TechNExt 2024 - Day Three

TechNExt 2024 - Day Three

Ignite North East 2024 - Pre-Accelerator Showcase

Welcome - Jo York

Jo opened and welcomed everyone and the teams pitching today have come a long way. They have got funding from Barclays Eagle Labs to help with the two part-time programmes with another thirty-two founders being helped. Along with them a few of those on the Ignite programme have closed their funding rounds and even an acquisition of Grid Finder. Over the last two and half years worked with eighty-five founders with £4.4 million investment raised. They have a small team along with entrepreneurs in residence with many giving up time for calls and other support and invest a lot of their own time. Jo also thanks all the mentors and alumni who help those going through the programme. You can find out more about Ignite at


There is a cost-of-living crisis going on with many people having less than £100 in their account but will be spending more than the previous year. Loyal customers are forced to choose between shopping brands they love which is what Appre does which allows them to earn cashback which can go into a summer holiday fund, it allows them to leverage their loyalty for saving in the future, it allows users to cultivate purposeful savings as a reward for their loyalty. The cashback market is large with over £16 billon transactions and the growth is due to be around 7%. They have built a platform and onboarded over 250 well-known brands who want their customers to hit saving goals just by shopping with them and have over 200 monthly active users and want to scale to 5,000 by next year and publicly launch this summer. They want a world where loyal customers can reach their savings goals with brand loyalty.

Wild With Consent

More and more people are going camping but it is harder to find peace and quiet and Grace loved finding time to spend outdoors and borrowed a campervan and find remote off-grid places but also feel safe and secure from angry farmers telling them to move on and found it hard to find this place so that is where Wild with Consent comes from. This is an opportunity to find a secure off-grid site with over 100 sites across the UK which can be easily booked online for a safe approved site, without stress of wondering if there is any space and something we need in the space of everyday modern life. They have had over 1,500 nights booked with over 600 guests and 45% repeat bookings and an important source of income for farmers. They helped farms make plots they book out their most profitable sites.


Helping businesses change the way they plan. Every year money is wasted no planning effectively due to spreadsheets which also leads to overhiring and overspending. Revenue teams and business leaders can build their plans and immediately understand impact on costs and revenue and keeping them on track towards target. It is simple and easy to use and facilities conversations between teams with no more uncertainty. Teams can track sales and marketing decisions back right though. They have six companies and saving those companies money daily and they are raising money and have sales teams of over fifteen. They can change the way businesses revenue and you can plan on hitting your targets.


If you are well respected in your field and want to help people and want to help more people with tailored support and isn't viable to reply to all those DMs. You have someone who values your opinion, but they would struggle to get any meaningful communication with you. MiniPod offers paid one-on-one interactions where people would value your expertise and get a pre-defined set of messages and you are in control of your time and your revenue including subscription fees. Economic downturn has made influencers and other look for alternative revenue streams and software mentorship market is over $1.2 billion. MiniPod gives people a chance to be heard and for people to be listened. They have a pilot with twenty thought leaders allowing them to be reached and for those reaching them to be heard.

Attention Seekr

Attention Seekr is a matchmaking platform connecting charities with media professionals to help people at scale. Technology has permanently changed the ways people create and consume content such as podcasts and independent publications for niche and specialist media with the volume of these outweighing the traditional one size fits all approach so need to engage with these. Charities needed to know which bloggers and people would be interested in their topics so have people on one side and the other people who care and bringing them together to bring stories out in a more meaningful way. They have done fourteen targeted matches with four charities that have become paying customers, they want to connect more people with media professionals that really care for stories that need more attention.

Order Things

There is a £104 billion turnover of food and beverage, but suppliers are wasting millions of pounds per year on wasted orders. Alan has built high performing teams with experience of software development and experience of doing things more efficiently. One of their customers of their café has multiple ways of doing orders which has led to errors and mistakes. Companies are finding e-commerce-based solutions but buyers don;t want more logins and systems to place orders. Order Things is a conversational AI ordering system with layered AI using SMS, email and other methods and ensures order info is present and correct before placing the order and get orders in one consistent order in one place and has tiered pricing based on order volume. They have 100% order accuracy in their closed beta and will be doing an open trial and aiming to onboard suppliers in the next eighteen months to make it easier to order things.


One day Dalton was explaining what they were doing with metal buying and realised how inefficient the industry is. Failure of both sides of market to find each other along with human error. The solution is an online marketplace for metal and potentially other materials using a reverse auction system which is clear and competitive and makes sure buyer gets optimal offer every single time and will change lives of those tasked with buying and selling materials. Market is worth over £768 billion and have an MVP with 115 grades of metals from Aluminium to Stainless Steel. They want to monetise the website and get more material and have been successful on both sides of transactions of buying and selling metals.


Market for hiring campervans is growing and worth over £117 billon in the next few years. Planning a road trip is hectic and changes affect itinerary. Their system helps create routes between all stops including time and fuel needed and can duplicate and share trips with free accounts and can pay to create unlimited trips and up to 200 stops and can even plan one-off trips and have over 2,600 users with over 280 premium upgrades. Want to make epic road trips more accessible where they plan and research and if love open road then should check them out.


