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.


Media coverage: The online marketplace connecting people with mechanics

ClickMechanic was first conceived after Andrew Jervis identified a lack of trust in the relationships between mechanics and their customers, with no easy way of booking a car service online.

Using his background in the automotive parts industry, Jervis set his sights on creating an online marketplace where people could book a car mechanic in the easiest and most transparent way.

Through its innovative quoting functionality, ClickMechanic now matches up thousands of customers each month with professional local mechanics. The platform offers an simple booking system with an online diagnostics inspection that has yet to be rivalled in the tech space.

Business Advice caught up with Jervis to find out more about how ClickMechanic became a market leader in car services, his business inspirations, and his hopes for the future.

(1) Who are you and what’s your business?

I am Andrew Jervis, co-founder and CEO of ClickMechanic. We’re bringing trust, transparency and convenience to auto-repairs through our online marketplace.

(2) How long have you been around for?

We were officially founded in 2012, coming out of a McKinsey & Company startup accelerator called Entrepreneur First.

(3) How do you make money?

We take a percentage from every booking we receive as commission.

(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?

Getting a repair with ClickMechanic is so easy and gives instant peace of mind – you’re getting an honest deal and a great mechanic.

We allow customers to get an instant online industry-standard quote in just one minute, using our state of the art quote engine that uses millions of data points – the first of its kind in Europe.

Once receiving a quote, the user can quickly book-in online and have one of our vetted 900 mechanics come and take care of their vehicle.

(5) What was key in terms of getting started?

Prior to starting ClickMechanic I previously had an online automotive parts business, which I sold.

This led me onto undertaking a research masters at the University of Manchester, where I investigated a lot of the issues that existed in the automotive repair space, and looked at a number of models that could help alleviate these.

I then moved down to London, where I met my co-founder and our chief technology officer, and we kicked things off from there.

(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Delivering a real game-changing product that is honestly changing peoples lives when it comes to automotive repairs.

We’ve also built an awesome team, and these things combined together have helped us grow at a very healthy rate.

(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?

There a numerous set-backs when building a company, from having cash flow issues, to seeing particular deals not quite come-off, to huge product deployments getting delayed by months – you just have to keep fighting through them.

The key is to stay focused and work hard to overcome these set-backs.

(8) In five years’ time, I will be…

That’s a tricky question. We have a very clear two-year plan of where we want to take the business, then we’ll review the next three years from there.

(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?

When starting out you have to have the mindset that you could be working on this business for five to ten years before really turning it into a success.

Successful businesses are not built overnight and require a lot of hard work and determination to turn into a reality.

(10) Who are your business heroes and why?

All those people out there who are grafting hard every day trying to make their dream a reality.

It’s not easy, and anyone who works hard and has the will power to keep going through various set-backs deserves a lot of credit.

First published through on 10/11/2016 here and is part of the Empact Ventures Growth Studio.

ByRoland Mortimer

Blog: Surveying the sector: what are universities doing to support entrepreneurial students?

For any group working towards a shared goal, reliable information – on how effectively members of the group are achieving that goal, and on how they might increase their impact – is key to success, and this is no less true of the enterprise and entrepreneurship education community than it is of any other.

That is why, after a hiatus of nearly four years, the Centre for Entrepreneurs is partnering with the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education (NCEE) to relaunch the Survey of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education (SEE-HE), last run in 2012. Before the moaning and groaning begins (“yet another survey?”) it is worth providing some context on our decision to reinstate it.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs is a non-profit think-tank that researches the economic and social impact of entrepreneurship. In the past, we’ve published reports on the entrepreneurial potential of migrants, seaside towns and prisoners (to name a few) and used our findings to push for positive changes to public attitudes and government policy. Our latest project will explore the extent of entrepreneurial activity among university students and graduates, and examine the role of universities in supporting them.

As we began our review of previous research in this area, we were surprised by a distinct lack of up-to-date data on the state of the sector. High quality, comprehensive data allows students and faculty to understand their institution’s impact, and assists government and other funding bodies in allocating scarce resources (of renewed importance post-Brexit). While universities do have to submit annual figures to HEFCE on the number of start-ups they have supported (though there are question marks regarding accuracy), and although plenty of mapping and impact studies exist in relation to individual universities or even groups of universities, there is no all-encompassing survey of institutions on their entrepreneurship education activities that allows for reliable comparison.

Or at least, there hasn’t been one since NCEE last ran the SEE-HE in 2012. In our conversations with enterprise educators, we have found ourselves constantly being referred back to the findings of the 2012 edition when asking for data on the state of the sector.  And although we found the survey extremely interesting, the question that immediately came to mind was:what’s happened since?

