Edtech social enterprise, Lift Lessons, who relocated to Leeds from London on the eve of Leeds Digital Festival 2019, have had a warm welcome to the Northern city after winning £20k at a pitch event organised by Headingley-based software company Nephos Solutions and supported by not-for-profit angel investment organisation NorthInvest.
The 100k Startup Challenge, held at the venue of the newly-opened Barclay Eagle Lab at Avenue HQ in Leeds, saw four tech and digital startups pitch to a panel of experts in front of a live audience as the finale event of Leeds Digital Festival 2019, a city-wide festival that hosted over 220 tech and digital events this year.
As well as a cash investment of £20k, the winning startup also receives 100 days of development time from the Nephos Solutions team, office accommodation, in-house branding and marketing support, mentoring, legal set-up provided by Mills & Reeve LLP and accounting advice by Garbutt + Elliott.
Lift Lessons won over the judges with their concept which aims to inclusively teach vocabulary through animated lessons and digital resources. While creating their products, Lift Lessons will also provide work experience and training opportunities for young people with special educational needs.
David Pearce, CEO of Nephos Solutions said:
‘Nephos Solutions is very grateful to all the pioneering startups who applied for our 100K Startup Challenge. The Challenge was born out of a desire to give entrepreneurs access life-changing funding opportunity and offer them the support they need to thrive. We’re really looking forward to working alongside Lift Lessons to help them take their business to the next level.’
Andrea Silani, Co-Founder of Lift Lessons said:
‘We can’t believe we have been awarded such a fantastic opportunity within only our first two weeks in the North! We’d like to thank Nephos Solutions and NorthInvest for their support and look forward to joining the tech and digital community in Leeds.’
Helen Oldham, Founding Board Director at NorthInvest said:
‘NorthInvest are very proud to have been part of this successful event and would like to congratulate the Lift Lessons team whole-heartedly and wish all the startups who took part the best of luck in their ventures. Initiatives such as the 100k Startup Challenge are a brilliant example of the opportunities available to tech and digital startups located in the North of England and we hope more entrepreneurs might consider basing their operations here to make full use of the opportunities available to them.’
Also shortlisted to pitch at the event were tech startups Deeno, JARP, Lift Lessons, and Cerebrum Matter. Each were given 10 minutes to pitch their business and quizzed by a panel of judges which included: David Pearce, CEO of Nephos Solutions; Peter Laithwaite, Director of Sales & Marketing at Nephos Solutions; Dr James Gupta, CEO of Synap; Lizzie McCloy, Investor Lead at NorthInvest and Senior Manager at KPMG; Simon Palmer, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott; Paul Johnson, Partner and Head of Corporate Team at Mills & Reeve LLP, and chaired by Director of Leeds Digital Festival, Stuart Clarke.
Picture Source: Credit Kane Fulton