Funding organisation wants to deliver £20 million to Welsh economy through AI

Innovation Point, which helps Welsh tech firms and entrepreneurs secure funding, wants to contribute £20 million to the Welsh economy by 2030.

The Welsh Government-backed organisation said it plans to do this by helping Welsh innovators harness the potential offered by artificial intelligence technology.

Based in Newport, it aims to connect Welsh technology businesses with private, academic and public sector connections. So far, the company has delivered nearly £3 million of investment.

David Warrender, CEO of Innovation Point, said automation is set to transform the world in the coming years and wants Welsh companies to take advantage of this opportunity.

“Advancements in robotics, language recognition software and automated data analysis tools are just a few examples of how AI is enabling companies to make their processes more efficient and exploit new markets,” he explained.

“Artificial intelligence is everywhere, and with it has come immense economic potential. Much of the innovation behind those advancements is coming from young companies in Wales.”

University Cribs, which is headquartered in Cardiff, is just one company that’s raised funding through the support of Innovation Point. It’s developed a student rentals website.

Jack Jenkins, founder of the start-up, said: “Innovation Point gave us the opportunity to access expertise. David Murray-Hundley mentored us on a one-to-one basis throughout the Digital Dozen programme, and has since become our chairman.

“When we were looking towards a funding round last year, his experience proved invaluable in helping us make some serious strategic business decisions.  In September 2017, we secured investment of £450,000.”

Meanwhile, edtech company Coursematch opened an office in Cardiff after it secured £275,000 of investment from the Development Bank of Wales.

Founded in Manchester, the firm has created a platform where young people can research, compare and discuss their university and career options.

Joe Perkins, founder of Coursematch, said: “When we started to consider expansion, Innovation Point highlighted Cardiff as a top city for tech companies looking to grow, and they have helped us make connections with leading universities here that are ready to do business.”