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Autumn watch: top 10 entrepreneurs & their companies to watch

Growth and scale before the next big seasonal deadline of the Christmas and New Year festivities is the priority for founders, and therefore, now is an excellent time to identify those companies that are set for acceleration as the winter months approach.

Photo via depositphotos by Jirsak
Photo via depositphotos by Jirsak

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

For many young companies, the approach of Autumn could not come soon enough. The holiday season, particularly August, is always a stagnant time for the ultra-ambitious SMEs and start ups wishing to accelerate and reach their goals. Whether to acquire more funding from investors, strike deals with additional partners, boost teams by recruiting more staff or sell to the consumer, Autumn portends new beginnings more than any other season.

Growth and scale before the next big seasonal deadline of the Christmas and New Year festivities is the priority for founders, and therefore, now is an excellent time to identify those companies that are set for acceleration as the winter months approach.

It’s a top 10 list, in order of merit across a range of industries. The key metrics are what these companies have achieved so far in their short life spans, who their leaders are, why rapid growth and scale seem imminent, what they bring to each sector and why the next few Autumnal months are key to their growth.

As expected, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is dominating the news agenda and this list identifies some new companies adopting this technology, including open-source intelligence. However the range is more broad than AI as Web3 and space technologies (SpaceTech) are also prominent. Climate change is on most agendas and therefore ambitious companies in   Agriculture technology (AgriTech) and GreenTech feature alongside health and entertainment start-ups.

This list should entertain and inform in equal measure.

#1 NorthHouse 

Tom Bairstow (Credit: Tom Bairstow)

NorthHouse is a multi-award-winning creative studio specialising in projection, screen and broadcast design for live shows, events, installations and immersive experiences.

Founded by Tom Bairstow in 2012, the talented team of directors, designers, visual artists, creative technologists and producers have created visuals for many of the great global names and brands. These include most recently lighting up Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle with stunning projection visuals for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Kings Coronation Concert as well as designing visuals for hundreds of Coldplay shows, Eurovision 2023, Disney’s Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl, the SuperBowl half-time show and Ferrari’s 70th birthday. 

They’ve also got several awards and nominations under their belt including a recent BAFTA win, alongside the BBC. These awards have highlighted the company’s innovation and hard work and positioned NorthHouse as one of the first studios on the shortlist for the biggest events globally. 

Who’s At The Top: In just over a decade, Tom Bairstow has gone from moving from Yorkshire to London as a freelancer to one of the emerging names in the UK’s creative design scene and labelled as ‘The man who lit up the recent Royal Coronation and Jubilee concerts’.

What’s Coming: The fast-growing NorthHouse is undoubtedly a brand to look out for in 2023 and beyond, with future events, shows, immersive experiences and public installations in London, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Dubai and Saudi Arabia dominating their pipeline this Autumn and Winter. 

#2 Solidus Ai Tech

Paul Farhi (Credit: Paul Farhi) 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transcended science fiction to become an integral part of our daily lives, and leading the charge in this transformative landscape is Solidus Ai Tech, a pioneering company at the forefront of AI innovation.

Solidus Ai Tech has reached new heights in the AI domain with the construction of an impressive 8,000 square feet high-performance computing power data centre. This state-of-the-art facility is set to power the future of AI applications, enabling the development of groundbreaking solutions with unprecedented computational capabilities. Equipped with cutting-edge hardware and advanced cooling systems, this data centre is poised to be a game-changer in the AI industry.

Solidus Ai Tech is positioned as a trailblazer in the AI landscape. From healthcare and finance to manufacturing and beyond, the possibilities for revolutionizing industries are limitless.

Who’s At The Top: Paul Farhi, the visionary entrepreneur behind Solidus Ai Tech, emphasized the significance of AITECH in their mission to democratize AI. He stated, “With AITECH, we aim to make our AI solutions accessible to a broader audience, fostering innovation and driving transformative change across industries.” Farhi is also founder of Farhi Fine Art so expect him to embrace AI fully in to the world of fine arts anytime soon. 

What’s Coming: Solidus Ai Tech has just launched their native token, AITECH, serving as the primary currency for purchasing their services across all platforms. AITECH, which has now been listed on top-tier exchanges such as Gate.io and MEXC, is designed to streamline transactions and enhance accessibility to Solidus Ai Tech’s AI products and services, facilitating greater adoption and utilization for the global AI community.

