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#UK AstraZeneca coronavirus trials resumed globally as FDA confirms safety

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Pascal Soriot

Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca-Oxford University coronavirus vaccine AZD1222 have today have been approved as safe to continue in the US by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA reviewed all safety data from trials globally and concluded it was safe to resume. In recent weeks, regulators in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and Japan had confirmed that it was safe to progress the trials.

As part of the standard review process for trial safety events, a voluntary pause to vaccination across all global trials was triggered on 6 September to allow the examination of safety data by independent monitoring committees. It is not unusual that in large scale vaccine trials, some participants will become unwell, and every case has to be evaluated to ensure the careful assessment of safety.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca, said: “The restart of clinical trials across the world is great news as it allows us to continue our efforts to develop this vaccine to help defeat this terrible pandemic. We should be reassured by the care taken by independent regulators to protect the public and ensure the vaccine is safe before it is approved for use.”

AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.

Results from the late-stage trials are anticipated later this year, depending on the rate of infection within the communities where the clinical trials are being conducted. 

Data readouts will be submitted to regulators and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Rolling reviews of the vaccine programme have already begun in countries where this regulatory pathway has been established, providing regulators access to data as soon as they become available.

While trials are ongoing, AstraZeneca and Oxford University will continue to provide information to regulators, study investigators and participants according to clinical trial and regulatory standards.

Cambridge, UK-headquartered AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology.

Business Weekly reported earlier this month that the US government is laying out around $1/2 billion in new funding for a rapidly advanced antibody drug combination from AZ. This deal for AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 Long-Acting AntiBody (LAAB) combination AZD7442 follows the treatment’s surge into Phase III clinical trials.

AZD7442 is a combination of two LAABs derived from convalescent patients after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Discovered by Vanderbilt University Medical Center and licensed to AstraZeneca in June, the LAABs were optimised by AstraZeneca with half-life extension and reduced Fc receptor binding.

The half-life extended LAABs should afford six to 12 months of protection from COVID-19.

Two Phase III clinical trials of AZD7442 are due to start by the end of October. One will enrol over 6,000 adults for the prevention of COVID-19 with additional trials enrolling around 4,000 adults for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections.

AstraZeneca plans to supply up to 100,000 doses starting towards the end of 2020 and the US Government can acquire up to an additional one million doses in 2021 under a separate agreement.

LAABs mimic natural antibodies and have the potential to treat and prevent disease progression in patients already infected with the virus, as well as to be given as a preventative intervention prior to exposure to the virus. 

A LAAB combination could be complementary to vaccines as a prophylactic agent, e.g. for people for whom a vaccine may not be appropriate or to provide added protection for high-risk populations. It could also be used to treat people who have been infected.

Should the Phase III trials prove successful and AZD7442 become an approved medicine the company anticipates providing doses at commercial terms during and after the current coronavirus pandemic.

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Publié dans #UK

#UK Abcam raises $180m through US IPO

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Cambridge-based Abcam, which supplies tools globally for life science research, has had a blockbusting response to its IPO on America’s NASDAQ technology exchange.

It initially realised $156.5 million in an American  depositary share offering then applied a generous dollop of icing onto an already generous slice of the cake by hauling in an extra $23.5m following exercise of over-allotment options by underwriters of its ADS exercise. That took the total amount raised to a nice round $180m.

Abcam’s UK share price recovered from an early dip to go slightly north to  1427p at the time of writing today.

Headquartered at Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Abcam now employs around 1,000 people worldwide. A pioneer in data sharing and ecommerce in the life sciences, its over-riding ambition is to be the most influential company in life sciences by helping advance global understanding of biology and causes of disease, which, in turn, will drive new treatments and improved health.

Shrewdly steered from Cambridge by CEO Alan Hirzel, Abcam swells the cluster’s growing cohort on NASDAQ. GW Pharmaceuticals, Bicycle Therapeutics and F-star have blazed the trail. Reports suggest that Horizon Discovery will soon swell those numbers, subject to hitting the right figures, and that Kymab could also be tempted and is just considering timing issues.

