Startups 100: Factor picks its favourites

On Friday, the 2014 UK Startups 100 list was announced; a curated collection of the 100 best new start-up businesses in the UK.

From environmental innovations and gourmet food to luxury shopping and craft beer, the list covers start-ups in pretty much every field. It shows how technology is bringing new approaches to old industries, and creating whole new solutions to modern life.

Here we profile some of our favourites from the winning 100.

bio-bean (96)

bio-bean is an eco-friendly start-up that was founded in January 2013 by Arthur Kay and Benjamin Harrison. The company collects used coffee grounds from a network of wholesalers and coffee shops based across London, and converts it into a biofuel using a unique, patent-protected method. Expect to be hearing a lot more from these guys as time goes on.

Reviveaphone (84)

Launched in 2012 by 21 year old Oliver Murphy, Reviveaphone is a DIY kit to rescue your phone if it gets damaged by water. The product is set to find its way into stores shortly, having been successfully funded through the BBC’s investment entertainment programme Dragon’s Den.

Enclothed (82)

Founded in October 2012 by Dana Zingher and Levi Young, Enclothed is an online personal stylist service targeted squarely at men. After creating a profile with the company, Enclothed send you three outfits that they think you’ll like. You try them on and send back anything you don’t want, avoiding the hassle of late night shopping or, horror of horrors, a shopping centre dash on a Saturday.


Dubbed “cloud storage for your physical things”, LOVESPACE provides storage on a box-by-box basis, avoiding the need to rent a complete unit and the potential of Storage Wars-esque hell. Instead you book online and your items are picked up for free and stored in a climate-controlled space with heavy security. Once you want your stuff back, all you’ll need to do is log on and let the company know, and they’ll return it to you. Founded by Brent Akker, the man behind Streetcar, Europe’s largest car-sharing club, the company has seen major growth since its launch in August 2012.

BeerBods (65)

Matt Lane, founder of BeerBods, is on a mission to get the people of the UK “drinking better beer, with an online beer club that combines a subscription service with an online community providing info about the chosen brew. Every 12 weeks a new pack of 12 arrives, and everyone who’s signed up to BeerBods drinks on per week and compares notes online. Not sure we’d manage that level of restraint! The company holds the record for the most successful campaign ever on equity funding site Crowdcube.

Steer (50)

Coding is a really useful skill, but it takes ages to learn, right? Not any more, thanks to Steer, which was founded in December 2012 to teach people valuable coding skills in only 5 days. Founder Amelia Humfress got the idea when teaching herself to code, and the result is a training centre that believes learning to code is simple. Most of Steer’s courses are on HTML, CSS and Javascript, although user experience, data visualisation and Ruby on Rails are also covered.


Internet of things-based start-up EVRYTHNG is on a mission to give inanimate object internet connectivity. The company lets retailers create profiles for their products, which users can then view in real-time to get up-to-date information about their offline object. The potential applications for this are practically endless.

In Pictures: This Week’s Most Futuristic Designs


AFA Powered Exoskeleton for Firefighters

This exoskeleton is designed to aid firefighters by boosting their natural fitness and abilities. Envisioned by Jiazhen Chen, an industrial designer from Melbourne, Australia, the suit would increase the firefighter’s walking, running and carrying abilities, thus helping them to do their job safely and effectively. Definitely an idea that needs some serious investment.

Via Behance.


Groasis Greenbox

This might not look like much, but it has the potential to a significant environmental impact; it enables areas that have become deserts after deforestation to be lush and verdant once again. Made of biodegradable recycled paper, the box holds and feeds water to a seedling contained in it, allowing the plant to grow in an area it otherwise could not survive in.

Via PR Newswire.



Animated GIFs have enjoyed a massive revival in the past few years, after spending many years in the digital wilderness. Before now, however, it has not been possible to simply take a GIF like you would a photo. Enter OTTO, a customisable camera based on a Raspberry Pi, which is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. With a rotating crank to capture the GIF, this camera has a pleasingly old school approach to modern technology.

Via Kickstarter.


Honda Chopper

This electric motorcycle design by futuristic car designer Peter Norris for Honda is the stuff of dreams. Apparently inspired by Star Wars, the bike’s in-wheel electric motors mean it would be highly efficient as well as extremely fast, all while improving handling and performance thanks to a low centre of gravity. Fingers crossed Honda will see its market potential and put it into production.

Via Inhabitat.

Parco Degli Angeli Amphitheatre

This amphitheatre design for the Parco Degli Angeli (Park of Angels) in Peccoli, Italy, is both futuristic and beautiful. The canopy will take the form of a kinetic responsive skin that will manage daylight and airflow, and will be embedded with solar panels to harness energy from the sun.

Via Designboom.