Our January meeting was hosted by UCL Advances.
UCL Advances, UCL's centre for entrepreneurship and business interaction, exists to develop new links between UCL and businesses of all kinds and to promote a culture of entrepreneurship and business interaction. UCL Advances works to bring together members of UCL, established businesses, start-ups and investors to drive innovations that will create economic value and benefit society.
Dave Thompson - CEO and Founder of MagicTab
How to win SMART Awards
Every two months, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) awards 5m to innovative companies through its SMART scheme, pledging 25k to 250k per grant. The application process is competitive, with 3% of applications achieving success. MagicTab won a 98k SMART award. Dave told us how they did it and divulging how you can do the same.
MagicTab has a leadership team from Bain & Company, Accenture and Goldman Sachs. The team were finalists at Seedcamp London and have raised 50k in angel funding to date. The firm produces a purpose built tablet that sits on restaurant tables and allows customers to order drinks and desserts on impulse, or to pay whenever they like.
Dave was formerly in charge of Analytics at Sequoia-backed TokBox and has managed cross-shore, multi-functional teams of up to 50 people in size. He holds two Computer Science degrees and a Berkeley MBA.
May 2011. He is back to give us an update on all the challenges he has faced in bringing his vision to market. This includes: the investment and funding failures and successes, clinical trials with local authorities and health organisations, and the next stages of fundraising/investment to fully commercialise the service.
Starting as a personal project for his own family, Stuart created Mindings to connect families by enabling effortless, regular, personal, and thoughtful contact with their technology-shy seniors. Mindings takes pictures and text sent via a mobile app, an email, or an MMS, and turns them into a captioned photo with the 'what, where and when' context that makes it meaningful to the recipient. Additionally, family, friends, and health professionals can share social media content and calendar reminders through the Mindings service. The inclusion of a simple touch-screen acknowledgement-of-receipt mechanism turns Mindings into a light-touch telecare service.
Mindings has won several awards including a Cambridge Wireless Discovering Startups 2011 Award, East of England Local Government Association Innovation in Social Care 2012, and CURA-B European Innovation in Assistive Technology 2013.
Steve Cottam - Naked DesignA Spotify for Games
Steve started in the games industry in 1994 as the founder of Torc Interactive. He then spent over a decade in corporate life for financial firms where he successfully delivered large infrastructure and virtualisation projects. However Steve always wanted to return to his first love, being an entrepreneur and is now working on an exciting new cloud gaming project.
Through recognising the challenges of finding a sustainable business model and scalable infrastructure to support cloud gaming he now has a vision to monetise the large back catalogue of historic games that many of you grew up with. ie to provide Cloud base gaming as a service - A Spotify for games! Instantly playable on any device, 100% copyright protection. The team bring over 50 man years of relevant experience and a leading industry chairman. Steve is looking for help with access to funding for a Seed SEIS round as well as access to historic games back catalogues and any advice and support to launch this new service.
Viva DrinksWe blend fruit juices, spring water and botanical extracts to create healthy, 100% natural and functional drinks. They not only taste great, but are good for you! The name ViVA comes from the Latin meaning 'to live'. We are strong believers that our drinks shouldn't just be healthy and 100% natural, but should also help consumers everyday to 'Live Life' by performing a specific function. Each drink has key active ingredients which deliver unique health benefits for their consumers: Sustainable Energy; Stress Relief; Body Cleanse; Immunity Boost.
They have already raised funding of 50k and already have the supply chain and distribution in place for a product launch in February 2014.