Startup Funding Club takes part in the Asian Productivity Organisation’s Study Mission

Startup Funding Club was invited to present its company and four of its funded Internet-of-Things startups to delegates from the Asian Productivity Organisation

In the early-stage investment world, the weeks leading up to April 6th are the busiest ones. At Startup Funding Club we are no strangers to that. To the already hectic close of the tax year, which has coincided with the close of the first tranche of the 2017 Startup Funding Club SEIS/EIS Funds, we have added a month of – almost – weekly events. One of these events was part of the Asian Productivity Organisation’s Study Mission, where SFC was invited to do a presentation for the project’s participants.

This Study Mission, aimed at studying the development of knowledge-based businesses and Industry 4.0 in non-APO countries, took place in early April in various UK locations and gathered 19 delegates from several APO member countries. The project is one of the many that the Asian Productivity Organisation has been coordinating since its establishment in 1961. The regional intergovernmental organisation’s mission is to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Asia and the Pacific. To achieve this, APO enhances productivity in a spirit of mutual cooperation among its members with programs such as this one.

On this project, participants were asked to assess the programs and roles of accelerators and incubation and innovation centres in the development of knowledge-based start-up businesses. To do so, the group, lead by Knowledge Associates’ founder and CEO Ron Young, visited accelerators and incubation centres in the UK as well as met with knowledge-based companies and attended the Industry 4.0 Summit and Exhibition in Manchester. On their stop in London, they had the chance to meet with Startup Funding Club and four of the companies the group has supported.

The meeting took place near SFC’s headquarters, at the British Library. Once all attendants took their seats, each of them introduced themselves to the group. Following this initial introduction by Young and the participants, Stephen Page, founder and CEO of Startup Funding Club, began his presentation. Page acquainted the audience with the exciting current startup scene in the UK and where SFC stands in it. The founder also talked about his background and how SFC was born and has grown. The delegates showed a great interest for Startup Funding Club’s worked, and had many questions for Page.

After the Q&A, attendants were able to enjoy a short break in which they further enquired about SFC before meeting the other presenters. The first startup to be showcased was AgsenZe, an AgriTech company that has received funding from SFC’s latest SEIS/EIS Fund. The smart agriculture startup generated lots of enthusiasm among the APO participants, who were then very eager to meet the other companies Startup Funding Club was showcasing. Lokcom, also part of the 2017 SFC SEIS/EIS Fund as well as a previous one, presented their highly secure remote access to properties, which is already used internationally. After Lokcom came Onfido, one of SFC’s earliest investments and probably its greatest success story to date. The Intelligent Background Checking company, which first came to SFC as a three-men team, has over 100 employees and works with over 1,000 clients globally. The last company presented was Stablepharma, a technology that revolutionises the process for vaccine stabilisation. Following the presentations, participants had the opportunity to learn more about the companies’s technologies and business models during the Q&A session.

APO’s Study Mission in the UK might have concluded, but all its participants will now need to apply the knowledge acquired to prepare follow-up action plans to then share them with their respective NPO (National Productivity Organisation). The APO delegates were not the only ones to learn from the project, Startup Funding Club and the four companies it showcased – AgsenZe, Lokcom, Onfido, and Stablepharma – had also a great opportunity to learn from it and its participants. The engaged audience’s enthusiasm also proved the importance of SFC’s work. On the one hand, it is a reassurance that the companies SFC has chosen to support are indeed relevant. And on the other hand, by supporting innovative startups as the ones showcased, SFC can not only help them succeed, but can also help them make an impact internationally.