Colmore Tang and Virgin StartUp invite shortlisted tech start-ups to pitch for £10m innovation fund

A £10 million construction industry-first accelerator programme, pioneered by contractor Colmore Tang Construction and not-for-profit Virgin StartUp, has attracted 210 applicants from entrepreneurs and start-up businesses around the world.

Judges from both organisations have closely reviewed the applications for its ‘ConstrucTech’ programme, and 16 entrepreneurs have been invited to pitch their ideas to a panel of industry experts at Virgin StartUp HQ in London today [Tuesday 19th June].

Those businesses that are successful at pitch day will be given a unique opportunity to use the programme as a testbed and development platform to bring their products and ideas to life. They will be able to trial their solution on one of Colmore Tang Construction’s 14 live development sites, as well as potentially gaining access to the £10m innovation fund, to facilitate broader adoption of the technology.

Among the shortlisted applicants – some of which are from as far as Australia and the USA – are concepts involving Artificial Intelligence, 3D print robotic solutions and cloud-based software.

“We are delighted with the response we’ve received for ConstrucTech – it’s fantastic to see so many diverse businesses from different parts of the world sharing their innovative ideas,” said Andy Robinson, CEO of Colmore Tang Group.

“The next stage of the programme will enable us to delve deeper into applicants’ ideas and assess exactly how their innovation could be successfully introduced not only to our live construction sites but also to the wider industry. We are confident that together with Virgin StartUp and the successful candidates, we can positively disrupt the sector and pave the way for a technology-driven future in construction.”

Construction in the UK has been slow to embrace innovation and adopt new technology. Over a third of construction projects in the UK overrun on time (40%) or budget (35%)[1]. Colmore Tang Construction has identified a number of key areas within its business – and the industry as a whole – which it believes could benefit from the contribution of enterprising startups and their technologies; productivity, materials and skills.

Sir Tom Shebbeare, Chairman of Virgin StartUp, said:

“ConstrucTech has opened up exciting new opportunities for entrepreneurs and start-up businesses around the world; it’s given them the opportunity to showcase their technologies and benefit from the support of a leading contractor in the field and a £10 million innovation fund.

“It was encouraging to see so many applications and we are already excited about what is to come at pitch day. This programme marks the beginning of an important, long-awaited change in the construction industry.”

Virgin StartUp is a leading business support organisation which has run a number of successful accelerators and supported 11,000 entrepreneurs across the UK; through providing of startup loans, mentorship, business advice and access to global business networks.

For more information about ConstrucTech visit: http://virginstartup.org/constructech

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