To find out, we approached NCEE and asked them if they would consider rerunning the survey with us. They quickly agreed, with the result that – along with official supporters Enterprise Educators UK, the sector’s leading membership body – we announced the relaunch of the survey at last week’s International Enterprise Educators Conference at Liverpool John Moores University.

The SEE-HE is a comprehensive survey that includes questions on both the curricular and extra-curricular components of enterprise and entrepreneurship education. It is split into sections including course provision, extra-curricular activities, student participation, institutional policy, funding and sustainability and asks for a variety of both quantitative and qualitative information. For this year’s edition, responses we receive will feed into a final report that will provide a general overview of what higher education institutions are doing, with data pertaining to individual institutions remaining confidential (though the process of collection will undoubtedly also generate internal benefits for universities).

In order to be as democratic and transparent as possible, CFE and NCEE are crowdsourcing suggested amendments and improvements to this year’s edition of the SEE-HE from the educator community. Although for comparability reasons the survey cannot differ much from previous editions, we realise that there may be the need for minor tweaks and additions, and recognise that those best placed to make suggestions are educators themselves. Once we have received comments and incorporated them into the survey, we will launch the 2016 edition of the SEE-HE later this year.

I will continue to blog on the progress of the survey in the coming weeks and months ­- stay tuned for further details!

First published on the Centre for Entrepreneurs blog on 13/09/2016 here written by Maximilian Yoshioka, Lead Researcher at the Centre for Entrepreneurs. 

To download the 2012 edition of the survey, click here. To suggest changes to the survey, or if you simply want to get in touch with thoughts or questions, you can email me via

ByRoland Mortimer

Blog: Getting Funding For Your Start-up (Aug 2016)

StartUp Britain: Getting Funding for Your Start-up (August 2016)

You’ve got an awesome tech start up idea and a buddy who once made a WordPress site for his uncle’s business. Your investor ready right? Well not quite. Although we hear the stories of companies raising millions of pounds without even having made a penny of revenue (cue twitter et al), raising capital can be a highly complex and tricky affair.

We’ve previously closed rounds of investment and to make these rounds a reality we had to have a lot of investor meetings. So what were the key things we learnt when it comes to raising start-up seed funding? Well in short there are a lot of them but for the benefit of being precise and to the point I’ve decided to distill these down to five key points.

1) Either be raising or don’t be: Raising seed investment can take a lot of time. Investor meetings, slide decks, presentations, data requests, term sheets, negotiations and the rest of it. Many people say it’s a full time job in its self. That’s why its important to either be raising or not raising as if you’re trying to grow your business and build your product at the same time as raising you’ll find that you do everything quite poorly. Investors love to see a business that has made progress but if you have had no time to make any progress then you could be leaving your perspective investors not interested.

2) Build a great team: We always hear the old clique of investors invest in people not ideas but it’s a clique for a good reason. Investors want to invest in great people and teams. Ensure your team has complimentary skills, make sure everyone is awesome at what they purport to be, ensure they are hard working and last but not least make sure that they are willing to stay the course. The reason I say this is because start-ups are not easy and there will very likely be some very challenging days along the journey so its important to have a team with staying power who are committed to getting the job done.

3) Make sure it’s a BIG market: Investors invest to make a return. The way they make a return is by investing in a great team who create a great product that improves a big market and can therefore service a lot of customers and grow dramatically. This means the start-up will increase in value and sell for lots of money and everyone (fingers crossed) will walk away with a nice windfall. If your market is hyper niche, low value and low frequency your not going to get any investor excited. As a general rule of thumb, make sure your market is worth at least £1 Billion.

4) Get Traction: (AKA Customers) Its very well and good talking a good game and talking up your great idea but the proof in the pudding comes when people are willing to put their money where their mouth is and buy your new creation. Investors love it when you can get traction as it shows you understand what people want but more importantly it shows you can hustle and build a product that either makes revenue or has the potential to.

5) Creating a competitive dynamic: It can be tricky to get that first investor loving what you’re doing to the point that they give you a term sheet but if they do it does not mean you should instantly stop meeting other investors. By settling for the first offer you receive you don’t have a fair and accurate reflection of what the market is willing bear. Instead you should still have those scheduled investor meetings and see what happens as the likelihood is that your start up now will be more desirable as a competitive dynamic has been created. On the flip side there is also a chance the first investor could pull out of any possible deal which means you should have your back ups lined up.

Raising money for a start up is not easy but if you use these five tips that we learnt during our process you’ll be sure to get an upper hand in getting funding and building a great start-up.

First published on the StartUp Britain blog on 15/08/2016 here written by Andrew Jervis, CEO,, a funded tech startup that Empact Ventures supports.