Founders: Dawid Nidzworski, Sabina Żołędowska and Kasjan Szemiako
To quote Bill Gates “It begins with testing. We can’t defeat an enemy if we don’t know where it is. To reopen the economy, we need to be testing enough people that we can quickly detect emerging hotspots and intervene early”.
The latest pandemic has changed all of us. We began as bystanders watching and tracking Covid19 as it reshaped our world. But it soon became personal as people we knew started dying.
We changed tack and dug into the science, determined to find companies who could bring daily fast testing at scale. After looking at 20 companies from all over the world we found the perfect fit in GeneMe based in our home city of Gdansk, Poland.
Dawid Nidzworski, Sabina Żołędowska and Kasjan Szemiako are the opposite of big pharma. They are brilliant scientists with a dream to bring first class diagnostic testing as close as possible to the regular person. We will drive forward with their rapid 30 minutes tests to ensure everyone has access daily tests.
Daily testing is the only solution to the global pandemic of Covid19.
Founder: Bernhard Niesner
Learning a new language opens doors, increases access and improves social mobility and for too often has languished behind other Edtech products in its use of AI/technology but not anymore…
Busuu was founded by Bernhard Niesner and Adrian Hilti in 2008. The name originates from the Busuu language in Cameroon. Busuu provides courses in 12 languages for more than 110 million learners in over 190 countries worldwide. One of our favourite features in Busuu is that the community of learners can connect with native speakers and get instant feedback on their speaking and writing exercises.
Colin met Bernhard via the amazing London Tech COO Forum and the subsequent conversations focused on how we can work with the team to take Busuu to the next level in North and South America, China and of course Poland!
NCFE is the second largest training and qualification organisation in the UK and the winner of a number of the government’s latest T-levels contracts. Proud of its roots in the North East of England it provides nationally recognised qualifications and awards, which have contributed to the success of millions of learners at all levels, bringing them closer to fulfilling their personal goals.
Colin first met NCFE in October 2017 through his relationship with former Chair Lucy Armstrong when NCFE were just starting to look at investments that had the potential to reach directly to the learner and improve social mobility and life outcomes.
Since then the relationship with NCFE has deepened and widened, and through the appointment in 2019 of the new CEO David Gallagher it has stepped up to a whole new level. NCFE has re-imagined itself and refocused its efforts on improving human potential. Arguably one of the best ways to achieve human potential is by making sure they have the skills and competency to take on the best job available.
Jamey Heit & Robin Donaldson
The “Grammarly” of essay writing… but with better tech!
This is how we introduce ecree into every meeting.
Teach a man to fish…When you are able to write and present your thoughts in a way that conveys meaning you are able to explain and solve problems. This academic approach is available to a chosen few. Ecree provides universal access to the world’s first AI writing teacher to democratize the ability to write.
Colin and Pawel had been looking for an outstanding deep tech company who had cracked the big problem of accurately assessing academic writing across the humanities. In March 2019 they met Jamey Heit and Robin Donaldson from ecree and were simply blown away! It was the first time they had seen a company that had thoroughly solved this problem. It wasn’t one of those, when you looked under the hood and went oh dear nothing there… this one was the opposite we were finally able to happily geek out!
By leveraging our relationships with large B2C communities (100M+) we were able to open up some great opportunities for ecree to showcase their outstanding tech and gain real traction from individual users on a mass scale. Watch this space… essays are only the beginning of this journey!
Founder: Daryll Middleton
Earlier in his career, Pawel had been responsible for setting up an enterprise social network in the States and throughout the years maintained a real enthusiasm for creating a social networking effect in business.
So when Teaglo Founder Daryll Middleton started pitching Colin on Linkedin in April 2019 and simply refused to take no for an answer (always a good skill in an entrepreneur) we took a further look.
On a day to day basis we meet a lot of new founders and very few of them have a really thought-out business model. Daryll had and it was very impressive. Our conversations with Daryll and his team simply took the model to its next level. We helped further by bringing in additional investment from China First Capital Group who are a great strategic investor, connecting Asian money with European business.
Teaglo is fast becoming the destination for teachers, school administrators and schools. The fabric of this new community is based on continuous interaction with social media not to pretend or oversell but instead to deliver real value in professional interaction. Users can find a variety of services and opportunities that move them forward in the quest to reach their full potential.
