July 30, 2015

Start-up Culture and Seven Bright Ideas From MassChallenge

The team at Unity really believes in the power of the UK’s start-up culture and loves working with the legion of creative entrepreneurs who are helping to make our economy tick. So, it was fantastic to be invited to last week’s MassChallenge Start-up Showcase event at London’s historic Tobacco Dock in Wapping, to get an insider’s view of current start-up culture.

MassChallenge runs start-up accelerators designed to catalyse a global renaissance by connecting high-impact start-ups with the resources they need to succeed. MassChallenge is a not-for-profit organisation, founded by corporate, public and foundation partners. To date, 617 international MassChallenge Alumni around the world have raised almost $1billion in funding, and created more than 5,000 jobs.

Here are seven bright ideas from the MassChallenge network.

Fikay Fashion

As an inspired ethical fashion start-up, Fikay Fashion lets designers submit fashion ideas, and then allows users get to choose which get made. And importantly they are all ethically manufactured – meaning users get to kickstart fashion trends, and make sure they are sustainable.

The brand ensures its sustainability, by rethinking traditional supply chains. It equips widows and disabled adults in developing countries with a roadmap out of poverty by proving them with sewing machines, micro-loans and training. These members of the community go on to become local heroes and sources of inspiration.

For more information: www.fikay.co.uk


Vidsy goes beyond traditional video production models to provide an innovative content creation process – powered by creators and all driven by technology. Vidsy hosts unique creative challenges for brands, which means they can tap into a new generation of creative talent to produce short-form videos for new media and mobile channels at scale.

For more information: http://vidsy.co/


ArtCube is a creative workspace that bridges the gap between artist and consumer by creating a rich interactive environment. The start-up makes art & crafts more accessible, fosters creativity and gives artists a platform to share their unique talents.

For example, ArtCube allows artists to rent studio space, teach classes and share ideas. It’s a place to earn and learn essentially; allowing artists to sell their work directly and to learn from other artists.

For more information: http://www.art-cube.co.uk/


Pingen is a smart web service that aims to “make the process of sending postal letters a commodity”. This means it sends electronic documents as postal letters. By partnering with professional print companies, letters can be distributed across various markets and around the world. Pingen offers a wide range of services, from automated send-outs, regular mailers and has no minimum/maximum order.

For more information: www.pingen.com

Perfocal Like a smarter Airbnb for photography, Perfocal is an intelligent platform that lets users book the perfect photographer. This start-up lets users easily search through a wide range of photographers, selecting someone who is close, has the right style or by value for money.

The powerful filtering system means users are guaranteed to find a photographer suitable to their needs. Perfocal also carries independent reviews, for a guarantee of quality.

For more information: www.perfocal.com

Shoot A smart solution for everyone with green fingers, Shoot is a unique website that allows both amateur and professional gardeners to design, manage, care for and share their gardens online. Shoot allows its 85,000 members to get the most from their gardens with Shoot’s award-winning design planner, personal plant lists, bespoke care calendar and plant identifier forums. The website boasts the world’s largest plant encyclopaedia with horticulturally expert information on 19,000+ plants.

For more information: http://www.shootgardening.co.uk/


The ambitious Timelooper is the first platform of its kind – a sort of edu-cultural entertainment. It’s essentially a location-based time travel app. Timelooper transports users right to the heart of the most memorable moments in history through 360 degree virtual reality videos, using only a smartphone and a cardboard viewer.

By showing history, instead of telling history, Timelooper allows users to re-live the most memorable moments of amazing places and events.

For more information: http://www.timelooper.com/


Tobacco Dock


This is just a small selection of the people we met at last week’s event. We’re always interested to hear from start-ups with bright ideas, connections and the right passion to make the impossible possible. If you want to speak to anyone from the Unity team about ways of working together then email hello@hellounity.com