#3 Space Aye 

Chris Newlands (Credit: Space Aye) 

Space Aye is a pioneering space tech company with a mission to revolutionise how we interact with, and use, real-time satellite imagery. Located in Scotland’s “Satellite City”, Glasgow, Space Aye have created a unique, award-winning SpaceTech strategy which is underpinned by a US Patent and Pending Patents globally.

Space Aye specializes in merging real-time satellite imagery with Internet of Things (IoT) data such as location data, images, video and much more. Through their innovative strategies, Space Aye has launched two accessible mobile applications with new opportunities on the horizon. Their latest application, Space2Site, caters to industries with remote working staff such as oil, gas and construction. Their app allows sectors to remotely identify, monitor and secure worksites, personnel and assets via real-time satellite imagery, which could reduce theft, fraud and eco-impact in these sectors.

Their mission is for us all to be able to make better, more informed decisions and this forward-looking approach is well-timed as earth observation satellite (EOS) numbers grow exponentially in the coming decade. As the frequency of images increases, the cost will decrease, resulting in more accessibility to this important data source. Real-time satellite imagery combined with IoT data offers infinite commercial, societal and climate opportunities. 

Space Aye strategies focus on the firefighter and the fire, giving contextualised and actionable data in emergencies such as wildfires.

Who’s At The Top: Space Aye’s vision for the future is guided by its founder, Chris Newlands, who was named in 4th in the world’s top ten space entrepreneurs list, beaten only by Richard Branson, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

What’s Coming: EOS operations are expanding from hundreds of satellites in orbit today to over four thousand predicted by 2030. With an estimated financial market size mushrooming from the current £14bn to a projected £50bn by 2030, expect Space Aye to be one of the companies benefiting from those metrics. 

#4 Rainbow AI

Yuri Melnichek  & Alexander Matveenko (Credit: Rainbow AI)

Meteorologists worldwide agree that weather forecasting is an essential but complex and challenging science. Accurate forecasting can help save lives and minimise property damage. It informs farmers, helping them know it’s best to plant and protect their crops. And with climate change, weather changes at lightning speed, and its conditions are more frequent and intense, which is why it’s so important to have a precise forecast and timely updates. 

Rainbow AI has launched an App that addresses these and many other concerns. Its mission is to inform people of severe weather changes as quickly as possible. To this end, their prediction model updates the whole planet every ten minutes and soon it will be just a few minutes. Traditional meteorological models update every few hours, a time in which weather can change significantly.

Rainbow AI processes data from around 1,000 meteorological radars, about 400,000 weather stations, several satellites, approximately 10,000 user reviews, and millions of barometric values from user mobile devices. 

The newly released Storm Alerts and Hurricane Tracker have taken the App to the next level. Users can track early storm formations, tropical depressions, and hurricanes on an interactive weather map. 

Who’s At The Top: With Alexander Matveenko at the helm, Rainbow.AI has seen extraordinary growth, and his startup’s app has taken the world by storm. He hails from Maps.me, where he was the project manager, and MapData, which he founded. In 2020, he worked with Huawei. 

Yuri Melnichek is Rainbow.AI’s co-founder. He is a seasoned IT entrepreneur and venture investor. He co-founded Maps.me, and AI-Matter. He also co-founded Bulba Ventures, which funds and co-founds machine-learning startups. His investment portfolio also includes OneSoil, Gero, and Vochi.

What’s Coming: Rainbow.AI is a game-changer as it intends to go from its current one-hour forecast to four hours and then to at least 16 hours, which is unheard of. They have over 400,000 app downloads and 50,000 active users globally, but they aim to reach a billion users as soon as possible.

 #5 Autumna

Debbie Harris (Credit: Debbie Harris)

As winter approaches, the NHS is often in the headlines as it comes under increasing pressures, and one of those major pressures is bed blocking. But one aptly named company for an Autumn series of companies to watch, Autumna, may have the solution.

Adult social care seldom grabs those headlines but current annual spending on social care in the UK sits at an eye-watering £15 billion. With an aging population (18% of the UK’s population is over 65), which will grow by 8.6 million in the next 50 years, this issue will not disappear.

Entrepreneur Debbie Harris founded Autumna to provide free, expert, trusted information in an easy-to-understand format by listing all 26,000 registered elder care providers in the UK. The start-up also offers a unique online Needs Assessment tool that guides families through a series of questions. Generating a shortlist of the right care, whilst simultaneously communicating with the shortlisted care providers. 

Matching the two together

This simple online assessment tool has significant applications. It is used by families, the NHS, Care Professionals and GPs. It has the potential to reduce bed blocking in hospitals with significant impact for both patients and the NHS budget.

