The U.K.-based Oxygen Accelerator, now relocated from its former home of Birmingham to Tech City’s Campus London, has announced its first cohort of startups since the move down south.
Nine startups made it through the application process and are beginning the 13-week bootcamp program today. Oxygen offers €7,000 investment per founder (up to three founders) for each successful entrant to its program, in exchange for 8% equity.
The nine startups, which includes five teams from the U.K., look to be an eclectic mix (see full list below), with platforms for student rents and self-storage, and apps for shopping and meetings, rubbing shoulders with a semantic engine for video and audio analysis, an app builder for non-techies and tools for diagram creation and carbon legislation risk assessment.
“We’re delighted to have such a wide range of exciting tech startups joining us for this programme and we can’t wait to get cracking,” said Simon Jenner, CEO of Oxygen Accelerator in a statement. “We received more applications this time around than for any previous Oxygen Accelerator programme and it’s been great to see so many applicants from outside of the UK.
“The selection process recognised that it is not only very important to have a great idea, but to have high-quality, motivated team members too. Even with a brilliant idea, being successful involves a lot of hard work.”
Oxygen had said it would select up to ten startups for the program but in the event it settled on nine to keep the quality bar high. ”We choose on quality rather than quantity, so these nine are the ones we have settled on,” Jenner told TechCrunch.
Oxygen said more than a quarter (27%) of the intake had already received some kind of seed funding, and 16% had previously been through an accelerator program.
The accelerator received 310 applications to the program — a record number for Oxygen’s bootcamp — and invited 50 applicants to pitch to its organisers and mentors (63% came to London to pitch vs 37% pitching remotely via Skype or Google Hangouts). From these pitches, a shortlist of 18 was drawn up — and the final nine were selected.
For a little local context, TechStars London, which held its debut Demo Day in the U.K. capital last week, received 1,302 applications from 72 different countries. TechStars was able to draw in 4x more applications to its London bootcamp than under the old Springboard operation – illustrating the pull of the TechStars brand.
Moving to London is one way for a smaller player like Oxygen to raise its profile in the U.K. and beyond. Albeit, in London it’s also competing with SeedCamp (which has had more than 2,000 applications in 2013 thus far) and Telefonica’s Wayra UK (which had 3,441 applications to its current program of 17 startups).
Here’s the list of the nine Oxygen finalists that made the cut:
- ThinkGlue – has developed “a semantic engine for video and audio analysis
- Lowdown – mobile app to help people prepare for meetings by providing up to date info about the people and businesses they are about to meet
- CherryBird – platform for students to discover and lease property
- Boxload – platform offering self-storage by the box, with “flexible contracts, collection and delivery options, and online management”
- Project Perfect Shoe – mobile shopping app to help users find “the perfect items of clothing”
- Sedicii – patented authentication tech tackling the password problem by eliminating the need to transmit a password or store a password on a server to authenticate a user
- Dialective – web tool for creating, embedding and sharing diagrams
- Fliplet – app builder platform that lets users “create a professional-looking app without needing technical or design skills”
- CarbonMetrix — digital tool that assesses the “carbon legislation risk in a company’s supply chain and accumulated in an investment portfolio”