Karina Collis

3 major start-up trends spotted at Unbound London

By Karina Collis, London, July 2019

Learn about start-ups that will redesign, reinvent and rethink our life.

Over two crazy days at the Unbound London innovation festival, I met with over 50 start-ups and got to better understand some key trends that will shape our future. My three main takeaways:

New technologies are evolving much faster than our habits. The only things that limit technology's potential today are our own conventions and our imagination. AI is not a gimmick, it's real! Simply because AI is integrated into the core of every emerging business in 2019. And the most important takeaway from the festival of innovation - Technology is at its best when it serves humanity!

So what are the trends that are shaping the start-up scene in 2019?
Banner for Unbound London innovation festival.

Re-designing how money works

Europe including London, its crowned Unicorn capital, is re-thinking the way money works. It is unfair to pay for insurance in advance, says Laka, a "crowd insurance" start-up that doesn't take up-front charges and splits the cost of a claim fairly among customers at the end of the month. Stepladder StepLadder makes housing more affordable using P2P lending to help put in place a deposit 45% faster. And if you are looking to impact, Sustainably is your new living & giving platform, created by a mother and daughter from Edinburgh. Every time you shop, it rounds up your spare change and sends it for you to the UK's leading charities.

Children are not forgotten. Our spending and money management habits are formed at an early age. In a cashless society, how do you explain to kids what money is if banknotes and coins don't exist ? Pigzbe bank teaches kids to manage digital money through games and allocations for completing tasks set by their parents.

Re-inventing the city we live in

We all want to live in a clean city and breathe fresh air. Is this possible in London, Paris or any other big city? First, we can't change it unless we measure it. Emsol offers air and noise pollution monitoring with a new "Emission-as-a-Service" platform. A network of sensors could also help address waste collection inefficiency. Too many bins are collected when they are half empty. But then there is another problem - city centre rubbish bins are totally full and, in frustration, people throw plastic wrapping on the ground. Belgium start-up Brighterbins supplies bins with state-of-the-art fill-level bin sensors to bring efficiency into rubbish bin collection. And then, there are energy efficiency solutions for our homes, for our offices, for agriculture, for production manufacturing. If you think of any inefficiency in the city you live in, there is probably a start-ups that is already working to address it!

Re-thinking our health

With people and their well-being at its heart, tech for good has an incredible potential to change our lives for good! Unbound London brought together incredibly driven "start-ups with a purpose".

This summer in Europe the heatwave broke all the records. Are you drinking enough water? What if your water bottle could remind you when to drink and how much to drink? MySmartbottle can do just that and more, keeping you fit and in control. It would be nice to grab this bottle when you go for a walk with Gojauntly, a free walking app. I definitely spend too much time in the office and this community based app wants to help me discover local walks to stay active and visit beautiful spots.

The missions of some of the start-aps were overwhelmingly impressive. Andiamo aims to provide the world with affordable orthoses with the help of 3D printing. Wewalk is another hero that works in a global market of 250 million visually impaired people. WeWalk is a smart cane that detects obstacles and helps with voice navigation. Tech for good is real and we can all do more to support it!

Unbound London brought together a good number of exciting projects and we can only wish all the start-ups to grow fast but smart! Learn how the business I founded, Liinea, supports early stage companies to grow via sales strategy design, sales enablement and business development. We are keen to hear from you!

by Karina Collis, London | July 2019

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