07 Dec 2018

A Recap of Autumn 18 Demo Day

By Milly Shotter

Three months ago we invested in three ambitious early-stage startups tackling social and environmental issues spanning food waste, plastic pollution and mental health. To celebrate their completion of our 13th programme, we hosted the Autumn 18 BGV Demo Day. It was a truly enjoyable evening, and a great chance for the teams – Agronomex, Panda Packaging and Nightingale – to share their exciting and mission driven ventures with the wider tech for good community.

With a slight twist to our usual Demo Day, we were delighted to also have three of our portfolio ventures present. At BGV, we’re proud to provide lifelong support to all our alumni teams and assist in their growth. To illustrate this, we invited The Nu Wardrobe, Salve and Run An Empire, to share their progress since leaving their respective BGV programmes.

The Nu Wardrobe, a clothes sharing platform for a circular economy, graduated from our S18 cohort a mere six months ago. Founder and CEO Aisling told of their active and growing communities in a number of locations and how they’re raising their first round with investors already committed.

We then heard how Salve were doing, a year on from the Autumn 17 cohort. The app, which guides patients through life changing treatment, is now integrated with 4 EHRs (electronic health records) accessing hundreds of clinics. They are also generating revenue and have grown their team by making some fantastic hires.

Using gamification to engage with runners of all levels, Run An Empire graduated the BGV accelerator three years ago. Their unique way to connect with and motivate a younger audience to become active has proven to be far stickier than all other established fitness trackers. Their business metrics show a 150% ROI and they are scaling globally.

And then it was time for our A18 teams to pitch.

In the UK alone, 1.3m tons of fresh produce goes to waste at the farm gate. By developing a platform, Agronomex connects farmers and wholesalers, tapping into a £46 billion addressable market in the EU alone. With great feedback from pilot users, 2019 will see them building a bigger user base, securing partnerships and completing their commercial launch.

Panda Packaging were up next, explaining how their use of software and hardware produces a far superior sustainable alternative to single use plastics. With clients such as Virgin and Thomas Cook, they have already shipped 1000s of units. Their next steps are to scale and streamline their supply chain, ensuring they hit their projection of preventing the need for 18 million single use products in 2019.

Both these teams were selected as part of our Global Goals programme to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals with our partners Andy Wales and Ed Gillespie and we’re excited to see where our combined efforts will take the teams.   

Focusing on the mental health crisis currently faced by young people, Nightingale shared their innovative tech solution. Their platform will enable and empower students to not only learn about their mental states, but find meaningful retrospection addressing this issue with a proactive over reactive approach. Throughout the programme Nightingale used a student centric approach by designing prototypes collaboratively with their prospective users and received support from our partner The Children’s Society.

Post presentations networking transitioned in to the BGV Christmas party, where it was fantastic to see so many valuable connections made over mulled wine and mince pies! A massive thank to you to those who attended.

With that, we wrapped our 13th cohort, but not before thanking all the wonderful people who made A18 such a success – our programme partners, mentors and all those involved in workshops, we appreciate you giving your time and expertise generously, many thanks.

Once again, congratulations to Agronomex, Panda Packaging and Nightingale for all your hard work, here’s to an onwards successful journey!