Talented technologists from all across the United Kingdom will pitch their business ideas that tackle the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, in front of live audiences and a panel of specialist judges (Monday 29 April – Friday 3 May), for their chance to win £1,000 and represent their region at The F Factor National Finals in London.

Two national winners of the initiative will each receive a £10,000 equity-free investment in their business, one in the 14 to 18 age category, and the other in the 19 to 25 age category. The Times will profile the winning startups.

Forty bright, young changemakers from across the UK have reached the Regional Final stage of the nation’s premier startup competition – The F Factor. From Monday 29 April – Friday 3 May – – teams from all corners of the United Kingdom, will pitch their business ideas that use technology solutions to tackle the United Nations’ sustainable development goals in Edinburgh (Scotland/Northern Ireland), Manchester (North East/North West), Birmingham (Midlands/Wales), Greater London and Bristol (South East/South West)

The winners from each age category at the Regional Final events will receive £1,000 and go forward to represent their region at The F Factor National Finals:

  • Saturday 18 May, Mansion House, London (14-18 year olds)
  • Thursday 13 June, Founders Forum, London (19-25 year olds)

Participants have already had to progress through two stages of the competition – the online qualifiers (open from November 2018 – March 2019) and the regional semi-finals (Saturday 30 March and Saturday 6 April).

There are an incredibly diverse range of profiles and ideas coming from all regions of the country. From satellite imaging and machine learning to improve agriculture in Northern Ireland to a water filtration device in the midlands, big data and AI to optimise water treatment in Scotland to VR to help dementia sufferers in London. Other innovations into the next round include startups using technology to prevent food wastage, an app that gamifies recycling and an edtech platform focussed on supporting those with learning difficulties.

Previous winners include Kike Oniwinde in 2018 (BYP Network), Jack Cornes and Harry Smith in 2017 (HausBots) and Jacob Haddad 2016 (AccuRx).

National partners include Tech Nation, Speakers for Schools, OnSide Youth Zones and WhiteHat, with the programme also receiving support from the Number 10 Policy Unit.

Television host and presenter, Davina McCall is confirmed to host The F Factor 2019 Finals once again with previous judges including Baroness Lane Fox (founder, Doteveryone.org.uk), Simon Cowell, Sir Charles Dunstone (founder, Carphone Warehouse), Dame Natalie Massenet (founder, Net-a-Porter), Shahrzad Rafati (CEO, Broadband TV), Matthew Freud (head of Freud Communications).