Abcam has grown impressively from relatively humble roots: The company was founded in 1998 by Jonathan Milner with co-founders professor Tony Kouzarides and David Cleevely, with the idea of making it easier for research scientists to buy antibodies across the web. It has a £3.08bn market cap and was among Cambridge’s first unicorn businesses.

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#UK US IPOs could surge as election looms

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Adrian Bennett, a Partner in the Assurance team at EY in the East of England, comments on how regional life sciences businesses are becoming increasingly attractive propositions for global investors. 

Over the last decade there has been a fundamental shift in the funding environment for UK life sciences businesses. 

New technologies and therapies, many fuelled by recent advances in genetics and cancer are attracting greater amounts of capital than ever before. 

Gone are the days when biotech for the most part looked like a poor relation to mainstream tech and even good biotech’s struggled to get funding. Much of the new capital is flowing from the US and for many aspiring life sciences businesses a US IPO is now seen as key milestone and preferred route for a large capital raise and to provide a value realisation opportunity for early investors. 

While there were UK-based US listed life sciences companies in the noughties, arguably the listing of Cambridge based GW Pharmaceuticals in 2013 on NASDAQ, marked the beginning of a new era for UK life science businesses. 

AIM and the Main Market are still an attractive option for the right type of business at the appropriate stage. For others, the depth of capital and investment appetite of US investors, offers a great opportunity. 

Our experience in the UK is that demand for US IPO’s remains high despite the impact of COVID-19 which hit in early March. While UK markets largely shut down in the period to end of June, the US experienced more of a pause for breath with lower levels of activity to Q2-2020. 

However, there were still 24 US IPOs in the healthcare sector in that period raising $6.7 billion (EY Q2-Global IPO Trends Report). While activity slowed in the period to Q2, the reality is that IPOs were put on ice for the market to settle rather than being abandoned and there has been a very strong rebound in global IPO activity in Q3 2020. 

Moreover, our observation is that while some individual companies in the sector have been negatively impacted, there are more winners than losers and on balance the current near-term outlook for the sector is buoyant.

Hammersmith-based Silence Therapeutics’ US listing went live in September 2020. In July, Cambridge-based Horizon Discovery announced its intention to pursue a US listing and in October Abcam filed a registration statement with the SEC for its proposed US IPO. 

While these three companies had listed previously on AIM, private companies are also listing their securities in the US without a prior UK listing, ignoring the UK markets in favour of the US. 

Another Cambridge-based company previously unlisted. F-Star effected its US IPO via a reverse merger into what was essentially a listed cash shell company.


Image courtesy of F-Star

At EY, our recent experience and discussions with companies is that the appetite of UK life sciences boards to plan for and execute a US IPO remains unchanged; indeed it is more surprising if it is not on the agenda. 

In addition, on both the West and East coast of the US, there are many companies preparing for an IPO and suitably experienced CFO’s and other C-suite executives are in short supply.

In our latest Global IPO Trends report (Q3-2020) we reported a number of key points. Q3 2020 was the most active third quarter in last 20 years by proceeds and the second highest third quarter by deal numbers.

Exchanges around the world posted 445 IPOs with proceeds totalling $95bn, which were 77 per cent and 138 per cent higher than Q3 2019, respectively. The stellar record by proceeds can be attributed to the most active August and September for IPOs in the last 20 years.

While IPO activity in EMEIA was sharply down year on year in the nine months to September 2020 with a 27 per cent fall in deal volume and a 24 per cent in proceeds, the Americas (dominated by the US) has had a very strong nine months with an 18 per cent increase in volume and 33 per cent hike in proceeds. Asia-pacific markets also performed strongly.

US IPO activity has been rapidly rising since June. Q3 2020 has significantly topped Q3 2019 by 124 per cent in number of IPOs and by 182 per cent in proceeds. 

In the Americas, healthcare companies continued to dominate in Q3 2020, accounting for 41 per cent of the IPOs, or 35 IPOs. However, technology companies still represented the most in proceeds, raising $16.4bn, which accounted for 50 per cent of total proceeds in Q3 2020. 

The largest single life sciences/healthcare IPO was Royalty Pharma which raised $2.6 bn on NASDAQ in June.

We expect markets to remain buoyant in Q4 but are advising companies to expect the unexpected, with ongoing uncertainties from the pandemic, China-US tensions, Brexit and the upcoming US presidential election expected to bring more volatility. 

That said we are expecting high levels of US IPO activity during US presidential election time due to a strong IPO pipeline built up during lockdown. 

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa likewise there is a strong pipeline of companies looking to take advantage of a transaction window later in the year.

Executing an IPO and the volume of different workstreams required is a significant undertaking for any businesses and careful planning is key. 

While listing in the US requires fewer accounting workstreams than in the UK, the scrutiny and challenge of reporting under US regulations, dealing with the SEC and the US litigation environment, means that for many UK life sciences business a US IPO will be a far more challenging project than listing in the UK. 

If you are thinking about whether to undertake an IPO or wondering what it might involve that we can help you better understand what you need to do to get ready in an IPO Readiness workshop. 

Given market volatility usually the best plan of attack is to have everything ready to take advantage of the window of opportunity and raise capital at short notice and at a better price. 

• Contact adrian.bennett [at] uk.ey.com if you would like to better understand the US or UK listing requirements or wish to organise a readiness workshop.

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#UK Former White House climate change adviser becomes chair at Cambridge University spin-out

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Xampla chair Jeff Seabright

A former board member of one of the world’s biggest companies and White House climate change adviser has become chair of Xampla – a Cambridge University spin-out making plastic from peas.  

As Unilever’s chief sustainability officer, Jeff Seabright is credited with turning one of the world’s largest multi-nationals into a leader in implementing ‘green’ business credentials. 

Now he has gone from leading the sustainability operations of a company with an annual turnover of £50 billion across 155,000 staff in 190 countries and 400 household name products to a Cambridge technology startup with no sales, no products and 10 staff –  a major coup for Xampla!  

Climate change evangelist Seabright said: “We’ve known we’ve had a plastic crisis for a long time. But the biggest problem with plastic is also its biggest strength. 

“Its durability is great when you are protecting your product and a nightmare afterwards. The great conundrum has been to find a product that is cheap and durable without lasting forever on our planet.  

“Xampla is the most exciting innovation I have worked on. It has potential to have a positive impact on a global scale and is a ground breaking solution for industries in desperate need of natural alternatives to plastic. I am very pleased to be joining as chair at this critical time.” 

Seabright brings Xampla a raft of environmental and commercial expertise from a two-decades long career in sustainability.  

Before joining Unilever he was vice-president of Environment & Water Resources at Coca-Cola. He also led the Clinton White House Task Force on climate change. Seabright will champion Xampla’s sustainability efforts as it brings its natural plastic alternatives to market.  

Xampla has created the world’s first plant protein material for commercial use, aiming to eradicate the need for single-use plastics. Its bio-based materials, some made from pea protein, decompose naturally and fully without harming the environment. 
 
At the same time Xampla has become the UK’s first university spin-out to be accredited B Corp status.  

Developed over 15 years at the University of Cambridge, Xampla’s mission is to replace everyday plastics including bags, sachets, flexible packaging films, edible labels and microplastics used in homecare and personal products. Its first range of products will be launched in 2021.  

Xampla CEO Simon Hombersley said: “Jeff’s appointment has come at a pivotal point for the company. We are designing our products to meet the sustainability requirements of major companies like Unilever, and Jeff’s experience and leadership will ensure sustainability is our focus as we scale our business.”  

Dr Elaine Loukes, investment director at Cambridge Enterprise, the university’s commercialisation arm, added: “We couldn’t be more pleased by the news of Xampla’s continued success. Xampla originated at Cambridge University and we continue to work closely with the team. 

“Impact is of the utmost importance to us and Xampla is a prime example of a technology created at the University being developed through a commercial spin-out to make the world a better place.”

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#UK Cash through COVID

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The COVID pandemic has highlighted the importance of access to finance for businesses and how relying solely on working capital inflows may not be enough in trickier trading times.

To their credit, the Government acted quickly and decisively in funding schemes and backing loans to support businesses, writes Ned Brown, Manager at PEM Corporate Finance.

However, this speed along with a lack of clarity caused a backlog of applications at the major high street banks who hadn’t the time to put the correct systems in place. 

This led to cash strapped businesses looking elsewhere for finance. Luckily, there is still large liquidity in the market, and at low interest rates. So, what else is out there?

Alternative Lenders

There’s a raft of alternative lenders in the market, offering quick and relatively simple access to finance for SMEs. There are specialist asset backed lenders, cash flow lenders, invoice discount specialists. The list goes on and it is often tricky to navigate.

They typically offer debt finance at a higher coupon rate than the high street banks. Many have now been accredited to provide the Government-backed loans and are certainly a viable and credible alternative to the high street banks.

Private Equity

Most of these funds are closed end, meaning that they need to deploy and return capital in a fixed period, usually 8 to 10 years. Often, the quicker they can deploy and return capital the better the IRR for the fund and its investors. 

Private equity funds are sitting on huge amounts of undeployed capital. This is beneficial to businesses as they’re under pressure to make investments and are looking at different ways of deploying this capital. 

Typically, private equity firms look for businesses making more than £1m EBITDA. We’ve seen this threshold being lowered for stand out businesses in attractive sectors. 

There is huge flexibility of investment structuring whether it be a minority or majority equity investment using high coupon loan notes.  We are also increasingly seeing variable structures designed to deal with the uncertainties of trading through COVID and Brexit.

This money can be seen as ‘expensive’ but private equity investors are very much aligned with business owners in making the business prosper, and to see an attractive return on its capital.

So, there may be operational and strategic advantages in partnering with the right investor.

In summary, there are a wide range of funding options for businesses in the current market. The difficulty is navigating the market and finding the best and most suitable option for the business.  

• You can call Ned Brown on 01223 728222 or email ned [at] pemcf.com (ned [at] pemcf.com )

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#UK Rethinking the future of the workforce

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As the economy looks to reopen and the Government’s updated support packages come into force, business leaders are rethinking the future of their workforce, writes Gary Hanson, Audit Partner at BDO Cambridge

BDO’s latest monthly Rethinking the Economy poll of 500 mid-sized businesses leaders shows that, with so much to consider and implement, only one third of businesses placed “adapting my business for Brexit” as their top immediate concern and instead are focused on making loan repayments (37 per cent) and managing redundancies (36 per cent). 

More locally, our surveys have indicated that East Anglia’s mid-market businesses are bouncing back following the disruption, with 27 per cent of businesses owners claiming to be succeeding in the post-pandemic economy which most will admit is still burgeoning. 

Business leaders in East Anglia appear to have moved quickly to adapt to the new reality:- 

  • 37 per cent of businesses have improved automation
  • 23 per cent have invested more in operations
  • 23 per cent have allowed more flexible working
  • 20 per cent have put investment plans on hold

Read BDO’s full Rethinking the Regions analysis for a regional snapshot of businesses’ priorities at www.bdo.co.uk/rethinking-the-regions

One of the biggest challenges facing many businesses has been the speed at which they could adapt, with agility in decision-making and ability to drive changes being two key factors. 

Many businesses have started to transform the way they do business by revisiting operations, identifying efficiencies, adapting product lines and finding new ways of working. 

As has always been the case, economic downturns are accelerators for change. The most resilient businesses are those that have adapted already, with many reporting benefits and accelerated growth. 

