Events & Awards

Tech Start-up Wins Category at Prestigious MSDUK Innovation Challenge

Industry 4.0 Category Winner - Olukunle Kayodo Statmetrix (l) and Dennis Form from Cummins (r)

After a day of live pitches before a packed audience of over 300 attendees and questions from a perceptive and, at times, challenging judging panel, the category winners and overall national winner of the annual MSDUK Innovation Challenge was announced.

Olukunle Kayode, Managing Director of a company offering performance data insights for football coaches and scouts won the Industry 4.0 category of the 2019 MSDUK Innovation Challenge.

Speaking after his win Olukunle said, “The level of competition in this Challenge was very, very high as all the start-ups represented are solving important societal and industry challenges.  Our objective at Statmetrix is to leverage our technology to develop an ecosystem for talented young athletes to be discovered and developed more objectively.  By winning this category at the MSDUK Innovation Challenge we believe we will achieve our objective sooner and we are thrilled to be category winners at this important and prestigious Challenge.”

Statmetrix was born out of Olukunle’s love of sports.  He was intrigued about how data technology can be used in sports to help make better decisions about talent discovery and development and, after discovering that current football performance analysts who produce performance reports take up to 50 – 60% of their time doing manual tasks such as collecting match data and video clips, turned his attention to developing a two-sided platform that firstly caters to the internal needs of performance analysts by helping them automate the collection of performance data of football players and providing them with insightful reporting that helps them develop training regimes to improve the abilities of players.

Adds Olukunle, “As more teams use the Statmetrix software for performance analysis automation, more data will be available for scouts who wish to identify the best talents from anywhere in the world.  The long term goal for Statmetrix is to provide sports athletes the best chance of being discovered and making it pro, and if that doesn’t work, to provide other options for these athletes including education and other training to give them valuable skill sets.”

Headline sponsor and Challenge judge Denis Ford, International Sourcing Leader EMEA, NE/SE Asia and S. Pacific at Cummins, commented on this year’s finalist line up saying, “I would like to congratulate all the finalists.  The quality of the pitches was superb and the finalists did a great job in this pressured situation.  I am proud to have been asked to be part of this Challenge.  Their innovations covered an enormous spectrum of sectors ranging from space technology to portable dishwashers, from pressure-sensing technology to bio-renewable tech that coverts agricultural waste into electricity, and from digital marketing innovations through to cutting edge developments in machine-translation for the medical sector.

“This year’s finalists were based across the UK including Manchester, Leicester, London, Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Hatfield and 31% are female founders.  They also came from a wide spread of ethnic backgrounds including Pakistani, Persian, Indian, Caribbean, African, Chinese and Asian.  Each year this Challenge grows and becomes more and more vibrant and important to innovation generally and diversity specifically.”

Fellow judge, Ray Lambe, Director of Programme Diversity at Digital Catapult added, “Our category winners won because it was clear to all the judges why their idea was important, who it was important to and that it was a deliverable business proposition with clear social and sustainable credentials.”

MSDUK Founder and CEO, Mayank Shah, added, “MSDUK’s aim is to bring together innovative and high growth Ethnic Minority-owned businesses with global corporations who are committed towards creating an inclusive and diverse supply chain and the Innovation Challenge is just one way we do this.

“The theme for the third year of our Innovation Challenge was ‘Better Ideas for a Better World’ and entrants had the opportunity of entering any of four categories which were Industry 4.0, Healthcare & Wellbeing, Social Innovation, and Sustainable Futures.

“The fact that we had 13 finalists rather than our usual 12 is testament to the sheer diversity of applications in this year’s Innovation Challenge, as well as to the quality of the pitches we saw during the semi-final round and the incredible ideas that sit behind those pitches.  It was a very tough day for our judges and again demonstrates the wealth of innovative ideas we have here in the UK within the Ethnic Minority-owned business community.  I would like to add my congratulations to each of our category winners.  I believe that this win will be the start of something very, very special for each of them.”

The national finalists for the 2019 MSDUK Innovation Challenge were;

  • Aries VR
  • EnergiMine
  • Kapsule
  • Loch Electronics
  • Maji
  • Motics – category winner: Healthcare & Wellbeing
  • NxSteps
  • Pukket – category winner: Social Innovation and overall MSDUK Innovation Challenge winners
  • PyroGenesys – category winner: Sustainable Futures
  • SmartLingual
  • Space Platform Technologies
  • Statmetrix – category winner: Industry 4.0
  • Waterwhelm

Challenge prizes include;

  • £5,000 cash prize for the Innovation Challenge winner plus introductions to MSDUK’s investor network and workshops
  • £40,000 worth of business school scholarships at Ivy League Tuck School of Business for the top four finalists
  • £100,000 worth of corporate mentoring delivered via a 12 – 18 month corporate mentoring programme with Accenture and Digital Catapult
  • 2-year MSDUK Premium Membership with unlimited access to MSDUK Hub Programmes and events for all 13 finalists

Sponsors for the MSDUK Innovation Challenge 2019 included Headline Sponsor, Cummins and Sponsors Johnson & Johnson, Accenture, EY and Digital Catapult.  The 2020 MSDUK Innovation

MSDUK brings together innovative and high-growth ethnic minority business (EMBs) with global corporations committed to creating an inclusive and diverse supply chain.

MSDUK’s integrated ecosystem of innovation, knowledge and procurement hubs help EMBs bring innovative ideas to market, develop business leaders of the future and achieve sustained growth through access to corporate supply chains.

MSDUK’s 2020 ambition includes:

  • Bringing 300 new ideas to market
  • £250m+ of investment into new ideas
  • Creating a network of 700 EMBs
  • Creating a diverse partner network
  • Extending our global network
  • Creating a digital community of 5,000+ stakeholders
  • Seeing 100+ entrepreneurs in leadership programmes
  • Celebrating £250m+ worth of business won


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