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What is the EY Startup Challenge?

At EY, we help our clients with their most challenging business problems and we believe in solving the business problems of tomorrow. In today's digital world, many of these solutions rely on innovative technologies, with much of this innovation coming from technology startups. This is why the EY Startup Challenge was created. The mission of the EY Startup Challenge is to bring together our clients with these high-growth startups to explore solutions to tomorrow’s pressing business problems.

At a more granular level, the EY Startup Challenge provides a mentoring and growth environment for startups, who receive mentorship from both senior EY specialists and EY clients. The objective is to collaboratively explore and validate different applications for the startups’ technologies. These applications are "use-cases" with strong business value that address a clear business problem. In parallel, the programme also provides a series of educational workshops, such as “effective product marketing” and “business model design”, delivered by both EY and external professionals, many of whom have extensive experience working with startups or are entrepreneurs themselves.

What does the programme offer?

We believe that by working with others who share our vision of solving tomorrow's problems today, our combined influence can be greater than if we act individually. We are drawing on both EY's and EY clients' expertise over an 8 week period to accelerate the growth and development of 10 promising startups.

Specifically, EY is providing the successful startups with:

  • Mentorship and coaching from EY's industry-leading professionals, EY's clients, successful entrepreneurs and key industry professionals
  • Access to EY’s networks which include potential clients and investors for the technologies
  • Training and support workshops to help with market validation, customer acquisition and business development
  • Understanding around access to funding by helping them become ‘investor-ready’
  • Dedicated shared workspace at Central Working for the duration of the programme

EY Startup Challenge Summer 2015 Programme

10 successful tech startups have successfully completed the second EY Startup Challenge held this summer. The scope to derive insight from data, to gain foresight, and enable better decision-making, has exponentially increased, and EY has spent the summer getting hands on with the leading-edge technologies which our cohort have been developing, and collaborating with clients to provide:

  • Insights into who your customers are, what they want and why, is a rapidly-rising strategic imperative - but given the sheer wealth of data now available, what is the potential for foresight into their evolving behaviours, demands and expectations?
  • Insights into who your suppliers are, and the unpredictable global environments in which the supply chain operates, is of increasing importance to businesses - so how could innovative technology provide greater visibility to help businesses avoid shocks and minimise risk?

Over the course of the Summer 2015 programme, the cohort received mentorship from industry specialists, EY’s clients and EY’s mentors to frame their value propositions and go-to-market with multinational clients. The EY Startup Challenge culminated in an intensive 'Showcase Day', with the Startup cohort pitching to an audience of investors, prospective clients and other Startups. The cohort endured challenging questions from a lively audience during the fully interactive event, and the audience live-tweeted and voted across three categories for every Startups pitch, the winners of whom are as follows:

  1. Audience-Voted Showcase Day Best Pitch: Elements Software
  2. Audience-Voted Showcase Day Best Product: ScanTrust
  3. Audience-Voted Showcase Day Most Innovative Startup: ScanTrust

EY Startup Challenge Summer 2015 cohort

EY is delighted to have worked with 10 innovative Startups within the fields of improving ‘supply chain visibility’ and providing an ‘intelligent customer experience’ to tackle this year’s Challenge. Following a rigorous application process, with over 100 applications, the following 10 Startups were successfully accepted onto this summer’s EY Startup Challenge:

Historic Futures improve the visibility of global supply chains by automating the process of requesting product information directly from suppliers

Elements Software track assets throughout their journey across the supply chain using a “Digital Passport” to help importers and exporters comply with regulations and meet the sustainability demands of their customers

Cytora transform unstructured data from the web into actionable intelligence by identifying relevant events & analysing the risk to clients across multiple sectors

ScanTrust Protect brands from counterfeiting based on a secure unique identifier tracked on a cloud-enabled platform

StreetSpotr connect suppliers to Europe’s largest mobile workforce to collect information, photos and insights from customers in-store, at home and on the street, using mobile crowdsourcing

Wittos provide real-time customer experience analytics and behavioural intelligence via Wi-Fi data on customers’ mobile devices

Retechnica intelligently tag content using machine learning to help companies to extract real business value from textual content

Real Life Analytics turn digital displays “smart” to show targeted adverts based on the demographic details of viewer(s) using advanced computer vision software

Interpretive automate complex tasks like gap analysis or churn prediction using machine learning at a fraction of the cost of an in-house data scientist

Rulex simplify the challenge of feeding enterprise’s processes with new data sources and automatically extracts key trends in data using machine learning to get data-driven answers to business questions

Over June-July EY is hosting these Startups at its shared workspace at Central Working, based near Liverpool Street


What is the EY Startup Challenge?

The EY Startup Challenge brings together EY's leading clients with high-growth startups to explore solutions to pressing business problems. The objective is to collaboratively explore and validate different applications of strong business value for the startups’ technologies that address a clear business problem. The programme is run for eight weeks and provides a collaborative shared workspace, a mentoring and growth environment for startups who receive mentorship from both senior EY specialists and EY clients and a series of educational workshops to test their growth trajectories and make them investor-ready.

Do you provide funding?

The EY Startup Challenge does not provide any funding for successful applicants. Instead, it provides a mentoring network, an educational programme, and access to unprecedented opportunities with our clients.

What were the benefits for your startups from the first EY Startup Challenge?

In addition to the mentoring and support our first cohort of seven startups received, collectively they have generated and pursued a number of opportunities for their technologies with our clients since the beginning of the programme. Futhermore, the startups receive ongoing support from the EY Startup Challenge team with the backing of EY's global firm.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you are a professional who is interested in mentoring startups, or simply want to find out more, please get in touch to find out how you could get involved.


The first EY Startup Challenge looked at addressing the data privacy issues surrounding the "Right to be Forgotten". We worked with seven talented startups and a selection of our clients to look at the key business challenges posed by the “Right to be Forgotten”. In a period of six weeks, we accelerated the growth of the seven startups through intensive mentoring and workshops.