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Update from Blue Lake

Blue Lake Open Office Hours:
Over the month of August, we are offering open office hours for any early-stage start-ups in South Yorkshire. They are open to anyone who’d like an investors point of view and advice on what they are working on. Feel free to share this with any founders that would benefit from the office hour. They can sign up by contacting us at moritz@bluelakevc.com.Accelerator:

  • We are pleased to have accepted our first start-up to the accelerator. Proky is an exiting start-up providing a marketplace for hotels and caterers to find suppliers. Originating from Slovenia we are eager to introduce them into the UK and SY ecosystem.
  • Expanding our network of industry experts and mentors. 
  • Continuing to be actively involved in and expand the local ecosystem.  
  • Applications for our Cohort starting on the 29th of August are open for:  
  • Software Startups 
  • Early stage with advanced MVP 
  • Global ambitions 
  • Scalable solution 
  • Committed and ambitious founder/team 
  • Looking to raise their first round within the next 3-6 months.

Update from IOT engine

                        Rikki Coles, r.coles@connexin.co.uk

Programme

  • We are now supporting 16 businesses with various IoT-related projects across a variety of sectors from health care to rail and machine automation to astronomy!
  • We have passed the ERDF-required 12 hours of support for many participants who have completed, or are near completion of the projects we have been supporting
  • We have also assisted 4 companies to introduce a new product or service to their business

The programme runs until June 2023, and participation is on a rolling basis so we are always looking for new SMEs to support! If you know anyone who may benefit from some support with anything related to IoT, please send them our way!

Wider Ecosystem

  • We are continuing to support the growth of a wider IoT ecosystem and network across South Yorkshire
  • We assisted with the organisation and delivery of the second South Yorkshire Internet of Things Meetup – ‘IoT in Food and AgriTech’ at the National Centre of Excellence for Food Manufacturing in Sheffield in June – we had a great turn out both in person, and online, and lots of exciting connections were made between IoT enthusiasts across the region

Looking Forward

  • We are planning networking events for businesses on our cohort, as well as seminar-style ‘deep dive’ events into different aspects of IoT – keep your eyes peeled!

Update from the University of Sheffield – Enterprise Team

Contacts: Lahari Parchuri, l.parchuri@sheffield.ac.uk

Tom Hemington, t.hemington@sheffield.ac.uk

Clare Lankester, c.lankester@sheffield.ac.uk

  • Dr Clare Lankester has recently joined Partnership & Regional Engagement at TUoS to act as a conduit into the wider TEAM SY network. Her role is to support TUoS spin-out and start-up Companies with their early business needs and to help them access the South Yorkshire ecosystem. 
  • We have just launched our latest programme, Ideas for Good 2022, open to UoS students and recent graduates. 
    • Over five weeks, a series of workshops will focus on developing solutions that actively solve both global and local challenges. 
    • Expert facilitators will guide teams and individuals through each week of the programme supporting participants to evaluate ideas, validate assumptions, develop skills and connect with a like-minded community in Sheffield and beyond. 
    • The programme will culminate in a pitching competition on 11th May 2022, where participants will present their projects to a panel of judges with the best ideas winning up to £1,000 to develop their solutions further.
    • Our three key themes are:
      • Tech & Digital for Good
      • Sustainability in Materials, Food & Construction
      • Health & Wellbeing
    • For more information and to register, please visit the Entrepreneurship webpage (bit.ly/ideasforgood2022). Applications close at 10am Monday 4th April 2022. 

Update from the University of Sheffield – Commercialisation Team

Contact: Andy Hogben, a.j.hogben@sheffield.ac.uk

  • Capital Enterprise has recruited a new Mentor-in-Residence (TBA) and a new Engagement Manager (Clare Lankester) to work within the University of Sheffield.  These two roles will support student start-ups and university spinouts to access local accelerator programs.
  • The technology transfer team at UoS is working closely with Sheffield Tech Parks to assess city centre incubation space of deep-tech start-ups and scale-ups.

Update from TwinklHive

Contact: Em Scicluna, emily.scicluna@twinkl.co.uk

  • We have invested in 2 new companies, Yakkr (a marketplace for online gaming experiences) and an EdTech company which we cannot yet disclose the name of.
  • We are still actively investing and we welcome introductions to any founders or teams who are seeking pre-seed or seed funding, or which are looking for support! Any introductions can be made to me at emily.scicluna@twinkl.co.uk.
  • In February, TwinklHive was announced as the Accelerator of the Year at the Yorkshire Financial Awards (link here).

