The county is home to a thriving tech and startup ecosystem including Innovate UK Satellite Applications, a Spaceport in Newquay; Software Cornwall, an immersive business project run by Exeter and Falmouth Universities; and popular startup events like Agile on the Beach.
At its heart are incubators such as Falmouth University’s Launchpad venture studio, which gives would-be founders the opportunity to build a tech business and gain an MSc in Entrepreneurship.
Here are seven startups to watch in Cornwall.
1. Data Duopoly
Founded in Falmouth in 2019, female-founded Data Duopoly has developed an app to solve the issue of visitor congestion and frustration at attractions such as museums and theme parks. A live, interactive map shows visitors less busy areas, with gamified trails for families and notifications with personalised incentives. It also gives attraction owners valuable data on footfall.
Tested at the Eden Project, in August 2021 Data Duopoly and the Tin Coast Partnership launched an interactive experience for visitors exploring the World Heritage Mining Sites in West Cornwall. The company now has seven staff and was mentioned in “100 ones to watch” by CreaTech as part of London Tech Week.
2. Purpose 3D
Incorporated in October 2020, this startup is helping museums bring history to life whilst providing them with a recurring income stream. Purpose 3D uses photogrammetry to create digital 3D models of historical costumes. They are building the world’s largest marketplace of digital clothing, with formats available for games developers, fashion designers/students, TV and film. Museums get a cut of each model sale.
They’ve already built a portfolio of over 100 models from museums and collections across Cornwall. Next, they are going to push the boundaries of 3D models within the fields of immersive tech, digital fashion and digital simulation.
Founder George Fry is using his own experience of living with Type 1 diabetes to help other people manage diabetes-related stress. His app Neap offers people with diabetes stress-reduction techniques such as 1-2-1 therapy, weekly mindfulness sessions, self-care courses, the ability to journal their health and mood, as well as an online community.
People with diabetes (est. 415 million worldwide and 4.9 million in the UK) are twice as likely to suffer emotional and mental health issues than those who don’t. Whilst there are other diabetes management apps, this is unusual in linking together mental health and diabetes.
George founded Neap after working on ideas with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust. He already has some 300 users and he is talking to the fourth-largest health insurer in the US about a partnership.
Launched in 2018, Codices develops tools for online content creators to easily make, manage and monetise live interactive gameshows. Codices’ Twitch extension, Quiz Kit, allows broadcasters to run and host trivia shows which currently boasts 3.4 million unique monthly active viewers.
The company also creates original live interactive shows, which it has done with brands such as Amazon Prime and some of the world’s largest game publishers. They are currently working on their biggest project to date which is launching in 2022.
Live streaming is set to grow exponentially. In 2021, $4 out of every $5 spent on social apps was spent on those which support livestreaming and will be the biggest growth area across social in the coming years.
Codices is based in Penryn, Cornwall. In 2020, the company closed a pre-seed round of €700K and was named Best Start-up at the 2020 Tech South West Awards.
5. Viewr Ltd
Founded in 2021, this software startup has big ambitions to transform the way in which the world around us is designed, marketed and sold. Viewr turns design files used by engineers, architects, designers and construction managers into compelling, high-quality and interactive web-based experiences to support the design, sale and marketing of real estate and the built environment.
Viewr was founded by Michael Calver, a technology consultant by background.
MeatFreed is a B2B2C adtech platform that drives growth for plant-based brands. Cofounders Patrick Huang and Mike Morris were inspired to launch the business after Patrick’s wife struggled to find inspiration and ideas for cooking vegan meals.
By building engaged and localised communities of Gen Z consumers, local restaurants, and brands, MeatFreed aims to accelerate the adoption of plant-based diets as ‘the new normal’ through incentives and community building.
In less than two months, MeatFreed created its first iteration as an online membership targeting Gen Z at university towns in the South West. MeatFreed has attracted more than 650 members who receive exclusive incentives at over 40 partner restaurants with access to 60 plant-based brands.
Engineer Tom Jones is on a mission to improve recruitment for site based construction workers. Despite 10% of UK employees working in construction, recruitment practices in the sector are behind the curve. Shift shortages are common, whilst hiring processes still rely heavily on traditional agencies, lengthy phone calls and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Constructiv‘s mobile staffing app makes it easier for workers to find local work that fits their schedule, at higher-than-average wages and guaranteed weekly payments. Meanwhile, employers get a quicker way to hire quality staff.
Founded in January 2021, Constructiv already has seven clients, has placed over 60 candidates and filled almost 10,000 hours of temporary roles.