Entrepreneurs from across the UK pitched their business models to a panel of experts at London’s City Hall and six were shortlisted.
The overall winner was VividQ, based in London and Cambridge, which is developing deep tech software company with world-leading expertise in 3D holography.
All finalists will receive mentoring support and access to KPMG’s global network of tech ambassadors and investors to help them develop their products and business models.
Edinburgh-based Intelligent Growth Solutions is developing vertical farming technology that could solve worldwide challenges created by population growth and climate change.
Glasgow firm ClinSpec Dx has developed the world’s first cost-effective blood test for brain cancer and aims use artificial intelligence to aid early detection of cancers and other diseases.
IGS CEO David Farquhar said: “IGS has developed the world’s first vertical farm in a box, which is designed to solve some of the world’s food problems. As we approach a global population of eight billion and we begin to lose around half of our arable land we’re just going to have to find different ways to feed ourselves.
“All the high-profile people in our space are making their own customised, one-off vertical farms so that they can grow themselves. We’re the first people to productise it and basically stick it in a box so we can get it packaged, flat-packed and sent anywhere in the world. We then support local farmers to let them grow, so we’re the next step in a natural progression.”
Dr Matthew Baker, founder and chief technical officer at ClinSpec Dx, said: “It’s been a year of firsts for ClinSpec Dx, with our liquid biopsy for brain cancer successfully completing its first clinical study, first grant of our core patents in the USA and Europe and first sales of our hardware for non-clinical applications. We are now raising funds to expand our team, scale-up our technology and to develop the multi-cancer capability of the ClinSpec Dx platform over the next 18 months.
“Our simple “Drop, Dry, Detect” method analyses minute volumes of human serum (a component of your blood) and our Artificial Intelligence powered algorithms detect the signs of cancer in minutes. Ultimately every day counts for patients, clinicians and healthcare services and we are committed to improving the early detection of disease for the benefit of all.”
Amy Burnett, private enterprise manager at KPMG, added: “Scotland’s role in the development of the UK’s tech sector is something that the country can really be proud of. What started as small hubs of entrepreneurialism in the major cities has blossomed into a vibrant and increasingly lucrative part of the Scottish economy.”