On 7th June in London 15 start-ups from across Europe will get five minutes to pitch their business on stage to Europe’s most successful venture capitalists. No pressure! It’s worth the preparation – in 2010 UK company Artesian Solutions won the grand prize, and two years later they have a Series A investment from a VC they met at the Summit. 

Think “Eurovision for start-ups” - this year the start-ups are from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Greece, Russia, Poland and Israel. Make sure you vote for your favourite in the People’s Choice Award before 7th June. Cast your vote here.

The British entries are The Oblong and Red Badger – we had a quick chat with both companies to find out what they’re all about and help you with your decision.

Who is Red Badger?

clip_image001Cain Ullah: “Cain is a Founder of Red Badger, the non-techy responsible for business operations. He’s worked on lots of innovative projects - from prototype to delivery - for some very big brands. He also likes to clog up the Red Badger mailroom with a constant influx of vinyl purchases to add to his ever-increasing collection.”

What does Red Badger do?

Red Badger is a creative software workshop. We love to craft. We love to innovate. And more than anything, we love to create beautiful, compelling experiences built around robust technologies. We are an early stage product company, building revenue through consultancy to fund product development.

How did you start out?

The three founders left our previous employment in May 2010, put our savings in to the company and have built it up from scratch. After 6 months we were accepted into the Ravensbourne incubation programme which provided vital early support upon which we built our foundations. We are now based in Clerkenwell with 11 permanent employees and counting.

What are you going to pitch to the top VC’s at the BizSpark Summit?

We have done lots of research into the problems inherent in the utilities industry. We are planning on building a product that brings disruptive innovation to change the landscape of the industry. This will be through remote operations through a virtual environment allowing a highly skilled centralized workforce to monitor and control multiple sites, vastly reducing the number of on-site operators. Our initial motivation was in utilities but we soon realised that many other business verticals have the same issues. I’ll be presenting to the VC’s the opportunities in this area.

What sparked the idea for the project?

We have done this before. All three founding Director’s of Red Badger worked on a 15 month proof of concept. From this, we have taken away many unique key learnings. What we are planning will be different but better! We also have two very key non-executive directors with vital industry knowledge who are fully behind our product ambitions.

What’s next for Red Badger?

We are an early stage product company. In the last two years we have been building up our consultancy arm. We will soon start to use the profits from the consulting arm to fund product development. The consulting and product arms will then run side-by-side with the consulting arm remaining pivotal to providing bespoke services around our products.

Who is theOblong?


Adam Stevens: “One of the founding team at theOblong and with a long experience working at a senior level with blue chips and Government, he’s always looking to bring innovation and simplification to visualising, interrogating and gathering data. Thoroughly enjoying the journey and challenges associated with being part of a start-up, every day is different!”

What’s does theOblong do?

theOblong takes complicated technology problems and delivers simple and easy to use software tools that enable the everyday user elegant and cost effective solutions.

One of the biggest challenges facing companies of all sizes is how to unravel and understand increasingly complex volumes of all kinds of data. Mapping and visualisation tools are ideal for this purpose but have long been the preserve of organisations prepared to invest the considerable resources, time and money needed. theOblong has developed a platform that simplifies the sophisticated process of mapping and de-duplicating data, across different platforms and environments, cost-effectively and rapidly, and delivering coherently to a range of mobile, tablet and desktop devices.

How do you start out?

theOblong was founded with a vision of conceiving, building and delivering disruptive software.

What project are you going to pitch to the top VC’s at the BizSpark Summit?

We will be presenting MapCite, our an innovative suite of web mapping tools and apps that enable our clients to gather, visualise and interrogate location based data, generating extremely elegant and complex mapping quickly and efficiently.


What sparked the idea for the project?

The original spark came from our CEO several years ago when he wanted to ‘view his business’ on a map, it didn’t take long to find out that the traditional mapping solutions were massively expensive and technically heavy. As a result he resolved to build to worlds first web-GIS to enable him to visualise the very large location specific datasets that reside within most businesses. MapCite is a continually evolving project that seeks to give users increased sophistication from simplification.

What’s next for theOblong?

theOblong will continue to improve and develop our existing suite of products in addition to looking for further business areas that we can bring innovative and disruptive solutions. On the sales side, our focus will be on building a strong partner and channel network to best serve the needs of new clients and users.