Discover the 10 Northern Stars of 2017

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Northern Stars

Ten of the North of England’s most promising tech start-ups have been crowned Tech North’s Northern Stars at a ceremony in Manchester.

Twenty finalists went head-to-head to pitch their businesses to four judges and a crowd of 300 investors and tech industry peers. 

The winning start-ups are:

  • Membr – Manchester: Connects the fitness industry with its members, enabling it to inspire, educate and motivate them to a healthier lifestyle, while also ensuring operators can run a smooth and profitable operation inside the gym. 
  • Nivo – Manchester: The fastest, safest, and most cost-effective way for service providers to talk to customers. The secure instant messaging solution lets providers reduce costs while driving digital engagement, customer experience, revenue and innovation. 
  • Relative Insight - Lancaster: Helps brands choose the best language to use with their target audience. The platform uses law enforcement trade language analysis to truly understand the words used by a target audience, and how they use them. 
  • Ruler Analytics - Liverpool: Closes the loop between leads and revenue. The platform matches real customer form-fills, live chat and phone calls, against the marketing campaign and keyword from which they were generated. 
  • Sport:80 – Sheffield: Cloud-based platform designed to enable sports organisations to simplify the way they work and deliver online services to members. The platform provides sports’ national governing bodies, and their networks, with access to affordable, innovative and cutting-edge technology. 
  • Synap – Leeds: Intelligent platform that uses machine learning to help students and professionals to learn more in less time. Using research from neuroscience, Synap tailors knowledge delivery to individuals in an engaging and stimulating manner.
  • Technically Compatible – Sunderland: Helps tech recruiters to make better hires and CTOs to build better teams by giving them a 360-degree view of potential IT hires via an innovative skills assessment platform. The platform allows users to quickly test candidates and receive quantifiable, objective data that highlights the best applicants to fast-track to interview. 
  • Tutora – Sheffield: Helps students and parents find the best local tutors for private, one-to-one tuition. The platform covers every subject and every age, across the whole of the UK. Using student reviews and a powerful algorithm, Tutora brings trust and transparency to the £6 billion UK tuition industry. 
  • Vypr – Manchester: Enables fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses to turn product innovation into a science, ensuring successful outcomes of the product development process, every time. Combining cutting-edge behavioural and data science in its enterprise software platform, VYPR ensures its clients put consumers at the heart of the innovation process. 
  • BigChange – Leeds: Paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track any mobile workforce. It’s a powerful all-in-one mobile workforce management platform that combines back office software, mobile apps, fleet management and real-time tracking in one cloud-based system. Manage your entire operation from quote, all the way through to invoice.

The 10 Northern Stars will now receive a prize package designed to raise their profile, meet investors and build their networks, including representing British startups at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin.

Esme Caulfield from Tech North said: “Initiatives like Northern Stars help us to showcase the wealth of digital talent we have across the region. This is the third year we have run the competition and each time I am overwhelmed with the calibre of applicants.

“This year’s winners are true innovators in their sectors and I look forward to working with our Northern Stars to help them to develop their businesses and reach their full potential.”

Tech North is a government-backed initiative charged with accelerating the growth of the digital business sector in the North of England.

The judging panel was made up of industry experts including Suzanne Ashman from LocalGlobe, James Foster from ADV, Keith Wallington a leading investor and adviser, and Sarah Turner co-founder of Angel Academe.