Having traversed over 30 countries in pursuit of the best startups in the world to accelerate, Techstars London managing director Eamonn Carey explains how they arrived at 10.
We wanted to cast the net pretty wide for Techstars London this year
The newly-appointed Techstars London Managing Director teamed up with colleague Marko Srsan to visit cities across Europe and Asia, doing office hours with local startups, hosting presentations and meetups while connecting with as many great entrepreneurs, community leaders, investors and others as possible.
Read More: Techstars London new managing director announces European tour to meet startups
After four gruelling months of travel, 10 startups were chosen, and here Carey explains to The Sociable how it all went down.
“We wanted to cast the net pretty wide for Techstars London this year – we’ve always had a really diverse range of applications from around the world, and I wanted that to be the case again this year,” said Carey.
“Marko (Program Director) and I went everywhere from London to Lisbon and from Kiev to Seoul – 30+ countries in total to find great companies who wanted to expand into the UK and European markets,” he added.
Techstars London Class of 2018
The key for all of these companies was how much I knew they’d be able to get out of the Techstars program and process.
- 3co – Beautify your space with Jungle Plants in Augmented Reality to make work spaces happier and healthier.
- 42Maru – A deep learning-based Q&A system that can be used for everything from smart speakers, connected cars, home IoT, smart toys, AI assistants, industrial chatbots, customer satisfaction) management, and more.
- Auquan – Democratizing algorithmic trading technology to enable any engineer to design a trading strategy that relies purely on data and algorithms.
- Flawless – An app that helps you to compare initial design with implementation right inside an iOS simulator. It was made to empower people building great products.
- HipFire Games – Pioneering the VR multiplayer scene and exploring how to get most out of the superb level of player interaction that VR offers.
- Kencko – The first instant fruit and veggie drink made from 100% organic, natural ingredients with no added sugar.
- Kipwise – KIP (Knowledge is Power) allows you to highlight, annotate, and save articles shared in your Slack channel easily for efficient knowledge sharing.
- Let’s Enhance – A free online service to upscale and improve your visual content using neural networks.
- Pesky Fish – Reinventing the seafood supply chain to create a more sustainable industry for fish, fishermen and consumers.
- School Space – Works with schools to let out their facilities to the local community. The schools benefit by raising funds and the local community gets to use the excellent facilities outside of school hours.
“At the start of the process, I deliberately set out to find companies in some specific sectors,” said Carey, adding, “I was lucky enough to find amazing computer vision and AR companies in Let’s Enhance and 3co.”
“I found amazing food companies like Kencko and Pesky Fish, strong ML companies like 42Maru and many others – the key for all of these companies was how much I knew they’d be able to get out of the Techstars program and process.
“I know how excited my colleagues and our mentors are about working with them, and the companies are chomping at the bit to get into that process as well. It’s brilliant to see – I can’t wait to see where they’re at on October 9, when we have our demo day.”
Techstars London 2018 Roadtrip Highlights
What’s really apparent to me is that the playing field is way more level now than it’s ever been before
Visiting over 30 countries and holding hundreds of meetings in a few short months is sure to create some memorable moments while providing insights that one cannot possibly know without experiencing them first-hand.
“What’s really apparent to me is that the playing field is way more level now than it’s ever been before,” said Carey.
“I met an absolute ton of amazing computer vision and ML companies in Ukraine. I met incredible companies from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria – all of whom now have access to the same educational resources thanks to communities like Stack Overflow, tools like Github and educational resources like Udacity, Udemy, Coursera and more. It’s been amazing to see that leap over the last few short years.
“We met a lot of companies who’d achieved scale in their home market – like 42Maru, who are working with major brands, telcos and others in Korea and who wanted to scale their company into a new market – and they view London as a real hub for great machine learning and AI talent and opportunities,” the Techstars London program manager added.