A company that uses pedestrian footsteps as an energy source and a firm that makes landing platforms for drone delivery services are among the UK’s most exciting start-ups, research has found.
A study compiled by the ratings agency Early Metrics has identified the country’s top 10 promising small and medium-sized firms after reviewing nearly 300 British start-ups over the past six months.
Among the top-ranked companies are INDE, which creates augmented reality software for retailers and advertisers, and Circulor, which uses blockchain technology to allow manufacturers to track components from their raw materials through to a finished product.
Pavegen is an energy and data harvesting company that uses pedestrian footsteps as an energy source.
Factors that Early Metrics took into account included the availability of a company’s leadership team, the spread of business networks and contacts, operational speed and whether there are any barriers to competitors moving into the same area of business.
Antoine Baschiera, the co-founder and chief executive of Early Metrics, warned that most start-ups tend to fail as “they put their energy in the wrong places”.
He added: “There is often a misconception that start-ups have to secure high levels of funding in the very early stages.
“Our methodology has shown that bootstrapping, leveraging existing business connections and focusing on the market fit of the product can reap much greater rewards than going straight to venture capitalists.”
Britain’s technology sector has produced 13 new “unicorns” – companies valued at more than $1bn (£790m) – over the past 12 months.
Hot start-ups: 10 UK firms that could change the world:
INDE Creates software for retail and advertising companies that lets them make 3D projections or augmented reality photo booths.
Circulor Uses the technology behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to let firms track factory components from their raw materials through to the finished product.
Pavegen An energy and data harvesting company that uses pedestrians’ footsteps (inset) as an energy source. Recently raised £2m via a round of crowdfunding.
Naked Energy Designs solar thermal collectors that generate more energy, use less space and cost less than traditional solar technologies.
Skyports A firm that designs and builds landing platforms for drones that carry passengers or cargo, alongside developing its own drone delivery service.
Neuron Software Develops technology that uses sound sensors and the “internet of things” to give information about the condition of machines.
Shadow Robot Company Primarily makes robotic hands for grasping and manipulation.
Tarilian Laser Technologies Has made an optical sensor that captures data from the motion of the skin to monitor blood pressure, heart rate and other information.
PhotoCert Uses AI to analyse photographs used by insurance companies for claims processing, as well as certification technology.
CareAcross A web platform that gives cancer patients personalised support in the form of articles or suggested drug trials.