With Teaglo now working closely with our top delivery partners at Cloudthing we look forward to seeing Daryll and the team hit milestone after milestone over the next few years!
Founders: Genadi Sokolov, Hen Eytan and Kirill Slavkin
Ever watched a video that really made you think? Ever watched a video that made you think and wanted to timestamp your notes? Ever wanted to understand what others thought at that moment and how it changed them or helped them improve?
Visual learning is super powerful but primarily a solitary act. We are only scraping the surface with the potential to capture real time learning and share insights across a community.
Annoto brings this idea to life and soon will surely become the new standard in video engagement. Elegantly solving a real problem for creators and channel owners by enabling social interactions directly on video without changing the player or data leaks!
During their subsequent years of employment they encountered the disadvantages of passive video watching when taking digital courses. The solution they created is Annoto (“to react to” in Latin)—a startup they co-founded, which transforms passive watching of a video into an active collaborative and social experience.
We support Annoto in providing the new standard in video engagement to every community and look forward to seeing this Israel dream team achieve their potential.
Founder: Wayne Harrison
The best way to learn is to teach others. A true entrepreneur lives the change that they want to be. Wayne grew up in one of the poorest neighbourhoods, in one of the poorest cities in the UK where social mobility was non-existent and football was the biggest religion in town. As a teacher and then an educational consultant in the same city he was fascinated by the ability of peer to peer discussions to transform learning outcomes. Wayne closed down his own consultancy and took on an accelerated masters and PHD at Durham University’s prestigious education department – on peer to peer learning.
Armed with the evidence and knowledge to match his previous convictions and working closely with Professor Steven Higgins the author of the definitive Educational Endowment “what works” toolkit, Wayne scraped together his first seed round, hacked together a basic platform and won a government contract to provide peer to peer learning across his region, all within a few months!
We believe that Peer to Peer isn’t as good as the current model we believe its better!
Founders: Noelle Millholt, Neal Shenoy, Stephanie Dua
Colin loved the Homer pitch from the moment he saw it and used it (with their permission) as an example of what a good series C deck looks like when he was at the Lego Ventures office in Denmark later that month. What was an academic exercise on looking at good investments gained traction and after the appropriate due diligence Lego came into the series C with a 10M investment.
What Lego and other A-level investors – GSV, Trustbridge, etc., like about Homer is the calibre of the Founding Team. Neal is a third time founder who has a history of producing great businesses with superb unit economics, backed up by an all star team with experience from Amazon, Class Pass, Fisher-Price, iHeart Radio, Leapfrog, Mattel, NickJr, NY Times, Pandora, PBS Kids and Spotify.
HOMER’s mission is to provide the best educational start possible by offering personalized, fun, and quality proven learning products for children ages 2-8. They have the opportunity to become the number 1 in that age group and category. No one company or product has achieved that position to date and Homer are looking really good for pole position.
Pawel met Jarek on the top floor of a NYC skyscraper with a Central Park view at an event promoting Polish entrepreneurs. The view of central park was quickly out shadowed by the vision for personalised AI at a massive scale.
Jarek, a born computer wizz and hacker, progressed recently to suparstar status, not only owning the hottest AI company in Central Eastern Europe but adding a well-known Polish football club, Wisla Krakow to boot.
The AI-Driven Growth Operating System, Synerise uses data and artificial intelligence to help brands better respond to the needs of their customers. The tools it offers include automation applications, business intelligence and personalization of communication, as well as the management of pricing policy in real time, regardless of the scale of operations.
Synerise works with banks and retailers to offer personalised offers at a massive scale in real time. We work closely with Jarek and his team to ensure that the company fulfils its true potential in achieving that founding vision we saw overlooking central park.
Founder: Hui Jie Lim
Lim the Founder of Vision is by definition a high achiever! A third time founder who has two previous successful businesses exits and managed to launch his third company by the age of 33! He also managed to fit in three children along the way.
VisionGroup is a humanity plus company that believes in using technology for the betterment of the human race. Vision is focused on driving adoption of impactful technology by governments, enterprises and the masses by making it better, faster and easier.
