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Startup Weekly: Skyscanner developer competition, Seedcamp portfolio and more

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Here’s your weekly round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces and accelerators.

Skyscanner competition

Edinburgh-based Skyscanner has launched a startup competition, offering developers the chance to be coached by its co-founder Gareth Williams.

The winning team will also be able to spend a week based in Skyscanner’s HQ in Scotland and will receive a £1000 cash boost to help launch their business.

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The competition seeks to find developers who will be able to build a game-changing new travel tech product using the giant’s APIs.

Williams said: “We are delighted to invite start-ups and developers to take part in this competition, which we hope will inspire young programmers and businesses to build something truly cutting-edge and bring something fresh to the travel industry.

“Travel is one the most fascinating industries to due to its complexity and size, and I believe there are endless traveller problems still waiting to be solved. With the right drive and a great idea there is boundless opportunity for trailblazing new products within the travel space,” he added.

The Build with Skyscanner competition is now accepting applications.

Seedcamp’s portfolio

Four UK-based tech companies have joined Seedcamp’s portfolio of tech startups.

After receiving over 850 applications, the London-based early stage fund, narrowed its selection to the following seven startups:

ActionBar (Israel) – Helps users find and execute features inside SaaS while providing smart product insights.

Anvajo (Germany) – A small device for home diagnostics that allows understanding your health on a molecular level.

Avalio (UK) – A platform that enables people to search for freelancers in their city, chat to them instantly, then arrange a face-to-face meeting within minutes.

KareInn (UK) – Using technology to improve the quality of life for our parents’ generation.

Real Funds (UK) – Alternative finance platform disrupting the position of a few major house builders by providing alternative finance to small and medium-sized house builders.

Vinterior (UK) – A curated marketplace that makes it easy for design lovers to buy and sell high-quality pre-owned furniture to one another.

YodelTalk (Austria) – Yodel is the business phone service that provides your team with access to phone numbers in over 40 countries directly from your group chat system like Slack, HipChat, Telegram and Facebook Messenger.

Carlos Espinal, partner at Seedcamp, said: “At Seedcamp, we want to back the startups that have the potential to develop into the next billion-dollar companies, and each of the Founding teams we back is building services and products in sectors where we’re seeing a lot of demand and growth.

As part of that ambition, we received the highest number of applications from interested companies for our pre-seed investment, and out of over 850 applications, these were the seven companies we felt had the ideas, drive, and talent to be successful in their respective markets,” he noted.

Reshma Sohoni, founding partner of Seedcamp, added: “Our portfolio now stands at 220 companies from around the world. Every day people are using products and services that have been backed by Seedcamp and we see success across our portfolio, daily. The latest teams are all in sectors where we are seeing continued growth – particularly in FinTech, PropTech and HealthTech – and we’re eager to support these talented Founders scale their businesses in these markets.”

Central Research Laboratory incubator

The Central Research Laboratory (CRL) – a UK incubator focused on supporting high growth companies that design and make physical products – is now accepting applications for its next cohort of hardware startups.

Beginning in September 2016, the cohort will see up to 12 startups enter the CRL’s nine-month programme.

Each team receives fully funded access to high-end prototyping labs, 24/7 workspace, a £5,000 living costs grant and deep commercial and product development expertise. In return, the CRL receives a 6% stake in each company.

James Nettleton, programme director at CRL, said: “Taking a physical product from concept, to prototype to final production and then to market is a challenging journey for any business. In recent years we’ve seen incredible developments around rapid prototyping technology and the ability to pre-sell products via crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter.

“But all too often, skilled founders with great products aren’t able to take them to market, not because the idea or team isn’t good enough, but because they lack the manufacturing expertise, seed funding, contacts or facilities to make it happen. That’s where the CRL programme comes in. We’re attracting the best hardware startups in Europe, and we’re offering the workspace, facilities, access to investment and expertise they need to grow,” he added.

New co-working space

The Office Group has announced the opening of a new co-working space based near Tech City News‘ offices next to Old Street roundabout.

Charlie Green, co-CEO of The Office Group, said:

 “Just a few steps from the Silicon Roundabout, Albert House is an iconic building of Shoreditch and we wanted to create a workspace that lives up to it. Our offering is for businesses, from entrepreneurs to larger corporations, who want an inspirational and flexible workspace at the heart of Tech City.”

Designed by Ben Adams Architects, the space will transform Albert House – a 1980s building – into a space suitable for startups and SMEs.

Makers and Shakers of EdTech

Six UK-based individuals have made it onto the inaugural Makers and Shakers of Education Technology Index, created by World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) and EdTechXGlobal.

The list is designed to highlight and celebrate ground-breaking innovators in the EdTech field and features 50 thought leaders, organised by four geographical regions: Europe, Americas, MENA and Asia.

The UK-based individuals are: Demis Hassabis, of DeepMind; Filippo Yacob of Primo Toys; David Braben, of Raspberry Pi; Jeremy Lachal, of Ideas Box; Tom Hatton, of RefME; and Charlotte Fereday, of Code First: Girls.

That’s all for this week … stay tuned for next Friday’s round up and check out previous instances here!

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