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14/10/2018 Review: Bournemouth Super Connect Pitch Day

As part of the BOMO Festival , Empact Ventures and Hays plc delivered a Corporate-Investor Pitch Day at the Bournemouth University Executive Business Centre sponsored by the Dorset LEP , Mazars , Agile Automations , Gridizen , Linkilaw, and C6(n) .

The purpose of the event was to super connect the best emerging tech startups and scale-ups from around the world with key decision-makers from corporates and SMEs interested in discussing and negotiating pilots, contracts and/or partnerships.

It was also attended by a blended set of funding providers including tech focused angel investors, investment platforms, venture capitalists, grant support, startup loan support and crowdfunding platforms interested providing access to funding.

Its organiser Bournemouth-based Kosta Mavroulakis (Founder and CEO, Empact Ventures) believes that “Bournemouth has the potential to become an established tech cluster in the next decade beyond its strong digital roots and it is for this reason we are working from here to showcase its pockets of excellence and super connect it to the wider global tech ecosystem to create new business opportunities for all involved”.

Finn Morgan, Business Engagement and Dorset Gateway Manager for the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership joined throughout the day and said that “Dorset LEP’s role is to promote and drive local economic growth and prosperity across Dorset. Working with partners to develop opportunities which support innovative and ambitious businesses to succeed is of vital importance to us and the businesses we represent. It was therefore a great opportunity to hear from and engage with a range of businesses, who are based locally – as well as those from outside of the Dorset business ecosystem – about their plans for business growth.”

One of the the day’s most impressive startups was the AI-powered RetailTech startup Shoppar who joined from London and explained how it was putting customer data into physical retail stores across the UK to help them better understand their shoppers. It is currently working with clients including Sky and Hugo Boss. The technology uses computer vision and WI-FI analytics to understand various data points and help to deliver usable metrics to improve campaign delivery and convert sales opportunities.

Peter Ward its Co-Founder and CEO added that it was a great event put together by Empact Ventures and Hays with “a range of impressive startups, support business specialists and investors in attendance, creating a well rounded event that made very good use of a day out the office.”

Throughout the day the tech startups pitched including the current team leading Hollabox, a tech startup providing a video-led discovery platform founded by BU graduates Adam Beveridge, Arun Thangavel and Joshua D’Acres-Hylton which has received a six figure investment from the likes of JustEat and the founder of Tossed UK. It also saw Bournemouth-based tech entrepreneur Jon Masters who pitched from YouGo.World to introduce his team’s augmented reality solution solution to connect with people from around the world for business, events and tours. He was followed by another Bournemouth-based tech entrepreneur Dr Jan Walter Schroeder who is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sensovo , an award-winning supplier of wearable technology with integrated tactile actuators used for navigation and other applications

Other startups who pitched included PropTech startup Gridizen from London who introduced their end-to-end Property Management solution connecting Landlords and Tenants on a single platform, while Agile Automations from Manchester pitched their Robotics Process Automation service for financial institutions. EHAB from London, a blockchain based platform for sustainable urban development pitched and Outi Pietilanaho from Vimma who joined remotely from Finland to introduce her team’s unique take on AI-powered programmatic influencer marketing. This was followed by cyber startup CybrQ who remotely pitched from Switzerland about its Cyber Exposure Score that empowers SMEs to take informed decisions using their range of cyber security tools.

The afternoon session later kicked off by London-based UGenie who showed their private digital engagement platform for communities with memberships and former Bournemouth resident Pete Beckett who introduced IoT Invent which builds IoT hardware products and delivers associated consultancy services. Next, Scott Druck from Coventry presented iLeader , a game changer in staff and productivity management through workflows for any process enabled by AI. Sierra presented its take on creating the Uber for tutoring to help students find personalised support by outstanding tutors and CLiKD , an award-winning dating app focusing on people fed up with the swipe culture and want to find someone on their wavelength.

