Promising UCL startups pitch for investment

The teams at London Demo Day

The teams at London Demo Day

Entrepreneurs from UCL, Imperial College London and King’s College London had the chance to pitch their innovative businesses to investors at this year’s London Demo Day.

A total of 15 companies from UCL’s Hatchery at BaseKX, the King’s20 Accelerator and Imperial Enterprise Lab took part in the event at Imperial, hoping to raise between 100,000 and 1 million.

The businesses covered sectors ranging from software addressing women’s health (femtech) to patient monitoring and sustainability. The five UCL companies who pitched were:

YourCue, co-founded by Nikhit Anilbhai (UCL Nanotechnology & Regenerative Medicine) and Sonakshi Senthil (UCL Personalised Medicine & Novel Therapies) has produced a medical device worn on the finger to enable automated remote and in-hospital patient monitoring. The device also features notifications and alarms to alert healthcare professionals when help is needed.

BoxxDocks, co-founded by James Della Valle (UCL Architecture) and Alessandro Attanzio, helps transport and logistics companies to lower their environmental impact by developing sustainable and ethically sourced delivery boxes as an alternative to single-use, virgin plastic products

Comma Periods, a femtech startup founded by Martina Ceccarelli (UCL Sustainable Resources: Economics, Policy) focuses on developing personalised treatments for period symptoms.

LetsGoTurbo, founded by Christopher Norwood (UCL English Literature) is a collaborative rewards platform.

Electro Venture Ltd, a smartphone app which locates nearby chargers for electric vehicles. It was founded by Piotr Sirko (UCL Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology PhD) and Andrej Hyll.

Professor Geraint Rees, UCL Vice-Provost (Research, Innovation & Global Engagement) said: "London Demo Day is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant minds behind our most promising startups, and for them to connect with investors and build on the impact they are already having in the world. We have an important role to play in nurturing and supporting startups from ideas to reality, enabling them to grow and support the UK economy.

"I would like to congratulate all of the startups that took part on the day and look forward to seeing what they achieve in the coming months and years."

Christopher Norwood said: "I founded LetsGoTurbo to show that rewards can be used to achieve so much more in the food and beverage space. By building a unique platform that focuses on group challenges rather than individual points or stars, we empower our partners to expand their business and drive traffic in a revolutionary way. Pitching at London Demo Day was a great opportunity to present our progress to the London investment community and we have been bowled over by the interest we have received since. It was an intense experience to pitch to such a large crowd, but so rewarding."

Keynote speaker Dr Olivia Ahn pitched at the first London Demo Day in 2019. She co-founded Planera, which produces flushable and biodegradable sanitary pads. She said: "We are all here to drive change. Whether it’s to invest in the problems, to solve them, to shout about them, everything about start up is all about driving change. Creating something from zero, taking us from zero to one. And businesses can then grow from that one to 100."

Planera will launch its products to the mainstream market in November 2022, following successful pre-seed investment after London Demo Day 2019.

She continued: "I am both thankful for the journey that I’ve been on and incredibly excited for the journey that lies ahead for all of the incredible entrepreneurs in this room."

One of the companies who pitched in last year’s event - Alice Camera - went on to raise $500,000 (373,000) in pre-seed funding. They also won $100,000 (74,000) in cloud computing credits from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

All of the UCL companies are on The Hatchery incubator programme, which provide free support and dedicated office space. The businesses benefit from masterclasses, clinics and competitions to fast-track their success and prepare them for investment.

London Demo Day 2022


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