Leicestershire company crowned most innovative tech firm

A Hinckley based company has been crowned the Midlands’ most innovative technology firm for 2020, by a tech magazine. 

Holovis, which designs immersive and mixed reality solutions for entertainment venues and enterprise clients, took the number one spot in BusinessCloud’s ‘Midlands Tech 50’ list

In total eight Leicester/Leicestershire businesses were featured in the rankings.

The chart was made up from BusinessCloud’s readers, who voted for the firms from a 117-strong shortlist. A judging panel then determined the top 50.

Insuretech startup DeadHappy was the only other Leicester based business in the top 10, coming 4th overall.

Below are the Leicester/shire ranked companies, but for the full list visit BusinessCloud


1. Holovis Hinckley

4. DeadHappy Leicester

14. Bluesky International Ashby-de-la-Zouch

18. Navitas Leicester

20. StaffCircle Leicester

36. European Thermodynamics Wistow

39. ParticiPoll Leicester

47. e-bate Leicester


Wanted: Technical co-founder for new Leicester startup

A brand new startup in Leicester is looking for a technical co-founder.
Gurvinder Bassi previously launched www.mybillbutler.uk, but is now looking to launch a second venture- a website that lets SMEs pay their suppliers with “greater flexibility and convenience than they currently get”.
If you have a developer background and wish to get involved, please email gurvinder@mybillbutler.uk

Loughborough graduate to compete in emerging entrepreneurs final

A Loughborough graduate is competing in the finals of Santander’s emerging entrepreneurs competition.

Kate Walker will pitch her business ExpHand, which designs prosthetic limbs for children, for a chance to win up to £30k in seen  funding.

The idea for ExpHand came in 2017 when Kate met a girl called Zoey who was born with below elbow limb loss and had never been offered a prosthetic before. Kate went on to learn that 90% of people who need artificial limbs do not receive it because of a lack of doctors, access and expenses.

You can see how Kate does in the finals by registering for the  Zoom event


An opportunity for Leicester founders to quiz venture capitalist fund managers

Venture capitalist firm Mercia is offering startup founders in Leicester the chance to speak to some of their funding managers for free.

Every Friday from 9am-midday entrepreneurs can book in a 15-minute slot to ask some of their burning business questions.

Upcoming surgeries include:

Friday 2nd October with Fund Principal, Ian Wilson

Friday 9th October with Investment Manager Stephen Windsor

Friday 16th October with Managing Director, Mercia PE Funds, Wayne Thomas

Friday 23rd October with Investment Manager, James Allsopp


Book your slot here: https://www.mercia.co.uk/meet-the-funder/

Leicester Startups Encouraged to Apply for Growth Programmes

Leicester based digital tech companies are being encouraged to apply to Tech Nation’s growth programmes.

Applications have opened for it’s Rising Starts (for early stage startups), Upscale (for fast growing businesses) and Future Fifty (for late stage growth) programmes.

The Rising Stars programme is dubbed as the “UK’s most exciting competition for innovative, early-stage tech companies”.

Entrants are given training and support in order for them to perfect their pitches. It culminates in the top 20 companies being showcased online and promoted to an audience of investors, corporates, influencers and the wider tech ecosystem.

Last year Leicester based HR management platform Staff Circle reached the regional semi-finals.

To learn more visit: https://technation.io/

If you’re interested in applying it is worth contacting Naomi Nash, Tech Nation’s East Midlands Entrepreneur Engagement Manager.

Leicester Based Text Messaging Startup Partners With Microsoft

A startup based here in Leicester is set to work alongside one of the world’s biggest technology companies.

TxtSync- which is a cloud based SMS solution- is partnering with Microsoft after it was successful in joining on to the tech giant’s ‘Microsoft Independent Software Vendor Connect Program’.

It means that the startup will now benefit from access to Microsoft’s sales team around the world. TxtSync has the potential to be seen by thousands of Microsoft’s customers including their 400 enterprise customers, many of which are household names.

It is an upturn in fortune for founder Warren Blanchard-Doyle from Market Harborough. In recent years he has been affected by several situations such as reduction in staff due to poor performance of a previous venture, his premises being broken into and ending up in hospital for several weeks with an illness whilst still running the business. Since November 2019, he has been dedicated in growing the business month on month.

With the help of Microsoft on his side, he is set to grow the business with the hope of increasing his team size here in Leicestershire as well as his US operation.

UPDATE: Warren featured on BBC Radio Leicester to talk about this story. You can listen again at around 2hours 39minutes in.

Read more: https://pressroom.journolink.com/txtsync/releases

Leicester startup vows to “solve bicycle theft”

The founder of a Leicester startup says he aims to “solve bicycle theft” with his innovative new bike rack and accompanying app.

Domingo Armengol is launching his business Uni Cycle Solutions four years after moving to Leicester from Spain.

He came up with the idea after having his bike stolen on his very first day in the UK.

According to 2015 data, 376,000 bicycles are stolen every year in the UK. This works out at about one bike stolen every 90 seconds. The website Stolen Bikes UK says this leads to a quarter of riders giving up riding altogether.

Uni Cycle Solutions hopes to help tackle this by having councils, universities and large corporations installing its ‘Smart Racks’ in their towns and cities. Cyclists park up at the racks, open up the accompanying app and secure their bikes using their phones.

The company has been hosted at the Innovation Hub, nominated for an innovation award and the team is now looking for their first customers.

Insurance startup DeadHappy set to hit crowd funding target

A Leicester-based insuretech startup is close to hitting it’s £1.5m crowd funding target within 48 hours of going live.

DeadHappy privately launched on Seedrs on Thursday, welcoming investments of as little as £10.

The company has received £1.48m from 343 ‘private’ Seedrs investors so far.

The round will open to the public on Tuesday.

Leicester graduate launches new test and trace site

A University of Leicester graduate has launched a new website to help restaurants test and trace their customers as part of Covid-19 lockdown easing measures.

Hamzah Malik says he created 21days.org.uk with the help of NHS doctors and advisors.

Currently business owners in the hospitality sector are being asked by the government to keep a record of their customers and visitors for 21 days in “a way that is manageable”.

21Days.org.uk works by scanning a restaurant’s QR code when a customer enters their premises. They then input their details and are reminded to log-out when they leave. In the case of an outbreak business owners can send their customers a text or email to anyone potentially affected.

The data is stored for 21 days and self erases after that time.

Hamzah Malik, who also runs digital marketing agency Regent Branding, said:

“Unlike other test and trace databases, 21Days is a Pay As You Go service, suiting small independents as well as larger chains, offering real-time capabilities that restaurants can access at any time to look at their footfall.

“21Days not only stores information efficiently but also protects customers by alerting them if they need to self-isolate. Restaurants can also send the required data to the NHS Test and Trace team. Additionally, 10% of 21Days’ profits go to Action Against Hunger UK.”

The government’s own test and trace app is due to be rolled out on 24 September.


Vote for your favourite Leicester area business in BusinessCloud’s Midlands Tech 50 awards

BusinessCloud’s Midlands Tech 50 is an annual innovation ranking showcases the region’s most innovative start-ups, scale-ups and established tech companies. 12 Leicester & Leicestershire firms have been shortlisted amongst the final 50. The final ranking will be determined by a combination of reader votes and selections from an expert judging panel. The deadline is 11.59pm on Sunday 13th September – cast your vote here: https://www.businesscloud.co.uk/midlands-tech-50-vote/

The shortlisted Leicester & Leicestershire companies:-

Hive Composites
Intercede Group
Magna Parva