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Three start-up teams move on from Cambridge

Teams from FinTech Startup Weekend at Cambridge Judge move to next stage of Global Startup Battle.

Localvest, one of the winning teams

Two teams formed by students from Cambridge Judge Business School and alumni from the wider University won the joint first prize at the first Cambridge Fintech Startup Weekend last month at Cambridge Judge Business School.

The joint winners – Localvest and SocialInvest – emerged from a three-day intensive event organised by Accelerate Cambridge, Cambridge Judge’s in-house start-up “accelerator”. Winning teams from the Cambridge stage advanced to the Europe regional round of the Global Startup Battle.

Localvest and SocialInvest include MBA, Executive MBA and entrepreneurship (Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship) students at Cambridge Judge, as well as members of the wider Cambridge business and entrepreneurship community. They all spent more than 50 hours over the Fintech weekend on 21-23 November to develop and pitch their ideas.

Separately, a team called Just1Thing won the Social Enterprise award at the Cambridge stage of the Global Startup Battle, and also moved to the next stage of the competition.

Localvest came up with an innovative way for businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to secure financing; the twist is that SMEs will pay the interest in gifts. By leveraging a proprietary algorithm, an online platform and social media feeds, the team of six looks at empowering small businesses to source investments from their customers and in return offer them high value-for-money gifts and services.

SocialInvest looks at how people invest. Many people find the concept of investing overwhelming, so the team aims to make investing more accessible and meaningful to a person – based on their interests and networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter). The team of seven is developing technology that matches users to businesses that are meaningful to each other.

Just1Thing, with a team of five, offers an exciting and innovative way to capture social media users and convert them to become donors to different projects. The idea came from one of the co-founders’ personal experience: he was raising money for a charity and noticed that while he had many supporters who liked and shared his social media posts, only a small percentage actually donated. The team is now working on the platform that enables people to make £1 donations towards various campaigns through Twitter.

Conrad Chua, Head of MBA Admissions at Cambridge Judge, talks to one of the winning teams, Localvest: