NOTWICS and FieldHouse present: Let’s Get Physical


Formerly known simply as “digital worlds”, even technology luddites are now increasingly familiar with the term “metaverse”. What will become of it remains to be seen, but there are some good theories already doing the rounds – with the suggestion that digital lives might eventually be worth more to some than their physical ones.

Ian Wallis
Senior Account Director

Such a backdrop made it all the more refreshing to be back in a room packed to the rafters with double-vaxxed investors keen to see what would be served up at Let’s Get Physical, the startup pitching event compered by super-connected ex-Bloomberg tech specialist Chris Lowe and his NOTWICS team.

Co-presented by FieldHouse Associates and hosted at our wonderful Covent Garden office, the building had not seen so much life in close to two years. If ever we needed to question whether in-person events like this would become a thing of the past, the experience delivered a resounding “No!” 

Nine startups – raising pre-Seed to Seed rounds – from a variety of tech sectors took to the floor to pitch, with more than 50 investors – angels, VCs, and family offices – listening attentively before probing a little deeper in Q&A. 

As a veteran of many such events from my business journalism days, I’m delighted to say the quality of the companies pitching – and the absence of obvious tyre-kickers in the audience or so-called “investors” seeking to pitch their own services back at the startups – set this one apart.

While we can’t share the more sensitive details of the startups involved, the summaries below should whet the appetite and help to back up that sentiment. Any investors reading who want to find out more can view a recording of the event – and find out how to get in touch with the companies – here.

Lifesaver – a certified B-Corp company on a mission to deliver fairer, cleaner, and circular power for people and the planet, Lifesaver claims – with good merit – to be the most sustainable and reliable power bank available. It uses a recycled ocean plastic material compound to make the banks, and the clean, renewable energy in every product saves 13 grams of CO2. The 45,000-plus users of the power banks love them (4.8 Trustpilot scores), and its partnership model has led to more than half of them being reused and thus saved from landfill. Brands such as Google, Nissan, and Formula 1 are paying customers, and co-founder and CEO Archie Wilkinson has big plans for UK and US expansion. 

Kikapay – seizing the opportunity to improve the world of payments. Authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), Kikapay is tackling frustrations felt by many – namely that card payment infrastructure is slow, expensive, and complicated and has seen an increasing level of fraud. Using Open Banking technology, payments go directly from a customer’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account, making it faster, cheaper, and more secure. In a market of staggering scale, it’s unsurprising CEO and co-founder Chris Moore has his eyes on European expansion in the not-too-distant future.

MysteryVibe – already boasting impressive traction, the medical intimacy device company pitched its plan to double its product range. With sexual health problems such as erectile dysfunction and pain for women during sex caused by blood flow issues, Mysteryvibe’s devices solve them by targeting the affected area with vibrations. Having already secured FDA approval in the US, the company has sold more than 50,000 of its devices worldwide. CEO and co-founder Dr. Soum Rakshit, who boasts a defence electronics PhD, has already achieved one successful exit and appears on track for a crescendo finish this time too.

Medtech startup in stealth mode – this company is meeting the challenge of making prescribed care for long-term conditions more effective – something that apparently costs the NHS £50 billion, and the US health system $1 trillion, every year. Patients often don’t adhere to prescribed treatment or do not understand the information they are given. With conversational AI, the hope is that greater patient engagement will improve clinical assessment and treatment of all chronic diseases. The technology does what humans struggle to do by delivering personalised care, at scale, using natural language to communicate. Founded by former Apple Design Award winner Ian Wharton, the company is about to start a six-month pilot with the NHS.

CircleHood – the marketplace and community app for parents with an eye on the environment as well as their pockets. Any parent will be familiar with the constant cycle of perfectly good clothing no longer being of use as their children grow. Layer in books, toys, and other items, and bringing up children begins to look decidedly bad for the environment – unless these things are sustainably passed on. CircleHood founder Hulya Mantion is aiming to solve that by bringing parents together in one place to trade with each other, while also connecting and supporting one another.

The Unseen – started by material alchemist Lauren Bowker, The Unseen – among other things – makes pollution visible by creating materials that change colour according to the carbon emissions they’ve absorbed. Using material science and design-led innovation, the company has worked with leading brands such as Puma, Estee Lauder, and Virgin Galactic as they sought to visualise data for commercial and consumer purposes. Think Formula 1 cars and how aerodynamics are tracked by measuring the friction across the surface of a car, with air currents made visible as they come into contact with the vehicle. With funding from the Government’s Innovate UK, The Unseen is developing the world’s first bacteria-sensing colour technology for use in home cleaning, and targeting major global markets and brands for impressive growth.

NewPath – a company making smartphones more affordable, particularly in emerging markets where it’s less likely to be possible to pay for a phone in installments – even in developed countries, customers need a good credit rating to be able to do so. NewPath operates within the fintech space and circular economy, embedding its buy-now-pay-later technology into third-party retailers, e-commerce providers, and telecoms carriers. Consumers are able to purchase new or refurbished phones, and NewPath will also offset the cost by buying back old devices. Perhaps the really interesting bit is that its patented technology can reduce the functionality of the phones in emerging markets, if the consumer does not keep up with payments. Already generating strong revenues, CEO and co-founder Alasdair Chesney and a high-profile, experienced team are targeting major international growth.

MosaiQ – an “AI knowledge assistant”, MosaiQ Labs’ technology is able to pull out and organise the most pertinent information you won’t have seen before from dense documents, saving inordinate amounts of time wasted through “information overlap”. Co-founder and CEO Guillaume Elkrief, with co-founder and CTO Kurt Degiorgio, has assembled a team with considerable knowledge of developing and commercialising deep technologies. The company plans to target sectors where time really is money and where the processing of vast amounts of information remains necessary, such as the investment world, consulting, education, and content marketing. Whether for due diligence, market research, information discovery, or academic research, MosaiQ’s solution promises to free up key people to focus on acting on the right information sooner.