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Fab five head to Barcelona in search for Best British Tech Startup 2019

Fab five head to Barcelona in search for Best British T

Five startups from across Britain are due to fly to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, having reached the finals in a competition to find the Best British Tech Startup.


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The five businesses represent disruptive enterprises all using groundbreaking technology in sectors including retail, agriculture and space and will pitch against each other to battle for the title of Best British Tech Startup 2019.

The competition, which is now in its fifth year, is run by professional services firm KPMG who whittled down more than 180 applications to find five innovative businesses from regions across the UK, who will now travel to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to pitch their business to a panel of industry experts.

Commenting on the competition and the finalists, Patrick Imbach, head of KPMG’s innovative startups practice said:

“The diversity of the five finalists in this competition speaks to the UK’s vibrant tech startup ecosystem and the disruption that they are bringing to a host of traditional sectors.

“All of the 40 shortlisted companies are doing fantastic things in their own fields, but our finalists impressed the judges with the innovation of their offering and the way in which they are harnessing technologies that could revolutionise their sectors.

“With many of these businesses demonstrating the potential to expand their global footprints, they now have a golden opportunity to pitch to an audience of major industry players looking for the next potential startup to invest in, buy from, or form an alliance with. There can only be one winner, but these five businesses, having achieved some amazing results already, really demonstrate just how strong Britain is in building disruptive technologies and innovative business models.”

The finalists are who will now pitch at Four Years from Now at Mobile World Congress on 26th February are:

  • Soho based Hummingbird Technologies is an artificial intelligence business, using imagery and data analytics from UAV, satellite and plane technology, together with machine learning and computer vision techniques, to provide farmers with high resolution crop maps.
  • ZigZag Global is a software solution to help ecommerce retailers manage returns domestically and globally based in central London.
  • Midlands based Grid Edge is an Artificial Intelligence startup company that provides AI software services to commercial building operators to empower them to intelligently optimise their building’s energy profile, and become active and empowered participants in the energy system.
  • Manchester based Optalysys is developing optical AI systems designed to accelerate the most demanding deep learning and pattern recognition tasks at groundbreaking speeds but at a fraction of the energy consumption of traditional computing hardware.
  • Oxford Space Systems (OSS) is an award-winning space technology business that's pioneering the development of a new generation of deployable antennas and structures for the global satellite industry.

Alumni of the Best British Tech Startup competition include SafeToNet, What3Words and Echo and hundreds of millions have been raised by previous participants to date.

The competition provides an unrivalled opportunity for British startups to raise their profile, gain access to investors, clients, corporate alliance partners and a booth to present their startup to over 100,000 industry players. The Mobile World Congress is one of the world’s largest annual technology industry gathering, organised by the GSMA. Last year the event attracted over 100,000 attendees from all parts of the world, including over 7,000 CEO participants, 2,000 exhibitors and 3,500 international media and analysts. Hundreds of investors attend the event in Barcelona, all of whom are searching for the next unicorn to support.


For further information contact:

Emma Murray, Communications Manager, KPMG UK

T: +44 (0)20 7694 6506
M: +44 (0)7920 870 623

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 16,300 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.338 billion in the year ended 30 September 2018. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and has 200,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

© 2020 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

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