Posted on September 17, 2018 by staff

Entrepreneurs call for Dragons’ Den-style start-up support


The entrepreneurs behind video compression platform Eoovi have called upon the government to connect promising Northern start-ups with major players in the tech industry.

Edinburgh-based Paul Gardiner and his business partner Brian Higgins, from Manchester, highlighted the BBC’s streaming lag during the World Cup as an example of a problem they believe their technology could have solved.

Analysts found that viewers watching the tournament online were at times 45 seconds behind the TV transmission due to the difficulty in processing the data quickly. The Eoovi co-founders say their tech can reduce file sizes by 93 per cent.

“We have had this technology for over a year and a half [but] it goes hand-in-hand with being a small start-up company to be overlooked when it comes to innovation,” said CEO Gardiner.

Government-backed initiative Tech North was recently merged with London-focused Tech City UK to create a new national body, Tech Nation, which will focus on all areas of the UK.

However the Eoovi entrepreneurs say the government “pays lip service” to start-ups in the North of England and Scotland and called upon it to create an online resource which start-ups could use to gain Dragons Den-style feedback from major media and tech companies.

“It seems improbable that in 2018 there is still a clear north-south divide,” said COO Higgins. “After meeting with other tech start-ups… it seems geography is still a major problem.

“Unless you are on the doorstep of the major companies then getting them to listen to you is almost impossible.

“The government needs to set up an easy access online ‘pinboard’ that reaches out to the likes of Sky and the BBC as well as tech-style Dragons who are ready, willing and able to support companies like ours.”

Eoovi recently received ‘significant’ funding from tech investors Rick O’Neill, Gary Monaghan and Peter Borner to enable Gardiner and Higgins to ready its platform for launch.

It has also joined Tech Manchester, a not-for-profit scheme pairing digital start-ups with established tech entrepreneurs for mentoring and other support.