The company was founded in April 2018 and so far has accelerated fast in 18 months with 60 contracts in multiple countries.
We met Lim through our good friend Nicolas Huras who spotted Vision as one of best tech companies in Singapore and with far reaching potential. We believe in Lim and the team’s ability to execute and we are working hard to ensure they have the bandwidth to make those top level sales that bring change and improve lives!
VoiceBase Team at Enterprise Connect
When you see a company processing voice data at one sixth of YouTube’s volume then you take notice! Colin was introduced to Walter Bachtiger the Founder via an early stage investor in VoiceBase who had seen that huge potential right from the first!
Walter, a swiss national who now lives in San Francisco, started his career developing algorithms for banks to decide on the best possible location before entering the voice market with his own company.
After spending time on our own DD – Colin, Pawel and Suresh sat down with Walter in NY for an all day workshop and poured over the business plans and the AI sentiment analysis that powers arguably the first voice intelligence engine. We put in a growth plan that is so exciting we can hardly wait!
We look forward to helping VoiceBase overtake YouTube but to pull far ahead and take on the 50 YT’s volume of data which is the current addressable market for this amazing company.
Highlights is a household name in the states for good reason. They deliver an amazing 200M magazines to families across America every year! Highlights motto is “fun with a purpose” and they offer exactly that for 2-12 year olds across the world via its digital and print based offering.
Pawel has known the team at Highlights for many years as he consulted with them back in 2012 to help start and grow their international business. Highlights has since entered 20 plus markets and built a significant revenue stream from international operations.
We have really enjoyed picking up the baton again with Highlights after a few years break and we are working closely with Andy Shafran and his team to help expand Highlights reach internationally!
Founders of Tech Will Save Us
Sometimes you meet the people you need at the time you need to meet them!
Colin and Bethany literally had hundreds of mutual connections, had spoken at the same events all over the world and lived in the same city but never met!
However, Nex.D partner Paul Nunn finally made things happen with a rapid and urgent introduction and since then the relationship has taken off. We love Bethany and Daniel’s mission to change the outcome for the family by providing amazing learning kits direct to home that children will love and parents will see the value in.
Our job is to help them deliver at the time where home based learning has never been so important.
Founder: Diane Janknegt
The world wide web is a phenomenal source of information. However, for learners of all ages a simple google search leads to a wide range of results which are not relevant, not reliable and certainly not tailored to their reading level.
WizeNoze uses patented AI and human moderation to create a very clear internet in a box for students with reliable, relevant and comprehensive information from the best that the internet has to offer!
Diane the Founder gained her passion for the power of technology to change lives as a senior executive at Microsoft. Long time friend and WizeNoze COO Parvinder Bhatia introduced the company and we are looking forward to sharing this wonderful product with publishers and partners across the globe.
Founders: Amy Whitell and Pete Casson
Colin met Amy and Pete through their outstanding work at big EdTech success – Twinkl which they helped scale from £8M revenue to £22M in two years. At Twinkl – Pete focused on building out the tech product, infrastructure while Amy concentrated on digital production, B2B sales, international growth and operational teams.
Colin joined the advisory board and also brought in FinTech entrepreneur David Monty to strengthen the payment knowledge side. During the scoping work as a team we found ourselves coming back to the same idea which was reducing the friction for social organisers.
Amy is that classic social organiser whose most spectacular fail was collecting verbal pledges of £100 from friends for a baby shower present and ended up with only £20 finally arriving. Collectiv will change this for all social organisers whether collecting for a sports club, shopping for friends or neighbours or paying for a holiday.
Josh was Co-Founder and CTO of SuperAwesome, the biggest kids technology company in the world. As CEO of his new venture, Josh brings experience building high-growth companies to NSPR, with his long-term colleague Florian Zysset stepping up as CTO. If both of them bring a CTO focus to NSPR, then fellow co-founders Patrick Cootes and Dr Melody Lang bring education and edtech perspective in abundance.
NSPR is in “stealth mode” so we can’t say too much about it. However, what we can say is – future of work, real-time algorithms, learning coach and helping people shift professions without a Bootcamp or expensive college course behind them.
We are backing NSPR and are clearing a trail in advance so that this experienced founding team can sprint down it!