Students of University of Manchester rocked Manchester last night at Manchester Science Park’s Bright Building when they presented 14 startups that have gone through AccelerateME, the accelerator programme for student startups in Manchester. The calibre was high and some of their progress is outstanding.
AccelerateMe has been running the accelerator programme for 5 years and the stats demonstrate the quality of the programme:
- 40 startups founded
- 89 student founders
- 57 jobs created
- £2.45 million follow-on funding secured.
Applications for the programme typically opens in early October and runs through to the end of December, and the programme runs from February to May with final Demos in June. Each startup get:
- £2000 grant – no equity taken
- Free office space in Greenhays provided by Manchester Science Park
- 12-week accelerator programme.
I was fortunate to be invited in May to introduce Techcelerate to student startups as an organisation which may be able to help some of them post-graduation.
AccelerateME team is run by student volunteers with Myrto Lalacos from L Marks functioning as the Director of the Programme. The Head of the programme, Kiran Arokiasamy will take over from Myrto next year. The other team members include:
- Joe Wear – Programme Manager
- Kristina Kianickova – Associate
- Yuliya Guban – Associate
- Christian Nita – Associate
- Haris Magsi – Associate
- Anya Guzenkova – Associate
Myrto was in full swing sharing humorous insights of student startups and their propositions whenever she had the chance. No doubt showing Kiran how to run the show next year.
Here is the list of 14 startups, broken into three groups:
Group 1 (Non Tech):
- Global Source Kitchen: a vegan food startup, providing event catering, food delivery service and dining club events.
- Miss Kick: a clothing brand for female footballers, where a percentage of everything they sell goes towards girls football initiatives (eCommerce).
- Free Love Apparel: a year-round LGBTQ+ & Pride e-commerce store (eCommerce).
- ChoiMan: an artist management agency for young talented artists, providing services that make the dream of having their music heard by the world.
Group 2 (Use of Tech):
- Studifuel: a healthy lifestyle subscription box designed to make it easier for students to eat healthier and get enough vital nutrients (FoodTech, Subscriptions). [watch pitch]
- Peera: allows organisations to build working and in-demand blockchain applications (Software Services).
- InCrew: a recruitment platform and advisory service that supports startups and SMEs in the recruitment of young student and graduate talent (RecruTech). [watch pitch]
Group 3 (Tech):
- Revolutioneyes: makes purpose-built cane finders, assisting visually impaired people to find their canes. [watch pitch]
- Adagio: is a subscription-based smartphone application with audio recognition that provides progress tracking and monitoring musical abilities for students and teachers. [watch pitch]
- Sky Box: Skybox helps museums come to life with AR and VR (AR/VR).
- Vamo: creating low-cost 3D printed vide laryngoscopes (MedTech).
- Projekt BLU: provides an Arduino-based platform allowing anyone to turn their familiar gaming controllers into universal remote controls for robots (GameTech).
- Homely Energy: a smart heating company that is integrating variable electricity prices (EnergyTech). [watch pitch]
- Omnis: is an automated marketing chatbot using artificial intelligent and natural language processing to help companies engage customers (think they missed the presentation).
I’ve recorded a few pitches. Above is Skybox. See the links against startups above for some of the others which were shared on Linkedin. You may need to click on full view to view the above video.
I split the teams into three groups above in terms of alignment with Techcelerate. Group 3 fits well as Techcelerate only works with scalable technology product companies.
Steps to engage with us:
- Consider attending our events – Techcelerate Coffees Manchester #TCMCR every month in Manchester.
- Consider joining some of our WhatsApp Groups – General, Pre-revenue and sector-specific ones to suit.
- Consider Techcelerate Membership programme.
I could not find many faults on Demo Day show. Here’s what I think could improve it further:
- List websites of each startup on the brochure.
- Highlight the individual startup “Ask” on the brochure.
- Ensure all support organisations are attended.
- Invite as many investors as possible.
Manchester and I look forward to the next cohort!
See below the event brochure featuring companies which pitched. Official pictures are available here.