As super connectors, the Empact Ventures team were able to connect people based on mutual need by collecting their business interests, needs and challenges upon registration. This enabled them to recommend and make many introductions on the day which created a real vibe amongst attendees wanting to collaborate. It also helped to address the problem that people usually face when they go to traditional business events where they do not know who to talk to about what and who has a need, challenge or interest in their business, and Empact Ventures continues to facilitate introductions by email up to a few weeks after its events.

Overall the event was a success with many outcomes achieved for the startups and scale-ups that pitched, the sponsors, partners and attendees who gave up their day away from the office. It was attended by local corporates like Hays, local SMEs like Intelligent Environments and C6(n), local startups like Digital Smart Solutions and scale-ups like Cudo Ventures, tech investors like Unique Block Group and agencies like Weissman, Human and Dots Creative.

Martin Pardey the Business Director of the Bournemouth office at Hays plc who co-designed the event pointed out how the Tech Nations report 2018 showed there was a challenge associated with accessing talent. He said “ Hays are incredibly proud to have again partnered on the Empact corporate pitch day. We are engaging with more smaller tech companies than ever through our Digital Technology business and this event gives us a unique opportunity to engage with the next generation of technology companies. We value the opportunity to provide our insight and advice on technology skills and recruitment and further strengthen relationships with our current clients by introducing them to relevant start-up organisations. The event in Bournemouth was superb, with a good range of tech businesses pitching including companies with IoT, apps, cyber and data products and services. It was a pleasure to be involved again and I look forward to partnering with Empact on future pitch days”.

Lara Brennan, Senior Manager at Mazars added that “it was an absolute pleasure to sponsor the Bournemouth Pitch Day and have the opportunity to talk to start-ups and scale-ups about their accounting and tax challenges. It was great to connect with like minded entrepreneurs and discuss their business plans and innovations. We are very much looking forward to the next Pitch Day.”

Martin Keelagher, CEO of Agile Automations who was a sponsor and also pitched as a scale-up added that as

“Agile Automations embarks on it’s national sponsorship of Empact Ventures scale up and investment roadshow, we look forward to forming new partnerships and building long-standing relationships, from a diverse and varied amount of sectors”.

Moving forward the national startup initiative will continue to Corporate-Investor Pitch Days below:

  • 14th November 2018 – London
  • 23rd January 2019 – Cambridge
  • 5th March 2019 – Bristol
  • 2nd May 2019 – LeedsIf you a Corporate, SME or funding provider who would like to join any of the panels, please register your interest here and if you are a tech startup or scale-up interested in pitching please fill in your expression of interest here .For more information about Empact Ventures visit or if you have any questions, please contact Raphael Weninger, Head of Ventures at Empact Ventures on

May 2017 – Qapitol’s Co-Founder Mohan Panguluri becomes Fellow of Centre for Entrepreneurs in U.K

Qapitol QA is delighted to announce that our Co-Founder and Managing Director, Mohan Panguluri has been invited to become Fellow of Centre for Entrepreneurs, a respected thinktank in the United Kingdom.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank promotes the role of entrepreneurs in creating economic growth and social well-being. It is home to national enterprise campaign, StartUp Britain which it took ownership over from its original founders and re-launched in Downing Street and Buckingham Palace with the Prime Minister and HRH Duke of York. The annual summer bus tours have mobilised over 800 entrepreneurs and experts to give free business advice to over 10,000 aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs in more than 60 towns and cities across Britain.

The Centre has led a public debate on how to make Britain more entrepreneurial over the past three years. From championing migrant entrepreneurs and advocating support for ex-offender entrepreneurs, to uncovering how entrepreneurs are reviving declined seaside towns and shattering negative stereotypes affecting women entrepreneurs – among many other topics.

Mohan will be joining the CFE Founders, a fellowship of successful entrepreneurs who share its vision of an entrepreneurial Britain. The Club is curated by the Centre for Entrepreneurs to provide the insight and financial support to help the think tank deliver its mission – defending entrepreneurs and promoting the economic and social value of entrepreneurship.

