Entrepreneur First (EF), the company builder and “talent first” investor, held its ninth London Demo Day this afternoon. Once again, the pitches took place in front of a packed crowd at King’s Place in London’s King Cross area, seeing 19 startups pitch their wares to investors, press and other actors in the European tech scene.
EF stands out from the plethora of demo days that the U.K. capital city hosts because of the way the investor backs individuals “pre-team, pre-idea” — meaning that the companies pitching only came into existence over the last 6 months and perhaps may never have done so without the founders entering the programme.
As is now a tradition, prior to the pitches, EF co-founder Matt Clifford took the chance to announce some EF news of its own. Already operating in London, Singapore and Berlin, the company builder — which last year picked up backing in a $12.4 million round led by Silicon Valley’s Greylock Partners — is expanding to Hong Kong to double down on its Asia ambitions, kicking off with a local programme in July. Heading up EF’s Hong Kong office is former Airbnb and Google exec Lavina Tien — you can read my full report here.
The themes for EF’s ninth London Demo Day continued to reflect the company builder’s focus on recruiting the best technical and domain expert talent — both recent graduates and also people already working at tech companies — where they are encouraged to try their hand at entrepreneurship. The pitches spanned AI/machine learning, automation, healthtech, legal tech, financial services, new interfaces and input devices. And, being that this is 2018, the blockchain and cryptocurrency, although, thankfully, there wasn’t an ICO in sight.
Low on sleep and therefore particularly prone to pitch-lash, my picks this time around were Limbic, which wants to bring emotional intelligence to software (and therefore hardware) by measuring changes to a part of your brain called the ‘limbic system’ via your heartbeat; nPlan, which wants to use machine learning to enable major construction work schedules to be more accurate and run on or ahead of time; and Inoviv, which is developing technology based on unique insights into proteomics to help match patients with the right drugs.
The full list of presenting teams (in their own words)
Papercup translates the voice track on videos so every creator can expand their reach to seven billion people.
CreditMint is decentralising corporate lending.
nPlan accelerates the global construction industry.
Nivoda aggregates the world’s diamonds.
Headlight AI provides intelligent sensing and mapping software for harsh environments.
Octeract solves today’s unsolvable optimization problems.
Beneficiary maps the impact of the world’s philanthropic efforts and helps charities identify the most effective ways to improve lives.
Ginie AI turns term sheets into contracts.
Prime Factor Capital is a crypto asset manager.
Panopy is a performance management platform that removes workplace bias.
Mimica builds self-learning automations for digital work.
Inoviv matches patients with the right drugs.
PolyAI is democratising conversational AI to give machines a voice.
Plural AI is building a new kind of search engine: a knowledge engine.
ArrayStream Technologies helps fund providers launch next generation AI-powered mutual funds.
Limbic provides computers with vital emotional input.
Plumerai is making small machines intelligent.
TokenAnalyst is bringing transparency to the decentralized economy.
Massless is the future of three-dimensional immersive design.