Fourteen teams of entrepreneurial students and recent graduates have pitched stunning business proposals at Startup Summer Demo Day, the culmination of Edinburgh Innovations’ 12-week Startup Summer Accelerator programme.
Each team had just three minutes to pitch its business to an expert panel of judges and an audience of more than 50 at the online event. After each pitch they faced a four-minute grilling from the judges, who assessed the teams’ businesses against the simple test ‘would I invest?’.
Three cash prizes – £5,000, £3,000 and £1,500 – were awarded by the panel, and a fourth prize of £500 went to the pitch gaining most votes in an audience poll.
Lenz gains max traction
In what was described by the judges as a very close contest, the winner was named as Lenz, a startup that aims to use novel technology to improve braking control for trains, ending the notorious problems caused by ‘leaves on the line’. Lenz is founded by Daniel Carbonell, an Electrical and Mechanical Engineering student, and Hamish Geddes, a Mathematics and Physics student.
Runner-up was eMoodie Minds, which was co-founded by Claire Ann Banga, a recent PhD graduate in Clinical Psychology, alongside fellow Edinburgh graduates Cedric Clain and Johannes Millowitsch. EMoodie Minds is a digital platform to help people manage their mental health, preventing deterioration of mild symptoms into clinical disorders.
In third place was Yaldi Games, which aims to mainstream educational video games by seamlessly integrating factual and educational content into popular game genres. Yaldi Games is founded by Elena Höge, a masters student in Design and Digital Media.
The audience vote was won by BioLiberty, which aims to help sufferers of hand weakness with a combination of a soft robotic glove and digital therapy platform. BioLiberty is founded by Ross O’Hanlon and Rowan Armstrong, both students of Electronics and Electrical Engineering with Management.
The Demo Day followed a 12-week Startup Summer Accelerator programme for the 14-strong cohort of startups, selected from more than 90 applications.
“Developing a startup is a process of making ‘unknown unknowns’ known.
“The Accelerator has been a really formational experience for me as it’s certainly helped me learn about the hurdles I will need to cross as this develops.
“Great job to the team for making the transition to the online format for the delivery of this programme!”
– Claire Ann Banga
Funding and support package
The Startup Summer Accelerator was sponsored in 2020 by Santander Universities and the Mastercard Foundation.
Each participating startup team received £3,000 in funding over the 12-week programme and a package of mentoring and business support.
The programme was managed by Karis Gill, who was a participant in 2019 as founder of Social Stories Club, a social enterprise gifting company shining
a light on social ventures and their missions.
“The summer accelerator was a great opportunity to learn and meet amazing founders. I’ve learned about leadership, negotiation, networking and sales.
“Every piece of information through the accelerator helped me improve myself, my company and my pitch.
“The demo day at the end was a great opportunity and improved my live pitching and pitch deck.”
– Elena Höge, founder of Yaldi Games.
Startup Summer Accelerator alumni 2020
Robotic glove and digital therapy to help sufferers of hand weakness.
MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering with Management
MEng Electronics and Electrical Engineering with
Producing dried fruit and vegetable products from food that would otherwise go to waste, to cut food losses in Zimbabwe.
BSc Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
Mental health digital platform that facilitates early screening
and tailored symptom-management interventions.
PhD Clinical Psychology
Platform-as-a-Service to create apps (website, iOS, Android, AR, VR, IoT) faster and more affordably.
Predictable braking control for trains, whatever the weather.
BEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering
BSc Mathematics and Physics
An app that tracks the carbon emissions of purchases, empowering individuals to make reductions to their carbon footprint.
BEng Artificial Intelligence
and Software Engineering
BSc Computer Science
and Management Science
Reusable and smart packaging solutions, with the aim of increasing the value of goods in the food supply chain while cutting carbon and waste.
MSc Finance, Technology
BSc Computer Science
A mobile app to allow architects and clients to visualise and develop the design and layout of their projects together using augmented reality.
BEng Computer Science
Helping social media entrepreneurs and online buyers who need to avoid fraud
BSc Accounting and Finance
MSc Data Science, Technology and Innovation
AI assistant for meetings which summarises conversations, extracts and assigns actions, and sends a follow-up email, all from an audio recording.
MSc Artificial Intelligence
MSc Artificial Intelligence