Farming robots, ‘Google Maps for boats’ and artificial coral reef cubes are amongst the technologies celebrated in the first ever Tech South West Ones to Watch company showcase in 2023.
Selected from a longlist of nominations submitted by tech hubs, clusters and science parks across the South West, the Ones to Watch project showcases 22 of the tech sector’s most exciting high potential companies and includes organisations hailing from across the region - including Truro, Salisbury, Bristol, Plymouth, Totnes, Dorset and beyond.
Companies in the programme will have access to bespoke business support from Tech South West ScaleUp Studio on key topics such as finance, marketing, investor readiness, risk management, and talent delivered by Growth Partners Microsoft, King Recruit, Skowt Consulting, Program, British Business Bank and Bishop Fleming.
Tech South West director and Funding and Support Lead, Ben Cooper, said: ”Each of the Ones to Watch receive a package of support and benefits, including a 360 assessment to help identify areas where the businesses may require additional support from our Growth Partners.
“The scaleups will also attend two packed Growth Days full of workshops, 1-1 sessions and roundtables in March and June, gaining expert insight to support their growth journeys.”
The Ones to Watch list includes Plymouth-based software development firm CoreBlue, which was founded in 2016 and now employs nearly 30 people, with clients across the globe.
Lewis Boyles-White, CEO of CoreBlue, said: "It's been great to witness the South West evolve into this thriving hub of innovation which is home to so many incredible tech businesses. For Tech South West to select CoreBlue as one of their prestigious ScaleUps To Watch 2023 is an absolute honour.”
Steve Conibear, UK Network Director, South and East of England at the British Business Bank, a Growth Partner for the programme, said: “The British Business Bank is delighted to partner with Tech South West Scaleup Studio in supporting fast growing tech businesses across the region.
“Partnerships such as this are crucial to the Bank’s objective of encouraging and enabling businesses to access the finance best suited to their needs. The learning and networking opportunities tech businesses across the region can access from Tech South West Scaleup Studio will no doubt help in ensuring the already vibrant tech sector here continues to grow.”
Dorset-based savvy navvy, which develops digital navigation tools for the marine sector, is also in the Ones to Watch showcase. Company founder Jelte Liebrand, who won Scaleup Entrepreneur of the Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022, said: “Over the past six years we have worked hard to constantly develop our all-in-one navigation app with unique and user-friendly features based on feedback from users. We now have a team of 14 employees, our turnover has more than doubled this year and the number of users of the savvy navvy app continues to rapidly grow globally.”
The Ones to Watch showcase forms part of Tech South West’s mission to support the South West tech ecosystem to grow and thrive, by fostering collaboration across the sector and shining a spotlight on the region’s vibrant and diverse tech sector.
Pippa Clarke, Chair, Head of Technology Innovation & Growth sector at Bishop Fleming, a Growth Partner for the Ones to Watch programme, said: “From green energy to habitat restoration, marinetech and space science, the South West is full of innovative, fast-growing tech companies that are delivering solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. At Bishop Fleming we are delighted to be helping to deliver the Ones to Watch programme, and providing support to companies at the forefront of the tech revolution that are having a positive impact on the region and the wider world.”
Cornish startup Data Duopoly is also featured. The company creates mobile applications that harness the power of GPS & AI to improve visitor experience at large venues such as the Eden Project, Cornwall’s tin mining coastline and the Falmouth University campus. CEO and Founder Tanuvi Ethunandan said: “We want our technology to power existing consumer facing applications to map and predict footfall worldwide. Ultimately, we connect people, spaces and places using data and AI.”
Research commissioned by Tech South West in 2022 revealed that the sector is on track to grow to almost £20bn gross value added (GVA) a year by 2026, creating more than 125,000 new jobs.
Machine learning consultancy digiLab and healthtech firm HCI Digital, both based in Devon, also make the list alongside Newquay-based information management platform SimSage, Truro-based audiobook disruptor xigxag and Falmouth-based 3D visualisation specialists Amutri.
Bristol-based healthtech firm Ferryx completes the 22-strong showcase. CEO Jenny Bailey said: "We are delighted to be one of Tech South West's ScaleUps to Watch 2023. Being a part of this prestigious programme will be hugely beneficial as we continue our mission to improve the gut health of millions by giving sufferers a safe and effective treatment without side effects."
The Ones to Watch is made possible by the support of Tech South West Growth Partners Microsoft, King Executive, Skowt Consulting, Program, British Business Bank and Bishop Fleming.
View the full Ones to Watch showcase at techsouthwest.co.uk/scaleup-ones-to-watch-2023
Photo: Neil Morris, Chief Executive and co-founder at Kelpi