Digital Innovation Contest winners unveiled

The winners of a new contest to support UK digital start-ups have been named.

Organised by IC tomorrow – part of the UK’s technology strategy board – the Digital Innovation Contest: Cross Sector Exploration has awarded nine businesses GBP25,000 (€30,200) to develop digital strategies at various leading companies, including the Barbican, the British Film Institute and Live Nation.

Each company issued a specific challenge for start-ups to address in their proposals.

The Project Factory, a digital agency with offices in London and Sydney, won the ‘engaging audience interaction with cultural programmes’ challenge, set by the Barbican.

Its proposal, Serendipitous Search, promises a new way to explore the Barbican’s programmes through ‘thematic descriptions and emotional responses to content’.

Ryan Nelson, online and digital marketing manager at the Barbican, said: ‘We are thrilled to be working with The Project Factory to create Serendipitous Search, a new subjective way of navigating content which places audiences at the heart of the experience. ‘The standard of pitches on the day was exceptionally high but The Project Factory’s Serendipitous Search was innovative and interactive and had really thought about our audience.’

A location-aware app providing supplementary content to festivalgoers won the challenge set by Live Nation. Crowd Connected (currently patent pending) uses cloud technology to engage festival audiences, and can be controlled using industry standard lighting desks.

The BFI’s challenge, which focussed on ‘data and the cinema audience’, was won by Tempster. The app will allow cinemas to sell empty seats to consumers in real time, and has already been used by UK restaurants and bars.

Other winners included Vidiro, a real-time metrics tool for monitoring video sites (chosen by SYCO Entertainment) and Adio Corporation’s mobile app (chosen by Urban – LIFT).

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: ‘This is one of the largest contests ever staged by IC tomorrow and the breadth, scale and quality of applicants certainly didn’t disappoint. The contest final was held in the same week that SecondSync – a previous winner of an IC tomorrow funding contest – was bought for an undisclosed sum by Twitter, which just goes to show the wealth of opportunities now open to winning start-ups. We look forward to seeing how their businesses evolve as they develop their ideas further.’ 

Photo: Panel for Barbican challenge: (From left) Paul Brindley (Ic tomorrow), Matt Brown (TSB), Ryan Nelson (Barbican), Charlotte McEleny (12Ahead), Mark Heartly (KPMG), Ghislaine Boddington (Body Data Space)