As society and technology become ever-increasingly intertwined, the demand for new, fresh technology has never been higher, and neither has the level of inventiveness and innovation we’re seeing today. Whether it’s designed to tackle a big societal or environmental problem, or it’s just downright cool, the UK is home to some of the most awe-inspiring technological developments in the world.
Here are Team GBEA’s 20 most exciting tech entrepreneurs to watch in 2019.
Yann Morvan & Richard Lee – Aerodrums
‘Drumming without a drum set’ sounds like the tagline of a competition for air drumming enthusiasts, but it’s actually what Yann Morvan and Richard Lee have achieved with Aerodrums. It uses a high-speed camera for real-time motion detection and translates it into sound. Aerodrums combats the expense of purchasing a drum set, the space required and, of course, annoying the neighbours with all that noise. The pair even received endorsement from renowned American drummer, Johnny Rabb.
Dominic Lusardi & Sam Harrison – Animmersion
Dominic Lusardi and Sam Harrison are the founders of Animmersion, a digital experience agency specialising in augmented reality, virtual reality, animation and user experience. Having started in 2006, Animmersion counts the likes of Mondelez, which owns brands such as Cadbury, Oreo and Philadelphia, and St John’s Ambulance amongst its list of clients. More than a decade into their journeys as entrepreneurs, Dominic and Sam have been labelled as some of the most innovative entrepreneurs in the UK.
Alan Foreman, Ben Carter & Adrian Condon – B-Secur
Alan Foreman, Ben Carter and Adrian Condon are the trio of founders behind B-Secur, a leading ECG (electrocardiogram) tech company. Its core product, Heartkey allows users automatically monitor their health and wellbeing but also identify themselves in a variety of scenarios such as driving or at work.
Martin Port – BigChange
Martin Port is the award-winning entrepreneur and founder of BigChange, an app developer which focuses on all-in-one mobile workforce and job management solutions. BigChange’s apps provide a platform for businesses to manage everything from stock to invoicing and call handling to performance analysis, ensuring all bases are covered.
Ronan Cunningham & Brian Murphy – BrainWaveBank
With decades of industry experience, Ronan Cunningham and Brian Murphy are the minds behind BrainWaveBank, the developer of the leading wearable electroencephalography (EEG) device that allows for constant and non-invasive monitoring of neurological function. Combined with its own gamified cognitive tests, the device can analyse the health and wellbeing of neurological health simply and easily, without the need for experts.
Richard Allen & Veejay Lingiah – Learning Labs
Richard Allen and Veejay Lingiah are the founders of Learning Labs, a team of former teachers and linguists on a mission to make language more accessible through technology. In 2016, the pair created the world’s first object translator, allowing users to simply point their phone at an object and view translation. FlashAcademy is a platform that offers lessons and knowledge-focused games through adaptive technology. World Up takes the popular spelling app genre and gives it a language-based twist. Finally, FlashSticks are a range of unique sticky notes containing translations, which can be combined with FlashAcademy for further interaction.
Alex Zivoder & Louise Hill – gohenry
Alex Zivoder and Louise Hill are the founders of gohenry, which has been recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies and one of the most innovative in the country. gohenry is a family-focused bank that links parents’ accounts to their children’s, giving them control over funds and spending. The idea is to help young people learn how to better earn, save, spend and manage their money.
Nick Grey – Gtech
Nick Grey left his job as head of product development for a vacuum manufacturer to go it alone. He launched Gtech in 2001 with the world’s first cordless power vacuum cleaner and has since sold more than 22 million products around the world. In addition to the core product, Nick has embarked on creating a whole range of cordless home and garden products, including lawn mowers and leaf blowers, as well as electronic bikes.
Tim Antos – Kokoon
Tim Antos began his mission to make relaxation and falling asleep easier for everyone in 2013 when he launched Kokoon. The headphones’ sensors monitor and automatically adjust volume and output to improve performance and not disturb sleep, while the accompanying app offers a range of clinically proven sleep exercises and different audio options.
