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UCL’s most promising startups pitch their ideas at London Demo Day

24 September 2021

Entrepreneurs from UCL, Imperial College London and King’s College London had the chance to pitch their business ideas to investors and angels at this year’s Demo Day.

Person pitching at UCL BaseKX

Five businesses from UCL’s Hatchery at BaseKX, UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub, were selected to take part in this year’s event, hosted virtually by UCL. 

Joining students from the King’s20 Accelerator and Imperial Enterprise Lab, the UCL businesses, who are all in the early growth stage, got to pitch to leading investors, partners and alumni. 

The ventures covered sectors including HRTech, EdTech, hardware and social impact, representing the huge breadth of businesses coming out of London’s top universities.

The five businesses featured this year from UCL are outlined here.

Vactraca: saving lives one necklace at a time

Hundreds of thousands of children die each year in low-income countries from vaccine-preventable diseases. Thanks to the team at Vactraca, mothers in developing countries could now have an easy way to keep track of their children's routine immunisation uptake. The necklace device, developed by the UCL startup, means that lost or defaced paper vaccination cards would no longer prevent babies from missing out on life-saving vaccines. 

Business founder: Victoria Ndoh, MA Ethnographic and Documentary Filmmaking.

Neurovirt: improved upper-limb rehabilitation and analytics for stroke survivors

Due to an overloaded healthcare system, stroke patients often don’t reach their full recovery potential and lack engaging rehabilitation resources. Virtual reality (VR) experts Neurovirt are developing a device that patients can use at home. Using VR games to encourage movement, the device makes upper-limb rehabilitation seem effortless and fun. 

Business founder: Eve Gregoriou, PhD Neuroscience.

Eviday: one app to understand your people, spaces and tools, and improve work for everyone

When employees aren’t engaged, productive or happy, it can be a huge issue for businesses. The Eviday app may be the answer. Combining people and workplace analytics, the Eviday team have made it easy for companies to invest where it will help employees most. The app allows employers to continuously assess employees’ needs, and then provides science-based recommendations on how their workspaces, culture and technology need to evolve. 

Business founder: Markus Urban, MPhil/PhD Architectural Space and Computation.

Alice Camera: an AI camera for creators with the experience of a smartphone and quality of a DSLR

Over 50 million creators worldwide are now sharing videos on social media. But using a DSLR camera can take creators over 10 hours on their laptop to produce a single YouTube video. The Alice Camera, a new camera developed using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, could change all that. By attaching to the back of a smartphone, the Alice allows creators to bypass their laptop entirely. Their vision? To help creators produce a YouTube video in less than an hour - ten times faster than they do now. 

Business founder: Vishal Kumar, MRes Spatial Data Science and Visualisation.

Trears: a self-diagnostic test for chronic diseases

Chronic diseases, like depression and diabetes, show up in sustained variations in blood cortisol and glucose. A single blood sample can’t capture these as it only takes a snapshot of them. But thanks to a new device, developed by the UCL team at Trears, patients could have a way to test their own cortisol and glucose levels, using earwax instead. The team have shown that their device accurately reflects chronic conditions in the blood, providing an affordable solution for improving diagnosis.

Business founder: Dr Andres Herane-Vives, academic at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.

“An amazing experience”

Victoria Ndoh from Vactraca said: "London Demo Day 2021 was an amazing experience for me, as it gave me a platform to share my product idea with so many different people. The type of visibility that Vactraca has received since the event has been remarkable. Since the event, I’ve had two meetings with prospective partners and investors and still have a few more lined up."

Kathryn Walsh, Executive Director, UCL Innovation & Enterprise, added: “We’re delighted to have hosted the second year of Demo Day, which showcased some of the most exciting ventures coming through the university right now. It’s early days in terms of who’s going to receive investment, but over 650 people attended, and all the businesses had the chance to make valuable new connections and share their ideas with potential investors. We can’t wait to hear what’s coming next for all these businesses.”

To see the pitch decks for all 15 startups from the demo day, visit the London Demo Day 21 showcase.

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Photo © K.Holst