A priority for many businesses is how to retain a resilient workforce and look beyond the immediate future to a hopefully prosperous and successful 2021.

Protecting jobs, and cash, through the winter

In a previous survey, less than 10 per cent of businesses stated that they have no plans for any job cuts throughout the winter months. In order to combat this, the Chancellor unveiled the Government’s Winter Economy Plan last month to protect jobs and support employment following the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The new Job Support Scheme (JSS) will operate for six months from  November 1 to April 30, 2021. 

The JSS will be open to all employers with a UK PAYE scheme and bank account but, to be eligible, large companies must be able to prove that they are still suffering a significant drop in turnover because of the pandemic. 
It is a stand-alone scheme and there is no requirement for the employer or employee to have participated in the CJRS. 

All employers can claim under both the JSS and the Job Retention Bonus Scheme and as this is a new scheme, all employees on the payroll at 23 September 2020 can qualify for JSS.

The subsidy from the Government will be up to 33 per cent of the employee’s usual wages for the contractual hours not worked during the claim period. 

Employers will be required to match this payment in percentage terms as well as pay employers’ NIC and pension contributions on the total salary payment. In total, this will guarantee employees a minimum income of 77 per cent of their normal earnings during the claim period.

The Chancellor also announced:-

  • Changes to the Bounce Back Loan and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan schemes, including extended repayment terms and application deadlines
  • The option for taxpayers that deferred VAT payments between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 to spread their payments over 11 interest free payments in the financial year 2021-2022; and
  • Extension of the temporary reduced rate of VAT (5%) to 31 March 2021 for the hospitality and tourism sector.

Maintaining a focus on risk

Our focus is to ensure organisations are resilient for what the immediate future may bring, but also that they have assessed their ongoing risk. The CJRS was implemented in a very short timeframe and the mechanism for claiming was very complex.

Understandably, many businesses focused on cash flow and securing a grant rather than the detail of their claim.  

HMRC is now starting to review claims to ensure they were accurate and is pursuing the large number of CJRS claims thought to be incorrect or fraudulent. It has also introduced a penalty regime that will apply where corrections to a claim have not been made in the allowable period (the later of 90 days from the claim or 20 October 2020). 

Now is the time to consider whether the process you used to make your claim is accurate – BDO can support you with our CJRS Process Risk Review Tool.

Do get in touch with me if you would like to discuss your risk exposure. Aspects to consider include payroll frequency, salary sacrifice arrangements, types of employees and flexi-furlough claims to help you decide whether any further action is required or alternatively give you the peace of mind that your claim was correct. 

• Gary Hanson is available on 01223 535000 or 01223 266350 or via email: gary.hanson [at] bdo.co.uk

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#UK Execution of deals in the COVID era

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For the most part, a legal interest in land can only be transferred or created by deed. A deed must be in writing, and to be validly executed by an individual, they must sign in the presence of a witness. 

The witness must be physically present when the deed is signed. Only then and once completed can it be registered with HM Land Registry (HMLR), writes Jacqueline Jones, Solicitor with Birketts LLP.

The current climate

As 2020 has progressed we have seen two main problems with the valid execution of deeds: the ability to put a traditional manuscript (‘wet’) signature on a deed; and the availability of appropriate witnesses.

The emergence of COVID-19 – and consequent ‘lockdowns’ – has impacted on people’s ability to attend their usual workplace, have access to printing or scanning facilities and even the ability to be in proximity to others so that the requirement for a physically present witness can be met.

Witnesses

Even in these times it remains a requirement for a witness to be physically present during the signing of a deed. While the law does not prevent a spouse, civil partner or co-habitee from being a witness (so long as they are not also a party to the deed) it is best avoided. 

But that is easier said than done where an individual’s ability to see anyone, other than the immediate family with whom they live, is restricted. It is acceptable for a signatory and witness to have some physical distance between them (they can be separated by a window), so long as the signatory can clearly be seen signing the deed.

