Prestigious elevator pitch award for software start-up tackling unconscious bias in marketing

July 1, 2022

Bristol start-up Inclued, which has developed software that helps content creators identify bias as it happens, has won an ‘elevator pitch’ contest that traditionally opens doors to potential investors.

Inclued’s AI-based technology helps marketers connect with their audience by spotting and removing unconscious biases in digital content, as well as providing data, insight and educational resources to implement inclusive marketing. 

CEO and founder Joyann Boyce, pictured, was one of nine start-ups to make one minute-long pitches to an invited audience at Tech-Xpo 2022, which was staged by SETsquared Bristol, the University of Bristol-backed incubator that grows global tech businesses and helps them to make an impact in the world.

Now in its 18th year, Tech-Xpo is SETsquared Bristol’s flagship pitch, demo and connect showcase that provides a platform for start-ups to promote their innovative technologies to an audience of influential investors and business movers and shakers.

This year’s event took place at St George’s Bristol, as well as being livestreamed.

Inclued joined SETsquared Bristol in 2021 via its Breakthrough Bursary that supports Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs to grow their tech start-ups.

It was recently awarded the Trailblazer Award grant from Bristol + Bath Creative R+D, while Joyann was named among the 30 under 30 by Rife Magazine, as well as a Change Maker by BIMA100.

She said: “We truly believe that with the right companion software, marketers can create content which is truly inclusive.

“Winning Tech-Xpo is validation to this mission and has given us exposure to a network of people to make the change happen. 

“I am excited to continue my investment readiness journey with the support of the SETsquared team.”

Previous Tech-Xpo competitors have gone on to achieve notable success. Last year’s winner Ferryx, whose founder Jenny Bailey spoke at the recent event, recently closed its first investment round of £305,000 to progress development of its bacterial product for prevention or treatment of gastrointestinal inflammation.

KETS Quantum Security, the 2020 winner, has since raised £3.1m pre-series A, as well as securing a £11.6m grant to develop quantum-safe communications for the UKRI funded Quantum Data Centre of the Future project.

SETsquared Bristol director Marty Reid said: “Inclued was a well-deserved winner of the Best Elevator Pitch award, which was no mean feat considering the exceptional line-up of talent and pitching prowess on show.

“Joyann has brought her industry expertise, together with some great technology, to build a venture with real potential to scale and solve one of the most significant business and cultural challenges that large organisations face today.”

Long-term supporter of the event, Bristol law firm VWV corporate partner and head of its technology sector Nathan Guest, pictured with Joyann, added: “Tech-Xpo 2022 was another fantastic showcase for SETsquared Bristol and the companies it supports. 

“Many of those start-ups have celebrated significant fundraising and other milestones during the last year, and we have been delighted to support many of those deals.

“Having seen so many excellent businesses showcased at Tech-Xpo, I am very confident that the next 12 months will see many more positive investment deal announcements emerging from the SETsquared stable of companies.” 

Tech-Xpo 2022 was sponsored by VWV, SIEMENS, OnePLM, FD Works and Rocketmakers.

The other start-ups taking part in this year’s Tech-Xpo were:

  • Actuation Lab is combining the latest innovations in materials, manufacturing, and origami-inspired design to create low-wear hardware for a more efficient planet.
  • Corus is a CaaS platform (Culture as a Service) supporting intelligent investment in organisational culture and employee wellbeing.
  • FluoretiQ is on a mission to champion antibiotic stewardship, giving clinicians the near patient tools that they need to unlock optimal patient outcomes.
  • Grand Bequest is a property technology company using data analytics, conservation, and sustainability to promote the global redevelopment of vacant buildings.
  • Hope Tech creates non-intrusive support tools that help visually impaired people feel safe, confident and independent to participate fully in society.
  • Lurnable is a data-driven education technology company focused on delivering bespoke international student services.
  • Metasonixx’s patented IP transforms standard materials, like plastic wood or metal, into metamaterials: solutions to engineer silence in the built environment.
  • Milbotix’s smart socks will help those involved in caring for people experiencing communication difficulties to manage distress better.
  • MyBones’ Marodyne LiV device is a compact and easy to use low-intensity vibrating platform that fulfils the unmet clinical need for a non-drug approach to combat osteoporosis.
  • Optect’s advanced optical technology is able to achieve reliable flame detection at 1km, an increase of 11X over the current industry maximum detection range of 85m.
  • Senmag Robotics are on a mission to democratise the sense of touch by developing simple, affordable, high fidelity force feedback devices.
  • Shelf Conscious provide the toolkit brands that retailers need to efficiently monitor and optimise their digital shelf.
  • SpatialCortex’s first product, MOVA targets reducing work-place manual handling injuries or musculo-skeletal disorders (MSDs).
  • Voltric provides users with an all-inclusive subscription for electric cars. Insurance, charging, servicing, and all aspects required for an electric vehicle, are included in the monthly cost.
  • Zeetta Networks is a software company solving the emerging need to autonomously manage enterprise application end to end connectivity.




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