He will be joining others in supporting the CFE with notable fellows including Lord Leigh, Caroline Theobald CBE, Dale Murray (award-winning angel investor), Duane Jackson (Founder, KashFlow), Joel Blake OBE, Lara Morgan (serial entrepreneur) and many more as seen here (

Welcoming Mohan to the Centre for Entrepreneurs Founders Club, its Director Matt Smith added:

“We are delighted to welcome Mohan as a Fellow of the Centre for Entrepreneurs and his international experience in setting up Qapitol QA as migrant entrepreneur and recently expanding it into the UK will provide valuable insights to our research and campaigns”

Commenting on the announcement he said:

“I am honoured to be invited to become a fellow of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, a prestigious think tank that produces some excellent research on areas close to my heart like migrant entrepreneurship. I look forward to being part of this unique community of entrepreneurs striving to create an Entrepreneurial Britain”

With Mohan’s support, the Centre for Entrepreneurs will be able to continue to identifying the cultural, technical and policy barriers holding back entrepreneurship and tackle them through high-impact research and campaigns.

It will help the think tank to deliver its mission to defend entrepreneurs and promote the economic and social value of entrepreneurship.

This recognition is another positive step for Mohan and the Qapitol QA team which expanded its operations from Bengaluru in India to Milton Keynes and Bournemouth in the United Kingdom.

To read more about the Centre for Entrepreneurs, its research reports and campaigns, visit and to learn about and how it can support your startup visit


April 2017 – Empact Ventures Selected as Delivery Partner for UK Expansion

Empact Ventures is delighted to announce that one of India’s leading quality assurance testing firms Qapitol QA has selected us to be their new Delivery Partner for their UK expansion in 2017.

Qapitol QA are quality assurance experts aiming to accelerate the product quality of startups which aims to become the best QA partner for tech startups to build and ship scalable and secure products faster.

Based in Bangaluru, India, the team is made up of highly experienced team of 40 product experts, quality assurance testers and developers with vast experience building, shipping and testing. Their new UK office is based in Milton Keynes and they will be working very closely with Empact Ventures based in Bournemouth over the coming year.

Qapitol QA has supported 85+ tech startups around the world including India, UK and the USA including the likes of the World Economic Forum and Santander. They were also recently awarded the accolade of ‘Winner of Best Contribution to Quality in the Mobile World’ by The AQuA Quality Awards.

Empact Ventures helps the world’s leading entrepreneurial organisations and emerging tech startups create economic and/or social impact for their ventures through highly connected networks and collaborative partnerships at a local to international level.

It was founded by award-winning enterprise champion, Kosta Mavroulakis in 2016 to address the growing needs of entrepreneurial organisations and high growth potential tech startups. He also holds the roles of Campaign Manager of StartUp Britain and UK Program Manager of Seven LaunchPad where he supports startups across the UK.

Commenting on the partnership, Empact Ventures’ Founder & CEO, Kosta Mavroulakis said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen as the delivery partner for Qapitol QA to help bring their support to tech startups across the UK to help them ship scalable, high performing and secure products with an independent testing team working with their in-house development team.”

Mohan Panguluri, Co-Founder & Director of Qapitol QA also added:

“We were looking for a DNA match in our partnership and we found that Empact Ventures and Kosta Mavroulakis share the same passion that we have – to see more startups succeed. We are excited about the prospects that this partnerships brings forth and are well positioned to address the QA challenges for Tech Startups in UK and Europe”

For more information about Qapitol QA, visit and if you are a UK startup interested in working with them, please contact


January 2017 – I-COM Data Startup Challenge 2017

%d1%81%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%baEmpact Vetures is delighted to announce it is an Innovation Partner of the I-COM Data Startup Challenge 2017.

