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TechX Pioneers break new ground in oil and gas

Friday, July 6, 2018

• Pioneer programme tailored to solve oil and gas industry challenges
• First seed funding of £25,000 received, and up to £75,000 still available
• Start-up programme to set Pioneers up for success and future investment


10 exciting tech start-ups with potentially game-changing solutions have joined the first cohort of the Oil & Gas Technology's Centre's TechX Pioneer accelerator programme.

125 entrepreneurs from 24 countries applied for the Pioneer programme, and a rigorous review and pitch process whittled this down to the final 10.

The Pioneer programme is a unique offering to start-ups providing unparalleled funding, business support and market access. It is specifically designed to develop companies and technologies that can help unlock the full potential of the UK Continental Shelf.

David Millar, TechX Director, said:

'Many start-ups have a great idea and truly believe their technology or solution can make a difference, but the reality is that 90% of them fail. That figure is potentially even higher in oil and gas, which has traditionally been a difficult sector to break into. The Pioneer programme is here to buck that trend and bring a new wave of success for tech start-ups entering the UK oil and gas industry.'

Based at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre in Aberdeen for the intense, 16-week programme, each Pioneer receives an initial £25,000 seed funding to help develop their business and enhance the technology.

The Pioneers will participate in a tailored programme, with highlights including:

• Exhibition space at the Safety 30 conference and exhibition, AECC, Aberdeen on 5-6 June
• Matching with mentors from TechX's network of more than 100 experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders
• One-to-one sessions with technical and business specialists from major North Sea operators to help shape their technology offering to industry requirements
• Product development and rapid prototyping
• Showcasing their solutions at the North Sea headquarters of BP and Nexen
• Expert sessions from KPMG on start-up finance, investor readiness, raising capital and more
• Two 'Demo Days' to showcase their business to investors in Aberdeen and London.

Up to £75,000 in additional funding is available during the 16 weeks and upon graduation Pioneers can be transferred into a 12-month incubator called TechX+. Two companies with the most exciting potential also have the opportunity to secure a further £100,000 funding from BP.

David, said:

'We're excited to have the Pioneers on board and have a packed programme for them over the next 16 weeks. We're taking what would normally take then 2-3 years and cramming into 16 weeks. We're here to set the companies up for success and future investment. There's a real opportunity for the Pioneers to grow and establish their operations here in the North East of Scotland and anchor a new supply chain in the region for generations to come.'

BP North Sea Technology Manager Marie O'Hanlon said:

'Accelerating innovative thinking and developing new technologies and solutions is a key objective at BP to allow us to maintain and develop our business both in the North Sea and beyond.

'We are excited to be a part of the TechX initiative and look forward to working with the Pioneers to help develop and scale their ideas and technologies. It has been a real privilege to see the passion, energy and determination each of these technology start-ups have shown to get to this point.

'With the potential game-changing solutions these start-ups bring, we believe TechX is creating the building blocks for doing something radically different in the technology space. This underpins the Technology Centre's goal to bring technology innovation to the north-east of Scotland.'

Kirsty Mitchell, Director of Growth for KPMG in the UK, said:

'Technology start-ups are using innovation to disrupt the business landscape in almost every sector, challenging existing business models and driving change. The UK produces a huge number of innovative start-ups, but in order to compete on the global stage we need to help move these entrepreneurs from start-up to scaleup businesses, by helping them to get investment ready.

'KPMG is delighted to be supporting the TechX Pioneers accelerator and excited for what this could mean for disruption in the very competitive oil and gas sector.'



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