Start Tank Cycle 2: the latest start-up innovations

Start Tank is one of many start-up incubators in London to foster innovation, and as more retailers are looking for bespoke technology solutions, programmes like this are a great place to begin that search

Start Tank, the start-up incubator organised by PayPal and Braintree, has completed its second iteration of mentorship for young technology companies.

The incubator offers technology start-ups a six-month co-working space for free at Braintree’s central London offices. They can also use the working space for events and piloting products, as well as leveraging a closed beta testing group of more than 100 people. Those start-ups are also given access to mentorship from both Braintree and PayPay.

The start-ups also receive membership to Startup Blueprint: free transaction volume up to $1.5 million with PayPal and free transaction volume up to $100,000 with Braintree. While the programme is endorsed by PayPal, the online payments provider takes no equity from the start-ups.

Corrado Tomassoni, ‎global director of startups, accelerators and VCs at PayPal and Braintree, said: “Braintree and PayPal began as start-ups – so we understand what’s important. We believe that for start-ups to succeed, they need a community in which to thrive and we also know how every penny counts in the first few years. We believe that our Start Tank programme provides support and environment for these two major priorities for start-ups.

“We look forward to seeing how these companies continue to grow and flourish in the years to come and we are excited about what Start Tank cycle 3 might bring in 2016.”

Six of Start Tank’s most recent residents demonstrated their technology innovations at an event attended by venture capitalists and accelerators including DNCapital.

Why should retailers care?

Because retailers are finally sitting up and taking notice of start-ups for technology innovations. After smaller localised projects from the likes of Argos and John Lewis have taken off, other retailers are beginning to understand the benefits of working with smaller companies for bespoke technologies over the larger established IT suppliers. Retailers recognise that specific solutions require lean companies who have the time and resource to develop dedicated technologies.
Over the last few years, start-up companies have been disrupting IT and technology. From Huddle to Uber, early-stage digital companies coming out of California’s Silicon Valley and East London’s Old Street are continuing to turn the heads in both the business and consumer world.

And while the following Start Tank start-ups are not all directly related to retail, keeping a finger on the pulse of the latest innovations of all shapes and sizes is the best way to learn about any new technologies shaking up the digital world that their customers live in 24/7.

Start Tank start-ups 2015

  • DemoBox: After rebranding from AudioTribe, the start-up has now launched a digital platform that connects the world of unsigned and emerging music.
  • Henchman: A mobile app that delivers anything you want from any restaurant or store in London in less than 60 minutes. Henchman has reported 24% week-on-week growth within the past six months, whilst expanding its delivery area by over 50%.
  • Localz: This company which provides micro-location and iBeacon tools for the enterprise, has doubled both its revenue and staff numbers over the last six months. Localz has also expanded internationally with four major clients set to go live in Q1 of 2016 in both America and Asia. In 2014, the start-up won John Lewis’ JLab start-up accelerator.
  • MegaTransfert: A mobile payment service that enables millennials and gamers to create and spark their own e-money, MegaTransfert, has increased the productivity of its online shop ready to open further European markets in 2016.
  • Mihaibao: This website takes Western products to the Chinese market and has grown its brand new company to a team of 13 full time employees over the last six months, while raising $1.3m in an angel round as well as producing a sales figure of $900,000.

Jacqueline J. Lam, CEO and founder of Mihaibao, said: “The great thing about the programme is the freedom and flexibility that PayPal and Braintree offer throughout. As a start-up you are in control and can drive the agenda, ask for the help you want as well as get the advice you need. It’s a great balance. We’re really grateful to our mentors from PayPal and Braintree for all their support.”

  • ZipCube: This start-up provides an instant booking website for work and event spaces and has increased bookable venue spaces within central London by 200%, as well as having secured investment to further expand its live booking service.


If you would like more information at Start Tank or to apply for the third cycle, click here. Applications are open until 16 November 2015. 

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