The I-COM summit will take place in the enchanting city of Porto, Portugal, April 24th-27th, 2017. More information about the event, including how to enter, can be found in the release below:

Never before has there been such a curiosity and need for large global enterprises to understand and invest in the latest approaches and technologies that are on the horizon. Now in its 5th edition, the I-COM Data Startup Challenge enables the ‘best and the brightest’ data startups from around the World to showcase their work and abilities. The I-COM Data Startup Challenge is the leading Awards competition for Startups who leverage value from Marketing Data & Measurement as the central selling point of their product or services.

%d1%81%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%ba2“Each year we see all our Awards to grow in importance. This year we launch the I-COM Data Startup Challenge, rebranded from the I-COM Data Venture Challenge. For Startups, entering the Challenge presents them with a unique opportunity not only to have their work focused on by a distinguished Jury, but also to be discovered by potential customers and investors who can help propel them to the next level of development” says Andreas Cohen, Founder & Chairman, I-COM Global

About the Awards

Who Can Enter?

The I-COM Data Startup Challenge is specifically aimed at Startups who leverage value from Marketing Data & Measurement as the central selling point of their product or services, pertaining to Digital Marketing. I-COM defines a Startup company as follows:

  • Product is live in the market, at least having one client = 1 case study
  •  The company is less than 4 years old
  • Annual Revenue is less than US$ 2.5 million

How To Enter?

Entries can be made online by completing the Entry Form at

Entry Deadline: January 31st, 2017.

About I-COM Global

Founded in 2004 as a spin-off of a P&G led industry initiative, I-COM is aimed at helping its members achieving competitive advantage in Smart Data Marketing. Backed by 100 associations in 40 countries, today, I-COM is a Global trade body exploring the creation of business value from Marketing Data & Measurement. The I-COM community is comprised of the largest international group of industry leaders on the forefront of Smart Data Marketing.

For further information, please contact: Jelena Zdjelar, Marketing Manager |


Media Coverage: Bringing car repair into the 21st century

Entrepreneur Andrew Jervis is bringing the car repair industry into the 21st century with the launch of ClickMechanic, ‘the Uber for mechanics.

Likened to the ‘Uber of the car repair industry’, ClickMechanic was founded in 2012 in a bid to bring the industry into the 21st century.

The website provides a platform for car owners to search for quotes for car repairs and book an appointment either at home or at garages across the UK.

While running a previous car parts aggregator business, entrepreneur Andrew Jervis found there was a problem with many customers not trusting their mechanics.

After further investigation and a chat with his mechanic brother he realised there was just no easy way to book a trusted mechanic.

Andrew decided to study a research masters in Manchester where he devoted himself to understanding these problems better.

After writing an 85,000-word thesis on the space he moved to London to join accelerator Entrepreneur First where he met Felix who had identified the same problems.

The pair decided to team up and develop ClickMechanic. Andrew told BQ: “ClickMechanic is an online marketplace for car repair.

“We’re bringing transparency, trust and convenience to the automotive repair industry through our industry standard quote system.

“I think our core USP is our ability to get an online industry standard quote online in just two minutes and then quickly book in with one of our vetted mechanics.

“A bonus is that most of our mechanics are mobile so they’ll come to people’s homes for no extra charge, saving the customer time and money.”

Andrew and Felix went on to graduate from the popular pre-accelerator in London, Entrepreneur First and recently raised £330,000 from leading investors led by the former CEO of Just Eat.

Since its launch in 2013, the company has gone from strength-to-strength employing 15 members of staff and undertaking millions of pounds worth of repairs each year.

And Andrew has ambitious plans for the company. He added: “We launched in 2013 and in our first 18 months we grew rapidly averaging over 20% month-on-month growth.

“The last couple of years we have been doubling in size and we shall be maintaining this target going forward.

“We are now aiming to aggressively push and grow the business by hiring more staff and executing some really exciting strategies we have lined up.”

First published through our media partner Business Quarter  on 03/11/2016 here and is part of the Empact Ventures Growth Studio.