1. 4. 0. 7.

1. 4. 0. 7. That’s the amount of kilometer’s I traveled on Tuesday the 20th of September, all for the sake of a greasy startup. Now I’ll come back to said startup a little later on.

So lets start at the beginning. With an alarm clock buzzing at 4am, then 4.02am and again at 4.07am I dragged my self through a shortened set of morning ablutions, into a cab, onto a plane, onto a train, into another cab. Finally I’d arrived. I was at the Techstars London city edition accelerator demo day.

Generally what I see in most demo days is either some disruptive new tech, a phenomenal domain expert doing something excellently or old areas being upended by the ‘new new’ tech flavour of the year. By no means is this a slur, far from it. The more time I get on my clock seeing startups challenge incumbents in industry X I’m more and more fascinated to see how something old in said industry X becomes brand new in market Y or in this case using technologies like Blockchain and A.I. have come to give existing markets a new lease of life.

Pictured above are proper people that know their Blockchain chat

Now far be it from me to go into explaining Blockchain and A.I. when there are far better folks than me out there that can more easily string smart sentences together, so on that note…. get to the world’s biggest Blockchain event organised happening in Dublin on 4–6th November right here!

But back to the demo day as that’s what I got to see first hand with the volume of AI, Blockchain and #FOGTech being pitched at the Techstars London demo day opened by program director Max Kelly a seasoned accelerator boss who got the crowd on side for what was to be a seminal startup performance from this cohort.

First up to pitch was Tenzo a platform for restaurant owners to sync all of their disparate data together swirl it through some good old machine learning and get actionable insights according to the founder who knows his stuff about restaurants.

From here on there was a mix of startups that can convert simple pics from your phone to complicated 3d mockups in moments for use in video games to real time mem graph applications taking compute times from seconds to milliseconds (where very interestingly their Techstars mentor has become a fully fledged team member he loves the startup so much).

Of course being the true green / ginger Irish man I am, I was extremely excited to see not one but two excellent startups pitch their companies at this demo day.

The first, I definitely knew about. Not only had I the opportunity to work with them on the first Startup Next pre-accelerator in Dublin a few years back but I also got to introduce them on the day!

Strangely enough #FOGtech has nothing to do with Kate Bush, Cloudbusting or other cloud based tech

Purveyors of the art and science behind #FOGtech were SwiftComply. Now before you get confused, #FOGtech is not the realization of the 1985 Kate Bush pseudo technology of controlling clouds. I know, at first I too was disappointed that this wasn’t the case.

However, my disappointment lifted (much like a cloud) when I learned about their thoroughly unsexy business which is a big need for city water supplies to prevent the accumulation of #Fatbergs which in turn can cause huge costs on city’s to repair bust water systems. With years of experience in this area the SwiftComply team have developed an app to reduce costs for all concerned in this process that they are now selling through Europe and the US.

Next up from team green was AID:Tech which has developed a system to get aid securely and safely so the people that need it. Using a mixture of Blockchain technology and QR codes AID:Tech ensures that this aid is delivered quickly, safely and securely to the people that it’s intended for with full trace-ability.

So with that mornings demoday wrapped it was over to a packed room of one to one pitching and investing with the latest cohort of Techstars London.

A major congrats as always to the Techstars team and the startups pitching for making it through their program as this is no mean feat. You can read all about the full selection of teams at this TechCrunch article.

So with 3 hours in London under my belt, I was itching to move again and start the return leg of my boomerang trip from Dublin to Galway (via London) for that evenings UPRIS4 Festival regional pitch battle supported by Bank of Ireland.

1,407 km later, I was in for another treat of startup pitches, but that, is a blog for another 4 minute read!