News story

UK entrepreneurs are disrupting the business world

Joint list by Maserati and The Sunday Times names 9 companies that have progressed with Innovate UK funding in top 100 game changers.

Swiftkey Co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock
Swiftkey Co-founders Jon Reynolds and Ben Medlock.

The Maserati 100 highlights the emerging entrepreneurs who are challenging the established order with their disruptive technologies. Now in its third year, these awards celebrate the positive impact innovative start-ups have on the economy and society as a whole.

Nine businesses that have received funding from Innovate UK featured in the list.

The businesses

  • Crisp Thinking Group - using Crisp’s software, companies are able to moderate and monitor social media to protect their brands. It has offices in Leeds, London and New York. Crisp received funding to prototype their real-time social media management platform
  • Ella’s Kitchen - making and selling organic baby food since 2006, the company now employs 70 people in the UK and takes 20% of the market. Global turnover is more than $100 million. Ella’s Kitchen has taken part in 3 knowledge transfer partnerships (KTP) with the University of Reading, to look at its marketing, raw materials and packaging

Ella’s Kitchen: transforming the organic baby food market

  • Horizon Discovery - a gene-editing biotech company, Horizon Discovery supports the discovery of new medicines, including personalised medicines for treating cancer. It has already acquired a number of US companies to further grow the business. Innovate UK funded collaborative research and development projects to find innovative approaches for the manufacture of high-value, genome-edited cell lines
  • M Squared Lasers - the Glasgow-based company designs and manufactures lasers for use in industry, defence, healthcare and energy. Its revenues totalled more than £8 million last year. Innovate UK has funded several projects to help M Squared Lasers optimise laser emission intensity, develop high precision, handheld spectrometry and grow the market
Nils Hempler of M Squared Lasers
Nils Hempler of M Squared Lasers.
  • Metail - offering virtual fitting rooms to allow shoppers to create 3D models of themselves and try on clothes. Evans and House of Holland are among the retailers to have signed up. Metail received Innovate UK funding for feasibility and proof of concept studies, as well as prototype testing. This helped the company to develop computer vision techniques and digitise garmets with lower costs and simpler operations
  • Ocado - a pioneering online supermarket with annual sales of £1.3 billion. Ocado was involved in a collaborative, 24-month project to trial a range of vehicles with hydrogen dual-fuel technology, in order to reduce the carbon of its vehicles
  • Swiftkey - predictive keyboard software that’s installed in more than 300 million smartphones and tablets. Last year Swiftkey acquired by Microsoft in a deal reported to be worth $250m. Swiftkey received 2 Innovate UK grants, to test its idea for an app that would transform the way people used keyboards and help prototype it
Swiftkey shown on a mobile device
Swiftkey shown working on a mobile device.
  • The Floow - this tool collects data for motor insurers from a driver’s phone or a black box in their vehicle. Floow has more than 70 staff in Sheffield and clients include Direct Line and AIG. Floow was involved in a collaborative funding project to accelerate the development, market readiness and deployment of automated driving systems
  • The Framestore - an innovative special effects firm that has worked on films including Gravity, the 2013 Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects. The Framestore received funding in 2 collaborative projects: to create an extensible, pluggable digital security framework that protects media companies; and the development of a production pipeline process that improves quality, speeds up production and reduces costs
Published 31 March 2017