26 Jul 2023

Joining the dots –the AI start-ups leading the way in Greater Manchester

In our last blog we explored why Greater Manchester has today become a world-leading digital metropolis, with levels of investment in science and technology that can put other international cities in the shade. With news that the government has committed £3.5 billion to the future of science and tech, there’s no doubt that the region is already well placed to secure prolific levels of funding - some might say enough to spark a 'Northern AI revolution'.

Manchester is already one of the most exciting centres of tech innovation on the planet, and home to some of the world’s most recognised businesses. In this blog, however, we'll take a closer look at some of the AI and machine learning start-ups that are underpinning the regions reputation, and showcase why the city is perfectly primed to bolster the country’s position as a leader in AI, deep learning, quant, and grid computing.

Manchester AI start-ups: A who’s who and ones to watch...

Among the hundreds of start-ups finding success in Manchester who are utilising AI, not only to improve their own business outcomes, but to make life easier and more productive for their clients and collaborators, include:

The ability to make insightful decisions based on vast amounts of data almost instantaneously is one of the greatest business benefits of AI, and it's this benefit which Peak has harnessed and delivered for all kinds of clients, including PepsiCo and KFC. With funding of $124m, Peak's platform also helps to embed AI across sales, marketing, planning, and supply chains.

The gamification of once-tedious recruitment tasks such as psychometric assessment has made them more engaging, more accurate and much more valuable to the businesses that use them. Manchester AI start-up Arctic Shores has secured funding of $13m and uses data-driven algorithms to create a rich, gamified assessment platform that has helped organisations including Siemens and Airbus to find the right talent.

Training, like recruitment, is made far richer and more engaging by the powerful combination of human creativity and AI. AppLearn's AI learning management system (LMS) includes cloud-based software for employee communications, upskilling and feedback, and has been embraced by organisations including Electrolux and UniCredit. Today the company has more than $25m of funding.

Today criminals are exploiting technological advances to create ever more sophisticated threats, but cyber security firms are staying a step ahead by creating solutions that use AI to detect, mitigate and prevent malicious attacks. Netacea's enterprise-bot management solution provides an invaluable service to organisations of all sizes, by protecting websites, mobile apps and APIs from bots and automated attacks and with funding of $12m, it’s one of the regions hottest start-up contenders.

AI has, in many respects, enabled scientists to make ground-breaking drug and medical discoveries, and Manchester start-up Biorelate is a new pioneer in this field. With funding of $9m, the company's Galactic Data tool can capture and analyse research data at speeds and scales previously unimaginable, and has helped fuel revolutionary drug discoveries for clients including AstraZeneca.

With funding of around $5m, Mindtrace builds custom brain-inspired intelligent systems for its clients, with the aim of helping them reduce costs and enhance end-product and service capabilities. The company is also pioneering a new analytic field called Mind Tracing™ that combines advances in brain imaging and cloud-based computing to generate predictions of sensory, cognitive and motor abilities - all before the first incision.

A platform for AI start-up innovation

As the UK’s leader in high performance colocation for HPC, AI, cloud and enterprise, Kao Data has long-established a reputation for supporting advanced computing businesses on an industrial scale. Today our Harlow campus, for example, is home to some of the world’s leading start-ups, scale-ups, and enterprises, including organisations such as InstaDeep, Speechmatics, EMBL-EBI and NVIDIA’s Cambridge-1 supercomputer.

It’s this reputation, combined with both an intricate understanding of HPC platforms and the need for customisable architectures, that we plan to bring to Greater Manchester – that, and the ability to provide high performance infrastructure with industry-leading levels of uptime, energy efficiency and diverse, low-latency connectivity.

For those interested to learn how we’re precision engineered for intensive computing, and how we can save AI start-ups up-to 70% of the cost of using the cloud – download our whitepaper, here.

Tom Bethell

Tom Bethell is one of Kao Data's Business Development Directors. With a background in IT Infrastructure; Tom has been working specifically within the areas of data centre colocation and high performance computing for a number of years.


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