Who’s At The Top: Debbie Harris, an innovator and leader in the care industry for over a decade and labelled as the visionary who founded care home reviews. She says: “Adult social care affects us all in one way or another. We’ve built a simple tool based on decades of experience, that can be expanded into other healthcare sectors and provide the vehicle that drives the siloed working practices in social care and healthcare to create a scalable, working bridge, for the first time, ever.”

What’s Coming: Autumna will soon launch a unique algorithm pulling together external APIs to give an ‘at a glance’ care provider score and overview.

#6 OpenFoodChain 

Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt (credit: Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt)

Food is at the heart of our lives. Yet, our food system is not in great shape. We have exorbitant waste levels, production is damaging and the majority of our food makes many people overweight instead of healthy.

The food industry has been historically slow in adopting digital solutions to mitigate these challenges which lends credence to the theory that our food is the least digitised industry of all. We lose billions each year due to an unreliable data infrastructure. Governments are now acting, the EU Deforestation Regulation requires companies to be able to prove that their products are deforestation-free by December 2024. This asks for digital traceability solutions that can deal with long, crowded supply chains that have low margins.

Open Food Chain (OFC) is an independent initiative that started in 2017 to develop technology precisely for this complex challenge. As shown with BlockchainBurger and BlockchainBar, OFC is a traceability infrastructure for reliable information about origin, nutrients and ESG claims. Although traceability is often understood as a B2C proposition, OFC is B2B. Companies make the difference. OFC provides easy compliance, with a highly competitive pricing and gives supply chain actors full control over their data.

Key to OFC is its governance model. OFC launches a totally new business model in the traceability space. It’s highly scalable and has extremely energy efficient technology with no transaction costs. Endless volumes and products can be traced without affecting costs. More so, participants are co-owners of the open source system. Today, OFC is live in five industries and on track to onboard another five this Autumn.

Unlike most AgriTech initiatives, OFC has been net positive for the past three years.

Who’s At The Top: Not many can claim to be more learned about agrifood and new technology than Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt. The entrepreneur started her career at the United Nations, has led a research team at Wageningen University, analysing the impact of agrifood investments and founded The New Fork, now Open Food Chain, which helps agrifood companies work with new technologies in Web3.

What’s Coming: The company is now seeking investors to finance aggressive growth. That growth looks more than plausible with a market-fit of paying customers as the company strives to capture the momentum that has been created by regulation

#7 OSINT Industries

Nathaniel Fried (Credit: Nathaniel Fried)

Situated in a concealed location in North London, OSINT Industries is rapidly becoming a force in the open source intelligence field, focusing on law enforcement, intelligence, and investigative security firms.

OSINT’s unique selling point is its intelligence tooling that uncovers an email or telephone numbers digital footprint in real time. They currently give their tooling for free to law enforcement, investigative non-profits and journalists. Alongside their intelligence product, they offer OSINT training and have trained international law enforcement agents and delivered specialised courses on investigating dark-net criminals, child online safeguarding and mapping warcrimes online.

In our age of growing cyber conflict, OSINT’s offerings become a powerful tool in the arsenal of cyber investigators aiding law enforcement and intelligence entities. The company’s training courses underscore a future where protection and intrusion’s balance is increasingly critical, a theme resonating within intelligence and security fields.

As OSINT expands its tailored training courses in 2023, it’s not only sharpening law enforcement and security firms’ expertise but also setting new standards for global intelligence.

Who’s At The Top: Under CEO Nathaniel Fried’s leadership, this four-month-old company has seen extremely fast growth. Fried has already created and sold his previous company, Turgencsec which was acquired by a private equity holding company that specialises in selling intelligence technology directly to the intelligence community. Fried’s background as an ethical security researcher has been responsible for countless responsible disclosures in high-profile cases, massive enterprises and governments, including the Philippines Government, resulting in an ongoing investigation in that country’s Senate.

What’s Coming: With a user base of 500,000 and growing at an incredibly fast rate, OSINT Industries is a singular, disruptive force in the global landscape. The company offers innovative solutions tailored for law enforcement, intelligence companies, and security firms. As they continue to redefine intelligence boundaries, mark them as a company to watch, with ripples felt across these exclusive fields.

#8 GlobMed 

David Soffer (Credit: David Soffer)

After many trips overseas, serial entrepreneur David Soffer came to understand how straightforward accessing healthcare abroad can be, compared to the difficulties encountered in the UK.

He and his co-founder subsequently set up GlobMed to provide easy, affordable access to private healthcare through a global network of medical services and a seamless way for patients to identify where the best healthcare for their needs is based.