While the logistics of organising a witness in a way so as to satisfy safety needs (and whatever law/rules/guidance around social distancing may be imposed by government at the time) are achievable, the more difficult aspect of the process must be the conveyancer’s ability to obtain a validly executed deed so as to satisfy HMLR’s registration requirements.

Electronic signatures

HMLR have recently changed their practice guidance to allow certain deeds (such as transfers) to be signed electronically. By ‘electronic’ signature we mean one that is applied via recognised electronic signature software. 
HMLR requires that all parties must agree to the use of electronic signatures, and the platform to be used. Save in limited circumstances all parties must have a conveyancer acting for them. 

A conveyancer must be responsible for setting up and controlling the signing process. The conveyancer with such responsibility must (1) upload the final agreed version of the deed on to the agreed platform; (2) insert the name, email address and mobile phone number of the signatories and witnesses; and (3) highlight the fields that need completing within the deed and indicate by whom they are to be completed and in what order.

The platform then emails the signatories to let them know the deed is ready to sign. The signatories will use a password sent to them by text message to gain access to the deed where they must then sign (electronically) in the presence of a witness. 

The witness will receive an email asking them to sign in (using a password sent by text by the platform) and add their details. The controlling conveyancer then dates the deed within the platform and submits their application for registration to HMLR with a prescribed certification.

The difficulty is that many conveyancers do not subscribe to an appropriate platform, or do not subscribe to the extent that they may use the platform in the manner strictly prescribed by HMLR. What is the alternative?

Scanned manuscript signatures

HMLR will, for the purposes of a registration of a transfer and certain other deeds, currently accept a scanned manuscript signature being added to the final version of the deed. The process for obtaining a validly executed deed by this method will look something like this.

  • Final copies of the transfer will be emailed to each party by their conveyancer
  • Each party prints the signature page and signs in the physical presence of a witness
  • The witness signs the signature page; and
  • Each party sends a single email to their conveyancer attaching the final agreed copy of the transfer and a PDF/JPEG of the signed signature page.

The conveyancer may then complete the transaction and apply to register it by sending to HMLR the appropriate application form, the final agreed transfer and the signed signature page.

While this is currently likely to be the preferred method for execution of deeds it does presuppose that the signatory has access to email and a printer/scanner. 

Quite often there is an element of urgency in getting deeds executed – once they are in agreed and final form – so as not to jeopardise a transaction or agreed completion dates.

Our recommendation is, in any event, that matters are discussed early on so that for each transaction the conveyancers and their clients know sooner rather than later what hurdles there might be to obtaining witnessed signatures and so that those issues can be addressed before they become a potentially insurmountable last minute problem.

• You can call Jacqueline Jones on 01473 921739 or email her at: jacqueline-jones [at] birketts.co.uk

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#UK Cambridge quartet chosen for elite AI programme

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Four Cambridge companies have been hand-picked for an elite UK programme designed to propel scaleups in the Artificial Intelligence sector to potential unicorn status accorded to private companies valued at more than $1 billion.

Cambridge hogs 12.5 per cent of the 32-strong cohort chosen by Tech Nation for its Applied AI Growth programme. It forms part of the Government’s AI Sector Deal, supported by the Office for AI, to champion and support the UK’s leading AI scaleups through peer2peer learning.

The Cambridge quartet are Conundrum, RoboK, SATAVIA and techspert.io; one of the broader successes of this particular programme is that 44 per cent of joining founders are women – almost double the representation of female tech directors (23 per cent) in UK tech.

Also, 59 per cent of the chosen companies are based outside of London with the  South East, East of England and Scotland leading the way.

Tech Nation also reveals new data which shows that the UK is leading Europe and is third in the entire world for VC investment into AI in 2020 (behind only the US and China), while demand for AI skills continues to rise – up 111 per cent from 2017 to 2019.

Executives from the chosen Cambridge four say they are determined to make the most of the opportunity to leverage their participation.

