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KPMG’s tech startup competition 2024 opens applications

KPMG’s Private Enterprise practice has today launched its annual search for the most exciting tech innovators on offer in the UK in its 2024 tech startup competition.

The pitching competition, which has been running since 2013, has uncovered outstanding tech from businesses across the UK including What3Words, VividQ and HiiROC who went on to win the global final during Web Summit in 2022.  

KPMG’s Tech Innovator in the UK competition, which is open to tech businesses from early-stage to accelerated growth, offers shortlisted businesses a platform to showcase their business, exclusive networking opportunities among industry experts, their peers and other tech innovators.   The national winner will then go on to represent the UK at the global final to be held at Web Summit later in the year where they will pitch in front of an audience of industry specialists and global investors.  

Almost 400 aspiring tech giants applied to the tech startup competition last year, which was ultimately won by St Helens-based Inovus Medical for the technology it is using to provide a solution to the global surgeon shortage via its state-of-the-art digital surgery platform.  

Commenting on the competition, Euan West, UK head of KPMG’s Private Enterprise practice, said: “For more than a decade, this tech startup competition has unearthed some truly disruptive technology across a host of sectors from fintech, agritech, health tech and increasingly clean tech. We are seeing investors taking a real interest in the innovation coming out of the UK, and this competition provides a great platform to profile and celebrate the outstanding work being done by our tech founders.    

“As the ecosystem of tech hubs matures, we are seeing some great home-grown innovation up and down the UK and our roll call of previous winners reflects the great talent on offer in cities across the UK.  We look forward to the competition coming around every year to see which hidden gems get discovered and how we can support these unicorns of tomorrow in taking their businesses to the next level and providing access to vital networks.  Very often it’s just great to watch the shortlisted founders connect with likeminded people and take energy from one another.  If there’s a founder out there looking for their next step, I would urge them to seize the opportunity and apply to the competition.”

The competition is open to pure technology, tech-enabled, tech-led, or tech-driven businesses.  Shortlisted entrants will be invited to pitch their innovations and present their growth plans to a panel of judges across eight regional heats.  The winners of each regional stage will then go on to the national final to be held in London in July.  The overall winner will then go on to represent the UK at Web Summit later in the year where a panel of global judges will crown the KPMG Private Enterprise Global Tech Innovator.   

Dr Elliot Street, co-founder of last year’s competition winner Inovus Medical, added: “Entering KPMG‘s Tech Innovator in the UK competition has been valuable to our business; offering great exposure to a network of peers, amazing content, and exposure from the KPMG team which really helped us ‘cut through the noise’ and get noticed by the right people.  If you are growing a tech company, putting yourself forward for the competition is a must as it is packed with the best tech innovators across the country.  The competition is just the start, KPMG have been a big supporter of what has been a major growth journey since entering the competition.”  

Hull-based HiiROC was crowned UK Tech Innovator 2022 and went on to win the global competition at Web Summit in Lisbon.

CEO Tim Davies, who delivered the winning pitch, said: “The global competition was exciting for the HiiROC team and provided a great opportunity to highlight our transformational new process for making low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen to a much wider audience, which included potential partners, suppliers, investors, advisors and policy makers.  The competition was impressive, with some amazing businesses and inspiring leaders on board. “  

Applications are now open for the UK competition at https://kpmg.com/uk/en/home/services/private-enterprise/tech-innovator-in-the-uk.html  

Previous KPMG UK Tech Innovator winners    

2023 – Inovus Medical   

2022 – HiiROC  

2021 – FIDO Tech   

2020 – VividQ  

2019 – Humming Bird Technologies (acquired by Agreena)  

2018 – Echo (acquired by McKesson UK)   

2017 – Safe To Net  

2016 – What 3 Words  

2015 – RefMe (acquired by education company Chegg, Inc)  

2014 – Babylon Health (acquired eMed Healthcare UK)  

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