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Fashion features heavily among the 33 companies selected for Tech City UK Upscale programme

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK at the launch of the Upscale 2017 programme in London
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK at the launch of the Upscale 2017 programme in London

Numerous early stage fashion and e-commerce businesses are among the new intake for Tech City UK’s six-month Upscale programme.

Included are Mastered, an online education platform for creative professionals led by industry experts; Poq, an app commerce solution for major retailers; Wolf & Badger, a global online marketplace for independent brands; and Trouva, a curated online shopping site pulling together 150 independent boutiques.

Many of the others bring further relevancy to the fashion industry, including real-time video platform Grabyo, which has worked with brands in the past including Hunter, where it delivered instantaneous highlights from the catwalk to Twitter fans during London Fashion Week.

StoryStream, which enables live storytelling for brands through content curation and publishing, has also previously worked with events company Decoded Fashion at one of its hackathons.

Across the board, the Upscale companies represent a wide spread of sectors that reflect the UK’s strengths – from e-commerce, to fintech, as well as increasingly important areas like data analytics. They are flagged as companies that could grow into the next generation of digital household names.

Others the fashion industry might find benefit from include Cambridge Intelligence, an artificial intelligence company that helps companies see patterns and insights in their data; LivingLens, which provides brands and agencies with a way of searching and using hours of video content; and Streetbees, which gathers market research insights from around the world through artificial intelligence and geo-location.

This is the second year of the Upscale programme under Tech City UK’s mission to accelerate the growth of the UK’s digital economy. In the 2016 pilot, other fashion and retail businesses including Edited, Metail, Appear Here, Depop and Snap Fashion participated.

The latest cohort gain access to mentorship from some of the UK’s most successful tech entrepreneurs including founders Martha Lane Fox and Brent Hoberman; successful investor and Lovefilm founder Saul Klein; Candy Crush creator Riccardo Zacconi; Blippar co-founder Jess Butcher; and Just Eat founder David Buttress. The aim is to help them begin their scaling journey.

Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, said: “One of the objectives of Tech City UK is to accelerate the growth of the country’s digital and tech sector. The companies that join our Upscale programme have already overcome significant hurdles and have the makings of brilliant businesses.”

The companies joining have raised $4.1 million in funding on average, and have average revenues of just over $1 million per year. See the full list of those selected to participate on the site.

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