Conundrum, based in Merlin Place, uses AI-driven technologies to address personal data management, quality control and optimisation. The company oversees a whole production process and assists factory engineers in decision making, helping to reduce waste and downtime, and prevent defects and unexpected shutdowns.

Konstantin Kiselev, CEO of Conundrum, says: “We are happy to be chosen for Applied AI 2.0, among so many outstanding businesses. Being recognised by Tech Nation is a solid stamp of approval, and a vote of confidence that helps Conundrum accelerate its business development and opens new opportunities for business in terms of new clients and new funding. We look forward to leveraging all the opportunities that lie ahead.” 

RoboK, based in Chesterton Road, is using new techniques in computer vision and deep learning to build optimised 3D sensing and perception software solutions for low-power computing platforms. 

It’s enabling cars and machines to ‘see’ and ‘understand’ the implications of changes to their environment. They obtain 3D information efficiently from a combination of sensors (primarily cameras) and enable object detection, classification, localisation and depth estimation on low-power embedded systems. 

Hao Zheng, CEO of RoboK, says: “We’re looking forward to being part of a like-minded cohort and surrounded by support to accelerate the growth journey of RoboK.”  

SATAVIA, based at Castle Park, is helping to make flying smarter and greener. SATAVIA is regarded as the only solution delivering actionable insight in aviation which is able to combine and validate multiple environmental, weather, aircraft and maintenance datasets. 

Its technology is credited with making aircraft condition monitoring 20 per cent more accurate while delivering fuel savings and emission reductions.   
CEO Dr Adam Durant said: “Tech Nation has a fantastic global reputation for selecting and scaling high-calibre, cutting-edge companies. 

“Participation in the programme provides our growing team with world-leading mentorship, networking and visibility. We look forward to being part of, and contributing to this high-calibre community.” 

techspert.io, located in Burleigh Street, maps the world’s expertise by using AI to match experts to business customer needs. Its platform provides an efficient and convenient interface for customers to engage in primary research and gain insight through calls and surveys with precisely matched experts, as well as efficiently handling payments to experts for their time. 

David Holden-White, the company’s co-founder and managing director, said: “We’re really excited to be on board with Tech Nation. The growth of the alumni speaks for itself and we look forward to working with Tech Nation to boost our growth trajectory.” 

Tech Nation says that 34 per cent of deep tech UK companies are applying AI to the construction industry, while 28 per cent are using AI to solve healthcare challenges. 

The UK leads Europe in AI investment, having raised $1.48 billion in 2020 so far; that is way out in front of France ($538.83 million) and Germany ($400.25m). The UK is currently third in the world for VC investment in AI after the US ($17.94bn) and China ($9.55bn). 

Looking into sub-sectors, the majority of AI investment so far this year flows into Big Data ($872.42m), TMT ($712.96m), SaaS ($588.39m), and Fintech ($474.65m). AI investment in Mobility Tech has already surpassed 2019 levels by 240 per cent, whilst FinTech is already up by 120 per cent, SAAS by 36 per cent and Cyber Security by 10 per cent.

Demand for AI skills is continuing to rise in the UK, with an increase of 111 per cent between 2017 and 2019. A quarter of all data scientist roles advertised in 2019 required AI as a skill; this was the highest proportion seen amongst digital tech roles in 2019.

AI is already a strategic strength to the UK economy, with 1,344 AI companies and a number of well-known and established AI unicorns, including Cambridge’s Darktrace, Benevolent AI and Graphcore.

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Créateurs de Startup, où domicilier votre entreprise ?

Lors de la création d’une startup, la domiciliation d’entreprise fait partie des étapes obligatoires. Le siège social tient un rôle prépondérant pour l’image de la startup. Alors, où et comment choisir la domiciliation de son entreprise ? Quels en sont les impacts sur l’image dégagée ?