Joel Gibbard & Samantha Payne – Open Bionics
Joel Gibbard and Samantha Payne are the founders of Open Bionics, a robotics manufacturer on a mission to turn disabilities ‘into superpowers’. The pair developed the ‘Hero Arm’, a multi-grip bionic arm, and are working with the NHS to make robotic arms cheaper and more accessible for children in the UK.
Graham Tull – Peex
Graham Tull is the founder of Peex, a wearable device that enhances the quality of live music audio. It takes the audio straight from the source to the device, instead of often poor quality venue speakers, while the app allows users to create their own mix of levels. Graham received the support of none other than Elton John, who agreed to work with Peex on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
Silas Adekunle – Reach Robotics
Silas Adekunle is the founder of Reach Robotics, the creator of MekaMon which it says is the ‘world’s first gaming robot’. Its mission is to use robotics to entertain, inspire and educate young people. Combining MekaMon with its app, Reach creates new and adaptive environments through augmented reality to consistently provide new sources of entertainment.
Richard Pursey – SafeToNet
Along with his family, Richard Pursey is the founder of SafeToNet, a cybersecurity company that utilises artificial intelligence to keep children safe online. It tackles issues such as cyberbullying, grooming and sextortion. SafeToNet also gives real-time guidance to both child and parental users, whilst providing feedback and insights to parents without them having to ‘snoop’.
Joachim Horn – SAM Labs
Joachim Horn is the founder of SAM Labs, an edtech company that combines both physical and digital tools to give the most engaging learning experience around STEAM subjects and coding. The app gives students a place to write code and debug programs, while the SAM Lab Kit provides wireless blocks to give a tangible outcome, allowing students to see their work come to life.
Rob Palfreyman, Tughrul Arslan & Zankar Sevak – Sensewhere
Roby Palfreyman, Tughrul Arslan and Zankar Sevak are the three founders of Sensewhere, a company that provides accurate indoor positioning. Using radio frequency signals such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with mobile devices, Sensewhere’s combines previous users’ data to provide accurate indoor locations, filling the gaps in GPS tracking.
Gawain Morrison & Shane McCourt – Sensum
Gawain Morrison and Shane McCourt are the founders of Sensum, an artificial technology company that allows other companies to personalise the user experience. Its AI engine, Synsis, gathers real-time data on a human’s state of mind and body and integrates with existing technologies, allowing them to react and adapt to individual users.
Andrew Dunn & Ben Massey – StratoBooster
Having met at university and working on a student project, Andrew Dunn and Ben Massey launched StratoBooster in their second year of studies. StratoBooster is an aerospace company that enables organisations to launch microsatellites and payloads into space using sophisticated balloons to take the rockets to the very edge of the earth’s atmosphere at a tiny fraction of the cost and infrastructure of typical satellite launches.
Ian Tansley & Peter Saunders – Sure Chill
Ian Tansley and Peter Saunders are the duo behind Sure Chill. Sure Chill is a platform cooling tech that utilises unique properties of water to provide a natural, more efficient and reliable method of continuous cooling. Having started with a focus on medical refrigeration, Ian and Peter’s mission is to revolutionise the entirety of the cooling industry.
Oleg Fomenko & Anton Derlyatka – SweatCoin
SweatCoin is a cryptocurrency platform launched by Oleg Fomenko and Anton Derlyatka in 2016. The company pays its users to get fit, offering 0.95 sweatcoins for every 1,000 steps they take. The app’s marketplace allows users to trade in their sweatcoins for products, giftcards and experiences like fitness classes. Around 20,000 sweatcoins, which would require roughly 21 million steps, would provide users with around $1,000 to spend on the marketplace.
Steve Cliffe & Tom Carter – Ultrahaptics
Steve Cliffe and Tom Carter are the founders of Ultrahaptics, a ‘virtual touch’ company that uses ultrasound technology to create tactile 3D shapes and textures. When combined with other augmented and virtual reality technologies, users can touch holographic objects in front of them.