Sadd, Stuart Bradley
Culture Shift’s tech for good product Report + Support is a revolutionary online platform that allows victims and witnesses of any kind of bullying, abuse or harassment to report it, either anonymously or with details. The system also signposts those in need of support and provides organisations with vital information to help them tackle toxic behaviour and cultures.


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