Nine fledgling technology businesses have graduated from Microsoft's 12-week Ventures startup accelerator programme in London that provides advice on showcasing and funding pitches.
The nine companies will join over 230 startups that have completed the programme across the globe, 37 of which graduated from the London accelerator.
Michel Van der Bel (pictured), Microsoft's UK managing director, told V3 that Microsoft Ventures is designed to help technology companies grow from initial funding to the later stages that can help proven concepts grow into full businesses.
"Our mission is to help empower people and businesses to do more and achieve more," he said. "We have all been passionate about how we can apply the latest technology and see how we can build businesses."
He added that running an accelerator in Britain's capital gives Microsoft an insight into the innovations going on in the hubbub of startups and small businesses in technology centres such as Tech City, and how technology is applied in different and often unexpected ways.
The nine graduating startups took to the stage at Microsoft's The Pitch event in London's Camden Town, several of which caught V3's eye.
Suade founder Diana Paredes was a bank trader before the financial collapse of 2008 turned her onto implementing regulations to prevent such a crisis occurring again.
Paredes and her team have created a suite of software that simplifies the implementation of financial regulations into financial companies that use a host of different legacy systems.
She explained that the platform allows banks to determine where they stand with existing regulations, and offers tools to add and manage the latest regulations and ensure that they keep ahead.
"We came up with regulation-as-a-service, and our whole architecture has been built with the regulator at the core of it," said Paredes.
"This is where Suade is making a difference. We can take a very complex process from inside the banks and streamline it by building IT for regulation."
Visr VR has created an affordable virtual reality (VR) product for brands, companies, advertising agencies and consumers.
Similar to Google's Cardboard VR headset, Visr offers headsets made out of cardboard that can be offered as white label products to companies looking to use VR for promotion or customer interaction.
Visr stands out with a dedicated manufacturing facility in the north east of England, which Visr co-founder Lewis Dean claims allows the headset to be manufactured at scale, with flexibility, and at a lower cost than in China.
"We want to be the provider of VR for the common man, and a one-stop destination where all the large companies come," he said, outlining his ambition for Visr and what the next stage of funding will fuel.
TruRating was created by Georgina Nelson and is designed to gain customer feedback in retail outlets at the point of sale by showing a single question when a customer enters their PIN.
Nelson explained that most consumer feedback is received during online transactions, not in physical retail situations where most purchases still take place, and businesses are therefore missing out on insight and feedback from the majority of customers.
"Customer insight is the Holy Grail," she said. "I thought that, if I could ask every customer just one question at the payment terminal when they pay, I could get validated, and mass-market, representative ratings."
The data collected from the question is anonymised and aggregated before being presented on a dashboard for retailers. This protects the identity of customers while still providing rapid in-store feedback.
Customers can also be incentivised to answer the question, and can benefit from the feedback which is fed into a public website similar to TripAdvisor.
Retailers can access analytics that plot their ratings against similar but anonymous business.
Pointr takes a different approach to positioning and navigation systems, which are mostly used outdoors, by bringing the technology indoors.
Co-founder Axel Katalan explained that Pointr is working on delivering navigation services through iOS and Android apps that enable indoor directions to be delivered to a mobile device through a Bluetooth connection, rather than GPS or Wi-Fi.
Indoor directions can be used to guide shoppers to individual products rather than general locations, making it easier to navigate sprawling shopping centres, for example.
Pointr also offers data analytics through a dashboard to inform companies about products and points of interest in their shops.
The startup counts Harrods as one of its customers, and Katalan said that Pointr will use additional funding to build a presence in airports, shopping centres and exhibition centres.
V3 profiles eye-catching UK technology startups in our weekly Startup Spotlight interviews.
Previous startups under the spotlight include smartphone maker Kazam, cloud collaboration company Huddle, smart cities analytics company Future Decisions, cloud computing services firm Fedr8, memory health app maker Memrica and public sector website developer DXW.
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