Last week 22 of the most innovative tech and digital startups from the Bristol and Bath region pitched to a panel of local entrepreneurs and experts for a chance to be one of the companies presenting their business ideas to potential investors at the Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase.

“We’ve had some brilliant applications this year which as ever made it really hard to narrow it down to the final 10”


The competition was fierce, but judges at the semi-final pitching competition had to select just 10 finalists to go through to the investor showcase being held as part of the Venturefest Bristol and Bath smart cities conference later this month.

Whittled down from almost 60 initial applicants looking for investment between £100,000 and £2 million, the final 10 will pitch at the showcase to a room full of high-profile investors from the South West region and beyond.

Abby Frear (pictured left), an organiser of Silicon Gorge, tells us: “We’ve had some brilliant applications this year which as ever made it really hard to narrow it down to the final 10 that will pitch at Silicon Gorge at Venturefest in October.

“However, we’re really excited about the businesses that are pitching on the day, everything from AI chatbots, and AR marketing, to vertical farm irrigation and local date experiences – exciting stuff.”

With significant support and backing from the local tech and digital network, the event has been headline sponsored by Barclays, Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator (Oracle SCA) and Invest Bristol & Bath – with Bath-based Rocketmakers sponsoring the semi-final pitching events themselves.

“Our team has already learnt so much from the judges, other investors and the businesses in the competition”


Marina Traversari (pictured right), Program Manager at Oracle SCA and one of the judges deciding the final 10, tells us: “It has been a pleasure to support Silicon Gorge’s competitive selection process as part of the judging panel. Oracle wishes the best of luck to the successful candidates, who have made it through to the final pitch day. By working together in partnership we support business growth and technical innovation.”

The finalists

You can find out about the final 10 startups that have made it through to the Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase below:


BLockItDown (BiD) is using tech to solve the problem of music artists losing income through lost copyrights.

By using Blockchain technology BiD creates an automatic link between the creation of a composition and any subsequent release of that composition as a recording.


DateMakers is the startup that’s saying no to stale and boring dates by offering unique date ideas at the click of a button.

From gin tasting to clay pigeon shooting and even ideas for double dates, the website allows couples to discover new experiences and book them – all in one place.

Immersive Labs

Immersive Labs provides cloud-based software that enables organisations and individuals to develop practical cybersecurity skills by helping organisations identify cyber talent and upskill their workforce in these critical business security skills.

They also provide a capability to academia through the world’s first and only Digital Cyber Academy, matching emerging cyber talent with organisations to plug the cyber skills gap.


Already the world’s most popular influencer marketing platform for the $100 billion gaming industry, Keymailer is a site that connects content creators on Twitch and YouTube to game publishers and developers so that they can request review copies of games (known as keys).

For content creators and live stream broadcasters, Keymailer enables you to save time by requesting keys from multiple publishers, allowing you more time to generate content, and it also helps protect your channel IP by reducing the likelihood of scamming.


Describing themselves as the ‘Pokémon GO for brands’, Landmrk is a geolocation content discovery platform that allows brands to create bespoke campaigns that place digital content into physical locations anywhere in the world.

Landmrk’s platform has already seen Shakira fans heading to parks over the world to get a first listen to her latest album and Alt-J fans listening to their latest songs from park benches with only the most beautiful views in the UK – this is a startup that is truly shaking up the marketing industry.

LettUs Grow

LettUs Grow design efficient irrigation and control technology for vertical farms – overcoming the problems associated with a lack of land by growing ‘upwards’ instead of ‘outwards’.

LettUs Grow’s technology means salad is grown soil and pesticide free, watering the roots using a fine mist. Not only does the mist allow greater oxygenation of the roots, for better flavour, faster growth and higher yields, but it uses up to 90% less water than traditional agriculture.

LuJam Security

The threat from ransomware and malware has never been so acute and the growing Internet of Things compounds the problem. Small organisations are still trying to combat these threats using Firewall and Anti-Virus alone which is often not enough.

LuJam is tackling this by providing affordable network monitoring and blocking to small organisations which also helps to ensure they comply with new European General Data Protection security regulations (GDPR).

Motion Impossible

Motion Impossible designs and manufactures unique robotic dolly systems. When combined with your camera and gimbal, the systems provide seamless and smooth movement, allowing filming in hard to access locations.

The technology Motion Impossible is developing could make waves in the virtual reality and immersive technology industry by solving the problem of ensuring anyone, or anything, holding or moving the camera is in shot.


Synseer is a SaaS, AI-enabled collaboration tool for a faster and more organised way of working.

It creates the ideal environment for focused problem-solving and decision-making across enterprises. Each issue is managed separately, so you can go straight to the ones that matter today, whilst ignoring the rest, in a secure, scalable, private and online environment.

We build Bots – IntelAgent

IntelAgent is a chatbot platform and analytics suite built specifically to save time, improve productivity and increase profits in call centres.

By stitching chatbot technologies and artificial intelligence (like sentiment, personality and text analysis) together, IntelAgent reduces the need for costly agent intervention by answering the most commonly asked questions and performing the most commonly requested functions with automated, emotionally and contextually appropriate responses/actions via Facebook Messenger.

Genuine excitement

On getting through to the final of the pitching competition, We Build Bots’ Sales and Marketing Director Ashley Wheeler, tells us: “We are absolutely delighted to be into the final. Myself and the team have already learnt so much from the judges, other investors and the businesses in the competition. Everyone will say this, but we are genuinely excited about the next stage and what that could mean for our business.”

These 10 finalists will pitch to investors at the invite-only Silicon Gorge Investor Showcase at Venturefest on 17 October. To find out more about Venturefest, head over to the Venturefest Bristol & Bath website or follow them on Twitter here: @venturefestbb.

Alice Whale