£4.1m Baltic Ventures unveils first nine start-ups

£4.1m Liverpool businesses accelerator programme Baltic Ventures unveils first cohort of nine ‘game-changing’ tech start-ups after being inundated by more than 200 applications. Tony McDonough reports

Baltic Ventures
First cohort of entrepreneurs taking part in the Baltic Ventures accelerator programme

 

Baltic Ventures has unveiled the first nine businesses that will take pay in its £4.1m business accelerator.

First unveiled in March, Liverpool-based Baltic Ventures is backed with £4.1m from Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. Since then it has been inundated with more than 200 applications from tech entrepreneurs in the UK and overseas.

Now it has selected nine companies. They will each receive a £50,000 equity investment and join a four-month programme. This will comprise weekly masterclasses and workshops, expert mentorship and access to investors.

This first cohort was unveiled at Slush’D – Liverpool’s largest-ever start-up conference with a mission to build a tech startup ecosystem in the city. These new ventures span sectors including fintech, AI, edtech, digital health and beauty.

The announcement comes after Slush’D highlighted new data from Beauhurst showing that Liverpool is now an emerging tech start-up hub with 85 equity deals completed in 2022.

This is despite venture capital funding of start-ups falling more than 50% across the world in the past 12 months.

Over the next five years, Baltic Ventures aims to build a flagship national accelerator. It aims to provide start-ups with unparalleled access to resources, mentorship, and funding. The nine businesses taking part in this year’s accelerator are:

  • Financielle – an app that helps women to take back control of their money via a combination of useful tools, engaging content and a supportive community. www.financielle.com
  • Hexis – an AI-powered personalised nutrition app, that enhances your performance at sports by tailoring nutrition recommendations to your lifestyle, workouts and goals. https://www.hexis.live
  • Heatio – a cleantech start-up that analyses energy use in your home to enable you to optimise the way you use devices such as heat pumps, electric batteries and solar panels to cut your bills and carbon footprint. www.heatio.co.uk
  • Gaia Learning – a global online school that supports neurodiverse children through personalised education, which parents and educators can monitor via a dashboard that provides insights into a child’s learning experience. https://www.gaialearning.co.uk/
  • Birl – with 75% of used clothes sent to landfill, this platform aims to tackle the environmental impact of the fashion industry by allowing customers to trade in used clothing for credit on their favourite brand’s websites. https://wearebirl.com/
  • IttyBit – an API that simplifies the handling of rich media in applications, providing developers with easy ways to upload, store, transform, and extract data from video, audio, and image files. https://ittybit.com
  • Cubode – a platform that aims to make coding more accessible than the current no-code and generative AI solutions on offer by enabling users to accurately fine-tune code through a combination of no-code, AI, and data analytics. www.cubode.com
  • February –  a platform that uses AI to read and understand tickets in a product development backlog, convert them into accurately coded features, and then safely deploy the changes. https://www.feb.co.uk/
  • Yuty – an AI-powered platform that enables brands and retailers the ability to offer customers hyper-personalised product recommendations that drive engagement and build customer loyalty. https://www.yuty.me/business

Claire Lewis, chief executive of Baltic Ventures, said: “The strength of applications for Baltic Ventures’ first cohort has been impressive.

“It has been so exciting to see the quality of founder talent attracted to our Liverpool-based programme and the businesses of tomorrow they are building.

“The team and I are looking forward to working with this ambitious cohort over the coming months to help them optimise their success.”

Mo Aldalou, programme director, added: “Having engaged with and supported hundreds of founders over the years, I’ve seen first-hand that great founders can come from anywhere and be anyone. Our first cohort reflects this.”

 

Claire Lewis
Claire Lewis, chief executive of Baltic Ventures in Liverpool
Steve Rotheram
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Picture by Tony McDonough

 

Jonny Clark, director of Liverpool Slush’D, said this week’s conference, which was a sellout weeks in advance, was the ideal place to unveil the first group of entrepreneurs who will be taking part in the accelerator.

He explained: “The mix of successful ventures is truly impressive and the positive impact that many of them could have is pretty breathtaking. 

“It points to the bright future our ecosystem holds, and it is a testament to the commitment of Baltic Ventures, the Mayor and others to nurture a world-class startup community in Liverpool.”

READ MORE: Liverpool firm secures grant to develop ‘digital humans’

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said the funding of Baltic Ventures was “just the beginning of my ambitions”. He added: “There’s no reason our area shouldn’t one day be able to stake its claim as a Silicon Valley of the north.”

Partners in Baltic Ventures are Baltic Creative CIC, Mark Rathbone of Liverpool law firm Brabners and Form and LivingLens co-founders, Carl Wong and David Woods.

Liverpool Slush’D has been supported by Baltic Ventures, KPMG, Gather, and Growth Platform.

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