Update from Transform SY powered by Entrepreneurial Spark

Contact: Mike Stephens, mike@entrepreneurial-spark.com

Denis Ivanov, denis@entrepreneurial-spark.com

Update on Transform SY companies:

  1. Future Greens, led by Gabriele Barteskaite, who is growing seasonal greens with 95% less water wasted, has successfully sold to all of the leads they had on their pipeline and their demand currently exceeds the supply.
  2. Ferrio – on a path to make integration between any software seamless and effortless, Dan Blaney has just signed a very important client who have also recommended them to two more. Dan is also in conversations with an angel investor to fuel Ferrio’s growth.
  3. Tickets For Good – previously working with concerts and live venues to source NHS workers with discounted tickets, ‘Tickets For Good’ worked with FA (Football Association) few weeks ago to provide tickets for an English football team game and it was a major success; now the company will explore working with more sports venues and eventually even Premier League teams.
  4. CAN Studios – having struggled attracting new clients at a scale, Paul Hilton and his team’s training management solution is causing a lot of noise in the industry and the demand for it now exceeds the supply like with Future Greens.
  5. MealbaseJosh Faichney is changing the way food deliveries work by taking smaller commission, leaving more money in the local economy and eventually decarbonising the delivery journey. Josh’s Mealbase had its busiest weekend two weekends ago and delivered every order successfully.

Update from Team SY

Contact: Laura Bennett, laura@capitalenterprise.org

  • David Richard’s EyUp Skills are launching the Entrepreneurship Academy with TEAM SY, building on the success of their Coding Academy. Expressions of Interest are open now via this landing page. Not much info online about the programme yet, but in essence it will be a 6 month incubation / acceleration programme in which teams of individuals will build a startup. They will have space at WANDisco’s offices and will have access to their pool of mentors.
  • TEAM SY held an event to mark International Women’s Day which was well received. The panel included female entrepreneurs and investors. This event was also to support KTN who are building out a Women in Innovation network – there will be more information available about this next month.
  • NorthInvest held a roundtable discussion (hosted by British Business Bank) to introduce the South Yorkshire Angel Hub. Investors and stakeholders from the business support landscape in South Yorkshire discussed some of the challenges and opportunities for angel investment in the region. A landing page is coming soon for the SYAH, but in the meantime if you have any high net-worth individuals in your networks who want to connect with other angels and meet great startups, please contact Charlene at NorthInvest: Charlene.jones@northinvest.co.uk.
  • GovTech Academy will have a showcase event on 30th March. Not so much pitching for investment, but an opportunity to present their public sector innovation products and services to a wider audience. If you are interested in attending, please register here.
  • We’re delighted to be welcoming two new accelerators to the region, currently under embargo but I’m hoping they will both be at SIAN to introduce themselves. One is focussed on tech-for-good, the other is for immigrant founders moving to the UK.

Updates from Sheffield Technology Parks

Contacts: Rose Tran, rose@shefftechparks.com

Tom Wolfenden, tom@shefftechparks.com

  • We have seen an increase in the applications for our Incubation program/ Cooper Project, which is great. We onboarded 4 Coopers last month and have another three potential Coopers in the pipeline. 
  • We confirmed our platinum sponsorship for the Start-up Weekend activity in Sheffield in May 2022. 
  • In March, we had a press release about our partnership with Sheffield College. It is all about how we can support and mentor young people to develop their entrepreneurial ideas and help them with their start-up journey in the near future. 

Update from P4SY

Contacts: Philippa Hedley-Takhar, philippa@capitalenterprise.org

Tamara Moon, tamara@capitalenterprise.org

  • Programme officially launched 15th March at Electric Works – press coverage is here.
  • 23 companies on the initial cohort – still capacity for 8 companies to join the programme.
  • Programme of activity over next 6 months to be confirmed in March. 
  • Programme address is Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.
  • Common issues we are encountering – access to regulatory support; provision of lab space; access to funding (i.e. complexity of grant applications and capacity of start-ups).

Update from Business Sheffield Tech Scaleup Advisors

Contacts: Morgan Killick, Morgan@levelupsolutions.co.uk  

Chris Wheater, cdw4020@gmail.com

  • We have been doing more to collect and analyse data about the clients we support and are pleased to be able to say that in the period 1/4/21 to date, we have 67 businesses in the portfolio, and have actively worked with 53 of these during the period. 31 of these are either undergoing investment readiness work or actively negotiating with investors. 
  • Collectively they have raised just over £4m in the period are there is a further £16.8m of investment currently being sought. Much of the latter has come to light in the last 3-4 months in particular and whilst we don’t think there will be many more deals secured this financial year, we expect 2022-23 to have a ‘bumper crop’. 
  • We are attributing the increase in demand for our services to a number of ‘pandemic era’ startups starting to come to fruition and explore support, and also to the excellent work of both Cooper Project and TEAM SY in bringing high quality tech businesses into the fold. 
  • In addition to 1:1 support, our advisors are regularly out and about participating at sector events including: The MD Club,  SY Angel Hub Investment Roundtable, Startup Meetup, GovTech Academy Showcase, MakerLab Open Day and AWRC Wellbeing Accelerator sessions. We are also once again discussing bringing Investor Ladder to the city, potentially in June. The original April date had to be postponed due to the impact of Omnicron on in-person event schedules.
  • Finally, negotiations over the creation of a new localised equity fund are about to restart. Although this is a complex area, more concrete news on this will hopefully follow later in the year.