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​The 12 Trailblazing days of Christmas: Firestarter finalists

Blog post   •   Jan 05, 2015 16:00 UTC

For our final blogpost, Tech Trailblazers bring you the first ever Firestarter shortlist – specifically designed for all category startups 2 years and younger and below Series A funding. The award acknowledges great early stage startups yet to secure VC funding, rewarding the younger players for their innovative business concepts in the different tech categories…

Let’s take a look at the sparkling young startups…

Firestarter Award
- Copsonic (@CopSonic), – Montauban, France
- Crypho (@getCrypho), - Harpunveien, Norway
- Cyberlytic Limited (@CyberlyticUK), – London, UK
- Oort (@Oort_in), – San Francisco, CA, USA
- Percentile (@pcentile), – London, UK
- Silicon Safe (@SiliconSafe) - - Cambridge, UK
- Temasys Communications (@Temasysrtc), - Singapore
- Upside Energy (@UpsideEnergy), – Northwich, UK

First up is French enterprise CopSonic, in the IT Security space, who are developing a sonic and ultrasonic authentication technology - a new universal contactless communication protocol for security, payment and tracking. Also featuring in the FinTech and Mobile shortlist, CopSonic’s offering is already available for the 30 billion smart devices existing worldwide: featuring phones, smartphones, tablets, TV-box, computers, game consoles and the Internet of Things. This privately funded startup is supported by its mother company, SECOM.

Another of the Firestarter finalists is privately funded Norwegian startup, Crypho. Crypho lets users instantly set up a secure communications channel, within teams or between companies, allowing real time communications, messaging and file transfers. User’s data is encrypted before it leaves the computer, and since only the members hold the encryption keys, no-one else can access the data, not even Cypho. Founded in 2012, Crypho also won itself a place on the Security Trailblazers shortlist.

Another of the Security finalists on the Firestarter shortlist is UK-based Cyberlytic. Founded in 2013, the Seed funded startup enables organisations to focus their attention on responding to high-risk cyber-attacks in an increasingly complex threat landscape. Their Cyber Threat Profiler connects to existing security systems to provide real-time security intelligence, enabling security teams to prioritise their workload. Cyberlytic received early stage funding from the Amadeus Early Stage Fund (AESF) in July 2014.

Another Firestarter finalist is US-based startup Oort, set up in 2013. An Internet of Things (IoT) finalist, Oort’s technology enables consumers to control their appliances with a single app regardless of their producer. People can create a unique home automation system that turns a user’s mobile device into a remote control that has the power to turn off lights, measure air-quality, keep track of objects and many more. According to CrunchBase, Oort received $1M Seed funding in July 2014.

Founded in 2014, UK-based Percentile develops enterprise-grade risk technology for capital markets that helps financial companies handle their daily risk management and tackle their regulatory reporting needs. Also a FinTech finalist, Percentile is privately funded.

Early-stage Security category entrants have been popular for this category, with UK-based Silicon Safe impressing judges for the Firestarter Award. Privately funded and founded in 2013, Silicon Safe develops solutions that prevent bulk identity theft from businesses during a cyber-attack. Silicon Safe believes that stealing identities from bulk storage can be stopped - dead - by adopting a different hardware based approach. Primarily financed by its founders, the company has also received external support. Most recent external funding came from the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) in November, bringing the total of external funding to £100,000.

Another frontrunner is Temasys Communications …Founded in 2012, the Singapore-based startup creates tools that build the next generation of web communications, bringing new applications to life, powered by WebRTC. The company is currently raising Series A, with $2.2 million in Angel/Seed financing under their belt. Supporters include the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) and the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Last but not least is Upside Energy, who pays people to not use energy. Their cloud service aggregates spare battery capacity and uses it to relieve stress on the grid. Latest funding includes €20k from EU Climate-KIC in August 2014, and £190k by Innovate UK, for a future project in 2015.

See the full Trailblazers shortlist here. Who deserves to be crowned the first ever Firestarter Trailblazer? Help decide at before 23.59pm Pacific Time on 16th January 2015.