With an emphasis on quick, immediate or same-day consultations, which in the UK are rarely possible, the company is tapping into the abundant and available supplies of these medical services abroad. This has allowed the company to establish its growing group of more than 10,000 doctors, specialists and healthcare experts.

The company functions predominantly across three regions currently. Private healthcare across Europe and the Middle East are available for a wide range of medical needs and conditions and in South Africa the company has teams of preventative medical specialists treating patients before they need to see doctors.

GlobMed is positioning itself as a bold and viable alternative to health insurance as patients with pre-existing or longstanding conditions are not excluded, unlike with most private medical insurance policies.

Who’s At The Top: David Soffer is a serial scaler of SMEs and startups and is founder of the UK’s leading startup and technology news platform, TechRound. Soffer holds a degree in Biomedical Science and his passion for medicine and the knowledge he retains led him to co-found GlobMed.

What’s Coming: With partnerships with the largest medical groups in Europe, the company is also enroute to granting its patients access to healthcare anywhere in the world. Globmed’s ultimate ambition is to become the world’s first global health network in all areas of healthcare from fertility, to orthopaedics, bariatrics to cancer and more.

#9 BINJ 

Reza Hashemi (Credit: Binj)

Streaming television series and movies has changed people’s lifestyles worldwide and was never more used than during the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, content overload has now seen development and appetite for streaming services stutter as these platforms, TV networks and film production companies strive for viewer insights.

Step forward Binj, now powered by AI, which aims to create a new era of viewership and ethical data use in the media and entertainment industry.

Binj does this by contextualizing audience feedback, simplifying billions of data points from TV and film to guide viewers on what to watch. The company’s advanced intelligence centre offers streaming platforms and broadcasters unprecedented insight into their audiences, enabling strategic growth.

Who’s At The Top: Binj was founded by former MIT student and Edison Award-winning AI engineer, Reza Hashemi. Hashemi has since recruited a stellar cast of TV industry veterans including Ricky Strauss, who previously served as President of Content & Marketing for Disney+ and President of Marketing for Walt Disney Studios. Strauss serves as chairman of Binj’s board. 

He is joined by other industry professionals including Jon Rood, formerly of Disney, Teddy Zee, formerly of Paramount, Lymnwood A. Bibbens of Reach TV, and Josh Wilson, a Forbes 30 under 30 alumni and founder of media enterprise, Wilson Worldwide.

What’s Coming: This year, Binj is enhancing user experience via technology integration with Snapchat and has expanded into the fast-growing Middle East market.

#10 SulNOxEco Conditioner

Jimmy Redman (Credit: Jimmy Redman)

Climate change and how to tackle the problems associated with it is a concern for governments across the globe are looking at the population’s consumption of fuel. The London-listed scientific, greentech company, SulNOxEco Conditioner, has developed a range of solutions for all fuels including petrol, diesel, biofuels, HVO, GTL, marine fuels and more.

Tested and certified by multiple third party and academic bodies, SulNOx has the ability to solve major climate and pollution problems now, globally.

One of its patented formulations, SulNOxEco, a natural, readily-biodegrade fuel conditioner which can be simply added to fuels at any point between the refinery and the engine, significantly reduces harmful particulate matter, fuel consumption and greenhouse gases. 

Across multiple recent real-life applications, independent third-party organisation, Green Sea Guard, measured particulate matter levels that were reduced by over 99%.  In fact, straight after combustion in one of the case studies on Monaco based super-yacht Yalla, levels of particulates were three times lower than even ambient air in big cities like New York and London.   This is so significant, as it could immediately tackle air pollution problems across the globe, currently killing 8.7 million people and costing over £6.7 trillion, annually.   In addition, the impact on reducing greenhouses gases and reliance on fossil fuels, at scale, is equally impressive.  

Who’s At The Top:  Inventor of SulNOx products and co-founder of SulNOxEco Conditioner, Jimmy Redman has four decades of experience in diverse chemical fields from technical printing chemistry, coatings and sealants through to industrial detergents and retail household brands.  

A national champion cyclist and the son of six times world motorcycling champion, Jim Redman, Jimmy  spent his childhood surrounded by fuel, growing up ‘in the Grand Prix pits’, giving him a unique blend of insight and experience on how to achieve optimal results through cumulative marginal gains.

What’s Coming: Now, attracting interest, adoption and investment from major companies and institutions, SulNOx is growing and expanding through its global network, with manufacturing contracted to the chemical giant, Nouryon. 

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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