TD Weekly (13/09/2019)

From the launch of a new innovation grant to national recognition for a Welsh software firm, here are the latest stories from the Welsh tech scene. 

£1 million funding for innovative businesses 

A new programme designed to boost innovation in the creative sector has awarded grants totaling £1 million to 23 businesses in South Wales.

Clwstwr, led by Cardiff University, is a research and development scheme aiming to build a thriving media production hub around the Welsh capital over the next five years. 

The programme is supporting film and television companies, technology businesses, creative organisations, freelancers and many other industries. They’ll work with academics to develop new products, services and experiences. 

Professor Justin Lewis said: “Our first Clwstwr cohort offers an exciting variety of projects and the quality of the applications we received is proof of the vibrant media sector here in South Wales. 

“Not only will these chosen projects enhance the screen and news industries, they have the potential to improve other sectors such as education, healthcare and business.”

Cardiff firm chosen for top AI programme

Antiverse, a technology company based in Caerphilly, has been accepted onto the UK’s first artificial intelligence growth programme. 

The firm is developing a computational antibody drug discovery platform capable of predicting antibody-antigen binding and providing antibody drug candidates.

Run by Tech Nation, the Applied AI programme will support 29 UK-based companies as they scale. It’s structured around sessions delivered by entrepreneurs such as including Sarah Wood, founder of Unruly; Dave Palmer, co-founder of Darktrace; and Mark Logan, former COO of Skyscanner. 

Gerard Grech, CEO of the industry body, said: “Tech Nation is delighted to announce such a strong first cohort of Applied Artificial intelligence companies, including companies such as ClinSpec DX in Glasgow which uses intelligence to analyse blood for early detection of cancers to Bristol-based, Gapsquare, which enables companies to track employee pay disparity to build fairer workplaces. 

“With 35% of the AI companies based outside London and 45% having at least one female co-founder, the UK could not be building a stronger and more diverse network of artificial intelligence excellence at this important time of technology development, globally.”

Welsh company features in the Sunday Times Tech Track

Vizolution, a Port Talbot-based customer experience technology provider, has been featured on the annual Sunday Times Tech Track 100

Over the past three years, the firm has experienced an average sales growth of 78%. Having achieved £10 million of total sales in 2018, it’s been ranked 58 on the list. 

Bill Safran, CEO of Vizolution, said: “We are delighted to once again feature in this year’s Sunday Times Tech Track 100, and even more proud to be flying the flag for Wales. 

“We debuted on the list last year and have grown significantly since then, opening new offices in North America, gaining new clients in Latin America, and welcoming investors from three of the world’s largest banks.”

Tech Track, a league table of the UK’s fastest-growing companies, is sponsored by Hiscox, Barclays, BDO, BGF and N+1 Singer. 

Bob Thaker, chief executive of Hiscox UK, said: “Tech companies have once again proved their mettle as they continue to power up growth and innovation. Hats off to all the companies that have made it onto this year’s Tech Track 100.”

Digital CV platform launches 

Welsh tech entrepreneur Dan Lewis has launched a digital CV platform to help job seekers find roles that match their skills. 

In development for the past three years, Digital Profile provides users with personalised career matches and professional development and aims to replace the traditional CV.

Upon launch, Digital profile made it into the top three on ProductHunt and received tens of thousands of impressions within just a few hours.

Lewis told Tech Dragons: “We’re extremely amazed at the support from the community we received on the day of launch. 

“We had over 70,000 unique visits from becoming number one on DesignerNews and top 3 on Product Hunt. This was all down to my team and the great support we had. I am one proud founder.”