Exchange

30 early-stage businesses are celebrating being selected to take part in the second intake of the Exchange start-up support programme, establishing the next generation of trailblazing tech firms.

The businesses, which operate across the fintech, edtech and ecommerce sectors, amongst others, form the second cohort of Exchange, the support programme based at Department Bonded Warehouse in the tech, digital and creative city-centre cluster, Enterprise City.

Several of the ambitious early-stage tech companies already have impressive achievements, partnerships and products under their belts, and are now set on reaching new heights with the support of Exchange and its community.

The scheme gives tech founders and entrepreneurs access to the resources and infrastructure they need to succeed, including full use of the facilities at Department Bonded Warehouse, a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, mentoring from business experts and funding opportunities.

30 new start-ups join cohort two

Organisations chosen in this year’s cohort include data analytics and business intelligence start-ups, Gleensite and Sparkbox, as well as zero-waste student sustainability platform, Hazaar, and House My Pet, an app which connects pet owners with local trusted professional pet carers.

Also joining the scheme are My First Five Years, a personalised parenting guidance app from the founder of Kids Allowed, EdTech firm EdTech Impact, and Jyrney, enabling mobility as a service for business travel and mobility platforms.

Several fintech firms will join the cohort, including financial wellbeing app, Financielle, intelligent deal flow platform, Digital Oracles, which enables investors to refer, segment, monitor and reward the progress of prospect and portfolio companies, and HouseFlow the industry first supplier-agnostic bills package for tenants.

Wellbeing app, Umii, which aims to combat loneliness at university via connecting friends will also join cohort two, alongside driving instructor app, Otimo, sustainable content creator, Koolstof! and Springchat which creates real-time conversations and connects sports fans to chat about live matches and trending sports news, were also selected.

The team at Make It Up will be strengthening support for fashion and beauty businesses selling to large-scale suppliers, and Koku Health is an app developed at the University of Manchester to keep older adults active.

Tanya Grady, Head of Enterprise and Partnerships at Enterprise City, said: “Last year’s Exchange scheme was a huge success, with member businesses achieving some amazing business milestones, and securing millions of pounds in funding between them, despite the pandemic. We want to emulate and exceed that with the next cohort of firms, which are all equally poised to achieve the same level of success. With the support of Exchange’s partners, access to business founders and experts, and our new entrepreneur in residence the sky really is the limit for these 30 companies.”

“In addition, the businesses will be joining Manchester’s innovative tech cluster where the community develops together through peer-to-peer learning and idea sharing. Welcoming this group of businesses will continue to establish Enterprise City as a booming tech and digital district, attracting more business and opportunity to the wider area.”

Exchange welcomes its first entrepreneur in residence

The programme will also benefit from David Levine joining as entrepreneur in residence. David is the Founder and ex-CEO of DigitalBridge; a guided design platform for bathroom and kitchen retailers. He is an experienced start-up and scale-up CEO who is a non-executive director and advisor to a number of exciting tech startups in the North West of the UK. He was formerly the global head of connected car at Vodafone, and spent seven years working at the office of the CTO at Hewlett-Packard.

This cohort will join the community of tech, media and digital creatives that has been established at Enterprise City and will bring new job opportunities to the area as they scale and grow over the course of the programme.

Liz Scott, Head of Entrepreneur Engagement at Tech Nation, said: “It's so exciting to see the next Exchange cohort kicking off their journey. We're all so proud of the amazing achievements of the last cohort - they really did show what a combination of innovation, resilience and sheer hard work can achieve. 

“Exchange is a project we love working on. In our mission to support founders in all four corners of the UK. We get to see so many support initiatives and accelerators, but rarely do we see projects that have this level of impact, and so quickly. The extensive network of advisors, supporters, mentors and investors is such an asset to the companies. I can't wait to see what this cohort go on to achieve.”

Circl promises a unique type of digital entertainment via its pool sports betting game and social app, Y?Not, will continue to champion face-to-face social interaction through an app which guides strangers into meeting for a coffee and chat.

The range of facilities within Enterprise City makes it an ideal location for cohort member, Sonder Radio, which works directly with its audience to create and share engaging audio content that is both entertaining and beneficial to health and wellbeing.

Completing the 30-strong cohort are location-based shopping app, Shopest, hyper-local workspace and remote worker connecting app, Neighbourhood, student media platform, Half-Full, and preventative mental health support platform, Well Good; as well as Jobseekrs, a platform that mitigates unconscious bias in recruitment, and employee wellbeing and HR platforms, Yoomiapp and Well Room. Live music streaming service, Beatstream, proptech business, PropFolio and voice intelligence platform, VoiceIQ will also form part of the network of start-ups.

Key takeaways...

  • 30 new early-stage start-ups have grabbed the opportunity to take part in Exchange, a start-up support programme in Manchester Tech City
  • The programme supports tech founders and entrepreneurs by giving them full use of the facilities at Department Bonded Warehouse, a network of like-minded entrepreneurs, mentoring from business experts and funding opportunities
  • To find out more about the Exchange scheme and how to apply, visit www.enterprisecityuk.com/exchange
Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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