Chip-Maker Arm, Investors Launch Cambridge Accelerator for Deeptech Startups

Matt Swayne
DeepTech Labs
Deeptech Labs (DTL) is a new post-seed accelerator aimed at deep technology (deeptech) start-ups to fund post-Seed deeptech companies from the UK and Europe.

Deeptech Labs (DTL), a new post-seed accelerator aimed at deep technology (deeptech) start-ups, has been founded in Cambridge to bring the benefits of its innovation ecosystem to post-Seed deeptech companies from the UK and Europe. 

Deeptech Labs, which is backed by Arm, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Ewan Kirk, Martlet Capital, and the University of Cambridge, aims to position companies for financing from leading deeptech investors and help them grow into world-class companies. In its inaugural cohort it has made investments in five Machine Learning and Data Science companies: AutoFill, BKwai, Circuit Mind, Contilio, and Mindtech.

These startups will receive financing and a structured three-month development programme. They will also gain access to a unique community, where a group of more than 50 deep technology leaders from Cambridge and around the world act as advisors and mentors to them. These have so far included the Founders or Chief Executives of Arm, CSR, Imagination Technologies, Analysis, Active Hotels, Arieso, Blinkx, Cloudamize, Focal Point, Riverlane, Ubisense and many more. 

Cambridge has developed many leading companies in the technology space for many years, and has given rise to companies such as Arm, CSR, and Darktrace. Deeptech Labs will help to harness the potential of the next generation of this technology talent, led by Miles Kirby who brings over 20 years of global deeptech venture capital experience to the role. 

Miles Kirby, CEO at Deeptech Labs said, “This ambitious new 13-week Seed to Series A program is designed to enable deeptech startups to leverage the best minds in this space. They are working to build the next generation of world-leading companies. Deeptech Labs is backed by the UK’s most experienced and successful technology, research, investment, and R&D organisations, and together we can help to facilitate this goal.”

Andrew Williamson, Managing Partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital said geographically the deeptech accelerator is in the right spot.

“Cambridge is one of the best places in the world to build a deeptech business, with access to best-in-class talents, exceptional intellectual property, and experienced entrepreneurs and investors,” said Williamson. “Deeptech Labs enables a new generation of entrepreneurs to access this ecosystem. As a cofounder, CIC has been delighted to support Miles and his team in shaping the vision. This is a very high quality first cohort and we look forward to working with them in the future and supporting their growth.”

Adam Bastin, VP of corporate development at Arm said that, “from Arm’s earliest days in a barn just outside the city, to its position as a global technology leader headquartered here today, Cambridge has remained a critical hub of talent, creativity and innovation. In co-founding Deeptech Labs, we’re pleased to support the next generation of game-changing technology companies by helping them to access the world-class Cambridge technology ecosystem.” 

Zara Riahi is the CEO and Co-founder of Contilio. She says that, “at Contilio we are building the world’s first 3D AI analytics platform used by global construction companies and asset owners. To accelerate the next phase of our growth, we were looking for a scaling partner that understood deeptech and had access to the best advisers, deeptech investors, and global operators. The people who have been in the trenches. We are delighted to have found an amazing one in Deeptech Labs.”

First cohort of investments

The accelerator has launched its first round of funding with investments in five machine learning and data science companies spanning industries from transportation to construction and AI model training. The five companies in the first cohort are:

Autofill are building the most advanced tool for daily vehicle inspection reports, modernizing existing workflows through precise automation. They are led by Gideon Richheimer, Luc Demarteau, and Stefan Verhoeven.

BKwai are building a platform to deliver insights to engineers in the construction industry using world-class research and applied technology to support a more resilient build environment. They are led by Sakthy Selvakumaran, Sonja Abhyankar, and Stephen Beaven.

Circuit Mind are building an intelligent platform that enables engineers to design reliable, faultless, circuit boards in hours, by harnessing the power of AI, high performance computing and collaboration. They are led by Tomide Adesanmi and Basilio Gentile.

Contilio are building a 3D AI analytics platform that for the first time enables the construction industry to understand, predict and deliver complex construction projects cheaper, faster, and more sustainably. They are led by Zara Riahi and Andreas Glatz.

Mindtech are building a platform that allows customers to create unlimited training data for AI vision systems, getting customers to market faster, at a lower cost, with a product that produces more accurate results. They are led by Steve Harris.

Each company receives a £350,000 investment and are invited to participate in a Demo Day where they are introduced to the world’s leading deeptech investors. 

Deeptech Labs Programme

Companies that are selected to join the programme receive a £350,000 investment, a structured three-month development programme, and are invited to participate in the Deeptech Labs Demo Day where they are introduced to the world’s leading deeptech investors. 

Programming consists of monthly Forums which bring the whole Deeptech Labs community together, as well as Fireside Chats every Thursday and Expert Panels every Friday. It has included sessions with the Founders or Chief Executives of Arm, CSR, Imagination Technologies, Analysis, Active Hotels, Arieso, Blinkx, Cloudamize, Focal Point, Riverlane, Ubisense and many more. 

Deeptech Labs Cohort 1 runs from March to June 2021 and it concludes with its Demo Day on the 18th of June, 2021. Its second cohort will start in September 2021.

Source: Cambridge Innovation Capital

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