Innovation Point wants to help tech start-ups grow by realising the potential of AI in business and attract more investment
Young tech start-ups will be given a helping hand to exploit the growing market potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in a move that could deliver a £20m economic boost by 2030.
Digital innovation company Innovation Point, based in South Wales, has set the target by connecting private, academic and public sector partners to help tech sector SMEs secure investment for growth.
Since being founded two years ago, it has delivered nearly £3m of new investment into the economy.
CEO David Warrender said: “Artificial intelligence is everywhere, and with it has come immense economic potential.
“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. Much of the innovation behind those advancements is coming from young companies in Wales.
“We are here to help those companies capitalise on this growing market potential, whether that be securing investment for growth, accessing new markets or augmenting their brand awareness on a global scale. Innovation Point offers the expertise and support that can help turn their tech talent into business success.”
The company will also be working with universities in South Wales to triple the number of cyber and software graduates over the next ten years.
One start-up to benefit from the support is University Cribs, a digital student property rental platform. The company was a finalist on Innovation Point’s Digital Dozen accelerator programme, where its founders met serial entrepreneur and current chairman David Murray-Hundley.
University Cribs founder Jack Jenkins 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.”
Coursematch, a Manchester-based social network designed to help young people assess their university and career options, gained £275,000 investment following an introduction to the Development Bank of Wales by Innovation Point.
Dhiraj Mukherjee, founder of the definitive song identification app Shazam, was one of seven angel investors also to back the company.
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.”
Representatives from the Welsh Government, universities in South Wales, and SMEs working with Innovation Point recently joined the company on a boat trip to Flat Holm Island to celebrate two years of success for the company.
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The event coincided with the 121st anniversary of the first ever wireless radio transmission made across water by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897, between Flat Holm Island and Lavernock Point on the south Wales coast.
Innovation Point is now looking ahead to Digital Festival at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay on May 21 and 22, an event it organises in partnership with the Welsh Government.