La domiciliation d’une startup

En tant que projet innovant à fort potentiel, une startup a besoin de convaincre bon nombre d’investisseurs. Et ce, afin de financer son développement et sa croissance rapides dans une durée relativement courte. Une jeune entreprise doit alors renforcer sa crédibilité, par rapport aux sources de financement externes. Pour ce faire, elle a besoin de donner une bonne image au travers de son siège social, de manière à consolider sa légitimité. D’où l’importance de bien choisir son adresse de domiciliation.

Les alternatives de domiciliation pour une startup

  • Domiciliation chez soi

Une startup peut opter pour le domicile personnel d’un de ses fondateurs. Un choix pratique pour diverses raisons, car il permet de réaliser des économies à plusieurs niveaux. Cependant, il convient de se renseigner sur les règles de copropriétés et sur le contrat de location, s’il existe des clauses interdisant une telle activité dans la résidence.

  • Société de domiciliation

Ce genre de société met à disposition un siège social et établit une adresse administrative pour une startup, comme stipulé dans le contrat liant les deux parties. Un domiciliataire propose plusieurs services comme le traitement des courriers, la permanence téléphonique ou encore l’accompagnement de l’entreprise pour les démarches juridiques et administratives.

  • Location d’un local

Un local en location peut servir de siège social pour une startup. Ce qui implique, cependant, un investissement conséquent pour supporter le loyer. Il importe de bien valider la nécessité de ce dernier et d’évaluer le coût de l’immobilier pour éviter d’y affecter la majorité de sa trésorerie.

Les avantages de la domiciliation chez soi

En choisissant de s’installer au domicile de son fondateur ou de l’un de ses dirigeants, une startup tire plusieurs avantages :

  • La startup ne supporte pas de coûts location. Elle réalise ainsi une économie et peut réattribuer cette partie de sa trésorerie ailleurs, afin d’aider la jeune structure dans sa croissante.
  • Le fondateur de la startup reçoit son courrier professionnel à son domicile. Il les traite lui-même et suit de près les communications avec les personnes et entités extérieures.
  • Le coût de la cotisation foncière des entreprises ou CFE correspond à l’adresse sociale. En domiciliant l’entreprise chez soi, le fondateur de la startup peut réaliser une économie au niveau de cette cotisation.

Les avantages de la domiciliation dans une structure dédiée

En confiant la domiciliation de son entreprise à une structure dédiée, la startup bénéficie de plusieurs avantages :

  • Elle apporte de la confidentialité au lieu de résidence de son/ses fondateur(s). En effet, avec une société de domiciliation, l’adresse du dirigeant n’est pas accessible publiquement.
  • Elle apporte un gage de sérieux auprès des partenaires, que ce soit en termes de localisation et en termes de volonté de structuration de la société.
  • Elle est pérenne dans le temps car en cas de déménagement du dirigeant, il ne sera pas nécessaire de changer l’adresse de la société. Ce cas de figure peut également rendre plus rentable le fait de passer par une société de domiciliation comme l’explique Paradigm dans son comparatif détaillé.

Les impacts de la domiciliation en termes d’image

Domicilier son entreprise implique une procédure auprès des autorités, comprenant plusieurs étapes qui sont détaillées sur le portail service-public.fr. Le choix de domiciliation d’une startup exige une attention particulière. En effet, le siège social renverra une certaine image de l’entreprise. De cette image dépendra en partie ses capacités de persuasion auprès des investisseurs, mais aussi lors du recrutement de talents. La startup doit inspirer confiance. Elle doit renvoyer l’image d’un projet viable et attrayant.

Conclusion

Le fondateur d’une startup doit choisir une domiciliation qui correspond à l’identité de son entreprise, afin d’en garantir la réputation. La domiciliation joue un rôle crucial dans l’image dégagée par la structure. Une bonne image permettra de convaincre les investisseurs, mais aussi les talents lors des recrutements. Une startup a le choix entre plusieurs options, soit la domiciliation chez soi, la domiciliation auprès d’une société spécialisée à cet effet ou encore la domiciliation dans un local. Parmi elles, la domiciliation chez soi se présente comme la meilleure alternative pour se lancer.