The annual Silicon Gorge pitching competition came to a close for 2023 at the Investor Showcase last month. We were blown away by the caliber of applicants and whittling it down from almost 70 entrepreneurs to 24 finalists to eventually just 13 winners was no mean feat.

We landed on 13 standout startups, specialising in sectors from health tech to green tech. We were super impressed by them all on the day and cannot wait to see what happens next for the fantastic entrepreneurs. Thanks to Cintra Global and our fabulous Investment Activator Partners for supporting Silicon Gorge.

As part of the competition, we’re sharing profiles of those startups who made it through the heats. Next up is Richard Flemmings, CEO & founder of Map Impact.

1 – What does your company do?

Map Impact provides easy to use environmental reporting tools to empower clear and concise decision making.

With an initial focus on biodiversity, our products provide rapid screening and monitoring of the natural environment at any location, using metrics derived from satellite images.

Evidencing biodiversity change consistently and at scale using ground methods is costly and time consuming, yet understanding the environment around us is vital to ensure harmonious interaction with nature. We provide cost-effective, timely and independent products to support imminent environmental legislation which is impacting property development and planning applications.

Our outputs are flexible in the way they are accessed, allowing seamless data integration for existing 3rd party environmental report providers. We fulfil an unmet market need for a tech-led, objective, and simplified solution for a complex problem area.

2 – What problem are you trying to solve?

Nature is in decline. Biodiversity loss represents one of humanity’s greatest risks, as recognised by the World Economic Forum. Without a clear understanding of the status of the natural environment, we cannot reverse this decline.

UK legislation will soon enforce a 10% biodiversity net gain during the construction development lifecycle (which must be monitored for 30 years). Evidencing consistently and at scale using ground methods is costly and time consuming. The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) has highlighted a distinct lack of availability of ecologists to perform this work.

We will support ecologists and other stakeholders in the planning process by providing rapid access to biodiversity information, reducing the time, effort and cost needed to comply with new mandatory environmental reporting requirements. 

Our independent solution means that customers will use the product for both planning applications and compliance, as well as to support checking and verification (i.e. from both sides of the evidence requirement process).

3 – What makes your solution unique?

We are taking a specific offering to market with a focus on ease of deployment and scalability. Satellites offer a unique archive for historic analysis, and an entirely objective means of measuring environmental variables. Our team’s proven capability to simplify complex earth observation technology for environmental applications will set us apart from others. 

We will have a unique alignment with legislative demands. This capability is being deployed with in-depth understanding and connections into the environmental industry and with a highly collaborative approach to supporting our customers. Our strong portfolio of past product developments has been used to support climate impact mitigation and legislation, as well as driving environmental policy.

4 – What are you most proud of so far?

Since our launch 3 months ago we’ve made some really rapid progress in many areas. It’s fantastic to be receiving positive feedback on our working prototype, which we’ve recently tested with customer partners, and we’ve had engagement with a really varied range of organisations through our market analysis.

Being a winner of Silicon Gorge has been a huge highlight. But the thing we’re proudest of is to be launching a tech business that can make a real difference to the global biodiversity crisis.

5 – How much are you raising and what do you want to use investment for?

We are seeking an investment of £800k.

The investment will enable rapid transformation from prototype build stage, through to MVP acceptance stage, and into release of the first version of our revenue-generating commercial product by November 2023. Specifically, we will deploy resources to undertake key activities in:

  • Product development & testing;
  • Deployment of cloud system architecture and associated service level agreements for product delivery;
  • Account management & business development.

6 – What tools/people/services/organisations helped you most?

Our approach is highly collaborative. As we expand the company, we are benefiting greatly from memberships with Geovation and Future Leap and the like-minded networking that this brings. The guidance provided by organisations such as techSPARK and Invest Bristol and Bath has been brilliant (with a special mention to Lisa, Ruby and Ellie, who encouraged our initial Silicon Gorge application – thank you!).

7 – Where can we find out more about you?

Our the Map Impact website here, and the Map Impact Linkedin profile here.

This article is written as part of the Investment Activator Programme (IAP) in the West of England. This programme is run by TechSPARK and is kindly sponsored by TLT LLP, delaware, West of England Combined Authority, UWE, Sanderson, Engine Shed and Rocketmakers. Find out more about the IAP here.

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