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Tuesday 21st November 2017
You may remember back in September we attended the Northern Stars regional event in Leeds, where Synap were crowned the regional winners and secured their spot in the Grand Final. 

Over the course of the last few months, more regional heats took place in Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield where more finalists were chosen. 

Last Thursday (16th November), after months of anticipation, the Northern Stars Grand Final took place in Manchester and we went along to see which 10 start-ups would be chosen to win the prestigious prize package.

The Grand Final Prize

-A stand on the tech north pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt (Berlin, Dec 2017) with subsidised travel!
-Presentation slots at investor pitch events in London
-Entrance to the northern tech awards with a dedicated northern stars category!
-An exclusive amazon web services package, worth over $15,000
-Media training by Citypress plus more!

The judging panel
The judging panel who had the tough job of picking the winners at Thursday’s grand final, was made up of four widely respected industry experts. Each with their own expertise!

Suzanna Ashman of LocalGlobeDavid Fogel Co Founder of ADVKeith Wallington an investor and advisor and Sarah Turner – Co founder of Angel Academe.

Like the regional heat we attended in Leeds, the start-ups had a strict time limit to adhere to - 3 minutes to pitch their start up and a further 3 minutes after that to answer questions from the panel. Only 6 minutes to convince the judging panel as to why their business was worthy of a spot within the 10 winners. To say the pressure was on for the final 20 finalists would for sure be an under statement.

But, at the end of the day, there could only be 10 winners…

The Winners!

BigChange – “The paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track any mobile workforce.”

Based in Leeds and Launched in 2013, BigChange is a powerful all-in-one mobile workforce management platform that combines back office software, mobile apps, fleet management and real-time tracking in one cloud-based system.

BigChange recently featured at 12th in the Northern Tech 100, a league table ranking the fastest-growing tech companies in the North of England

Membr – “Connecting the fitness industry with its members, helping inspire, educate and motivate them to a healthier lifestyle.”

Based In Manchester, Membr’s smart, slick and simple-to-use digital platform connects the fitness industry with its members through Membr Manage, a full club management solution, packed with all the back-end and sales features you could want and need.

Nivo – “The fastest, safest, and most cost effective way for service providers to talk to customers”. 

Manchester based Nivo’s secure instant messaging solution lets providers reduce costs while also driving digital engagement, customer experience, revenue and innovation. With Nivo customers can be filled with confidence that they will be able to recognise they’re talking to a real person and that their data is secure.

Relative Insight – “Helping brands choose the best language to use with their target audience.” 

Working out of Lancaster, Relative Insight works with clients and agencies both sides of the Atlantic and is trusted by global brands such as Unilever and Disney to understand and better connect with customers.

Ruler Analytics – “Closing the loop between leads and revenue. The platform matches real customer form-fills, live chat and phone calls, against the marketing campaign and keyword from which they were generated.”

With Hundreds of customers across four continents, Liverpool’s Ruler Analytics has won a number of awards, including Best Software Product at the 2017 Northern Digital Awards, and was winner of the Northern Stars regional heat when it came to Liverpool.

Sport:80 – “A cloud-based platform designed to enable sports organisations to simplify the way they work and deliver online services to members”.

Based in Sheffield, Sport:80 has been designed to provide data security, drive revenue and improve engagement, the platform sits behind your website, providing one point of entry for all individuals affiliated with your sport, whether they are staff, coaches, officials, athletes or volunteers. 

Synap – “An intelligent platform that uses machine learning to help students and professionals to learn more in less time.” 

Synap won the regional heat in Leeds back in September. Their platform is used by thousands of students on a daily basis. Synap tailors knowledge delivery to individuals in an engaging and stimulating manner.

Technically Compatible – “Helping tech recruiters make better hires and CTOs build better teams, by giving them a 360-degree view of potential IT hires via an innovative skills assessment platform.“

The platform developed in Sunderland allows users to quickly test candidates and receive quantifiable, objective data that highlights the best applicants to fast-track to interview.

Tutora –
“Helping students and parents find the best local tutors for private, one-to-one tuition.” 

The tutor platform developed in Sheffield covers every subject and every age, across the whole of the UK. Using student reviews and a powerful algorithm, Tutora brings trust and transparency to the £6 billion UK tuition industry.

VYPR – “Enabling fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) businesses to turn product innovation into a science, ensuring successful outcomes of the product development process, every time”. 

The enterprise software developer boasts an impressive range of clients including global FMCG brands and highstreet retailers.

A massive well done to all the start-ups who pitched. Some really innovative ideas have been brought to life and are fantastic additions to the thriving Northern Tech scene! 

Find out how you can take part in the Northern Stars programme next year, click here.
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