Craig has witnessed cases of illness where out of date stock and medications has made things worse including life threatening emergencies impacted by out of date inventory methods. Manual counting systems cause significant risks including non-compliance, vital medications to run out expire and ordering mistakes and missing items. They have system that allows for accurate tracking of medications and medical equipment which allows people to remain compliance and order and track things more reliably and efficiently. They want to capitalise on more places such as vets as well as getting into the NHS. Need to be able to give confidence to give great care and have a background in nursing and aiming to take on 150 clients in the next eighteen months.


Independent travel agents can be hard to find as there is a lack of visibility and there are over 25,000 independent travel agents that find it hard to grow their business. They are wanting to bridge the gap between independent travel agents and travellers and want to be the leading platform for connecting travellers with independent agents globally. It will allow people to connect to independent agents anywhere in the world. The top travel websites took $210 billion, and independents took $10.7 billion so there is a lot of potential for growth in the market. They are looking at improving their technical infrastructure and help people make their buying decisions.


Simily are about finding the best match as a dating service, many competitors are using the same algorithm with profile matches so they have removed these by matching people who care about the same things and by matching on what matters. They want to replicate that match making experience online and have had over 170 signups who have found the platform easy to use and more authentic. They differentiate themselves by offering a more personalised service and 80% of people would use it again, if they had to, and help as many people get their next date soon.

Leading Cyber

Cyber Security requires skills but needs people with training and is hard to retain cyber security people. Leading Cyber offers a leadership platform and mentoring programme so those who are technically excellent to gain leadership skill, get knowledge knowledge and the connections people need to help be a cyber security leader.

Heartbeat Energy

To save energy we are starting to turn off appliances at home, but businesses can't do this and thousands of businesses are paying too much or are stuck paying too much for their energy. This happens as they take out contracts when prices are high and for other factors and many businesses want to transition to green. Their platform allows businesses to get green energy without overpaying, their service keeps them on the cheapest green tariff and have been saving 10-20% and charge a monthly £250 fee and already have two clients with one saving over £12,000 per year on their bills. They are also working on an API to help turn off appliances to save them even more money, so they want to save companies as much money as possible on their energy bills.


Taking VR to the next level with game changing streaming services. When playing VR on the outside it can be hard to see what it is going on and it is not possible to live stream video from a standalone VR headset. Their plugin software enables one-tap streaming from VR games to streaming platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, BeamXR want to make VR totally social, the industry is growing with over 20 million Meta headsets sold and 25% being driven by gaming. Their strategy for scale is to work with studios and publishers where they will offer a monthly SAAS feed but will be free for streamers and they are also forming partnerships with industry player to bring their product to the masses.


In in the hair and beauty space many people are self employed or have a small business. An example is someone who has tried current salon software which takes 30% sometimes and this software doesn't prioritise the success of salon owners where many are paying £300 per month. People want to expand their footprint including building a brand on social media, direction relationships or other revenue streams such as workshops. They offer a branded app as a one-stop-shop for booking including products and courses and support marketing push notifications with a scalable and predictable monthly fee with the size of people's business. They have over 100 subscribers and have over 40,000 active users with a successful product and are opening a round of funding to invest in their tools and keen to look into the ecommerce side of their application.

Don't Look, Just Listen - The City: Revolution

Don't Look, Just Listen was an immersive audio social event help at Proto in their Advanced Media Production facility in Gateshead featuring an impressive curved eight-metre-wide LED wall, but it wasn't what was on-screen that was important but what was heard instead. The LED wall featured a photograph of London but every so often the lights dipped, like the power was gone and clips from The City: Revolution, a science fiction post-apocalyptic audio experience set in the not too distant future that played booming loud in darkness of the state-of-the-art facility with sounds news reports of power outages in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol with everyone heading to the City of London where London is the final frontier.

Next door to the AMP was a silent disco setup with an opportunity to hear the pilot episode, To the City of this immersive audio drama with a blockbuster sci-fi feel and impressive sound and production thanks to the work of an A-List composer and award-winning sound designer plus you'll be able to get the best sound experience with Dolby Atmos or Sony 360, but even without it this audio drama will have you hooked, enthralled and intrigued from the first listen and you'll want to hear even more! The story is like a 21st century Jeff Wayne's Musical version of The War of the Worlds but instead of fantastical and unlikely Martians it is the ever so plausible and likely scenario of what would happen when the power goes off, the lights go out and the scramble to head to the City of London - the only place left with power.

The City: Revolution features news reports that you could easily hear in the future, dialog that deepens your immersion, masterful music that will have you tapping to the brilliant beats with an enthralling electronic sound along with sensationally sung songs. Those who remained throughout the event were treated to a live performance of music from Episode Four with an in-darkness performance that was as sensational as it was haunting with the only the periodic flashes of a photographer's camera giving brief glimpses of the performer. By the end of the experience those who remained got an exclusive preview of the second episode which draws you further into the world, the chaos and consequences of the government turning off the national grid that only leaves those in the City of London, the ancient heart of the capital to once more be a fortress of power, but with electricity as the power and fortress of AI weapons as a defence. It was incredible to be there to hear the fantastic work of Markus Brown and Vikki Price and for those there who wanted to hear more then you can join the waiting list for season one or for those who weren't there can listen to episode one at and immerse yourself in this fabulous and fantastic experience that will have you hooked and remember the most important thing is don't look - just listen.