Entrepreneur First (EF), the company builder and “talent first” investor, held its tenth London Demo Day this afternoon. This time around the even had a decidedly more international bent as it combined pitches from the London and recently launched Berlin programs.
Once again, the pitches took place in front of a nearly overcapacity crowd at King’s Place in London’s King Cross area, and saw a 24 startups pitch their wares to investors, press and other actors in the European tech scene.
EF stands out from the many other 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 bashing heads during the program.
Unusually, aside from the upstarts presenting on stage, there were no other EF announcements today, which is in stark contrast to most previous demo days. However, I’m hearing there could be some big EF news coming quite shortly and this is likely a case of EF lining up its PR ducks in a row and choosing to shoot them down one news opportunity at a time. Besides, the company builder has had more than its fair share of announcements over the last twelve months.
In addition to existing programs in London and Singapore, this year saw EF expand to Hong Kong and Paris, as well as Berlin. And almost exactly a year ago, EF announced a $12.4 million funding round led by Silicon Valley’s Greylock Partners, and that Greylock’s Reid Hoffman had joined the company builder’s board. The capital — to be used for operational purposes and separate from EF’s multiple investment funds — was raised to enable EF to scale its program in multiple tech startup/academic hubs around the world, and where it deemed the EF “secret sauce” can bring the most value.
Meanwhile, the themes for EF’s tenth 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. They spanned AR headsets, “massive simulations,” genome sequencing, machine intelligence, and cryptocurrencies.
After tuning in to the live stream and enduring 24 rounds of ‘pitchlash’, my cursory 3 picks this time around are as follows:
With a mission to “empower people to build a new relationship with food, myLevels uses data from Continuous Glucose Monitors combined with its own Bayesian-based machine learning models to measure the impact that food has on an individual’s body and metabolism. This is because the effect different food has on a person’s blood sugar levels — and the sometimes horrible spike followed by craving — varies person by person, and until now it has been difficult to build a personalised understanding of this. Once you have that understanding it becomes easier to lose weight and increase higher energy levels and even concentration.
There’s gold in those microbiome, apparently. Juno Bio is “unlocking the potential of the microbiome” (bacteria that lives in our guts and other places, such as animals and soil), which the startup says has unprecedented potential to disrupt various industries such as the $195 billion fertiliser industry. More broadly, Juno Bio says there is an arms race for understanding and harnessing the information that microbiome hold. To that end, Juno Bio uses machine learning and state of the art bioinformatics to analyse and predict how best to manipulate microbiomes, significantly reducing the time and resources needed to improve their functionality.
Circuit Mind wants to use AI to automate the design of electronic circuits. The startup reckons that every year £40bn and 1.5bn hours are spent globally in “tedious and repetitive circuit board design” work, making building hardware even harder than it needs to be. To fix this, the company is building artificial intelligence that takes in the requirements for a circuit board and outputs the circuit board final design, ready for manufacture. “This means better circuits, designed orders of magnitude faster, at a fraction of the cost,” says Circuit Mind. Chalk this one up as another industry 4.0 play, of which EF already has a promising track record.
The full list of presenting teams (in their own words)
● Nodes & Links is taming the complexity of modern projects.
● CodeREG makes regulatory change in finance as simple as a software update.
● QFlow enables construction teams to track, analyse and respond to environmental
● Moonsift is the first platform for shoppers to create their own digital twin for product
● Homewards is the next generation of home ownership.
● Popsure gives personalised insurance advice.
● Metomic is data privacy made simple.
● Teamflow unlocks the power of human intelligence in organisations to improve
● myLevels empowers people to build a new relationship with food.
● Phantasma Labs is helping self-driving cars understand humans better.
● Juno Bio is unlocking the potential of the microbiome.
● Magic Sandbox produces world class software engineers at scale.
● Faultless AI eliminates human error in manufacturing.
● Janus Genomics builds AI tools to enable biomedical data sharing while preserving
● Lumenora is the world’s first compact, high field-of-view Augmented Reality
● Donut enables increased crypto adoption through personalised portfolios. Fully
● Juniper uses hybrid deep learning to empower oncologists.
● WILD AI empowers humans to reach their personal best through datalogy.
● Holotron unleashes the true potential of VR & humanoid robots.
● Data Hygge helps companies spot, prioritise and solve experience issues.
● Yo-Da is the personal data management platform making consumer data protection
quick, easy, and profitable.
● Insurami is removing friction in office space onboarding.
● Atlas ML is a development platform for machine learning.
● Circuit Mind is using AI to completely automate the design of electronic circuits.