While universities are highly competitive, they are also deeply collaborative. London Demo Day is a perfect example of deep collaboration created for a vibrant network of global investors, to bringing new investment in innovation to London.
According to Tech Nation, from late 2018 to present, London scale-up firms grew by over 56%, more than anywhere else globally. With this in mind, our three great London universities are delivering London Demo Day, a first-of-its-kind collaboration to showcase some of the best, new entrepreneurial talent in the UK.
The new generation of ventures due to pitch at London Demo Day include King’s venture, Panakeia, who are using machine learning, specifically deep learning, to make cancer diagnosis better, cheaper and faster. Led by Dr Pahini Pandya, Panakeia has won four awards and has raised £2.1m in investment.
From Imperial, sustainability venture, Polipop, will be pitching their innovative, flushable, 100% biodegradable sanitary pads. Polipop was the idea of Dr Olivia Ahn who went on to win three awards and has raised more than £100,000 in investment despite being an early-stage venture.
Oxford Heartbeat, from UCL, was founded by Dr Katarina Spranger and has won five awards and six grants. Oxford Heartbeat supports cardiovascular surgeons to deliver more effective and less expensive stent surgery through pre-surgery simulations to test stent fit and behaviour.
So, should the UK still be looking for its “Mark Zuckerberg” and its me-too Facebook or should it move on and leapfrog onto what’s coming up next. Perhaps the UK should optimise by spending less energy looking for its Mark and its Facebook, and focus more on supporting game-changing, commercially skilled, problem-solvers like Pahini, Olivia and Katarina. Oh yes, they are all women founders too.
And one last point, although there’s no question that US universities are leading the way when it comes to producing innovative, highly scalable start-ups, the UK’s progressive educational institutions are catching up – FAST.