Aberdeen’s Leap Automation come third in KPMG’s UK tech innovator

Left to Right: Dr Liz Zijing Li (founder of Mimicrete), Elliot Street of Inovus Medical, Ben Bamford of Leap Automation, and Warren Middleton (KPMG)

ABERDEEN business Leap Automation has come third in KPMG’s annual UK Tech Innovator competition, which shines a spotlight on the tech titans of tomorrow.

After winning the Scottish heat in June, the company’s Co-CEOs, Ben Stuart and Ben Bamford went on to pitch at the competition’s UK final. The business took bronze for its ground-breaking use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in its end of line automation and machine vision systems for food producers. 

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Following close to 400 applications to the competition, eight finalists, one from each region, were selected to take part in the national final which was held at KPMG’s new Ignition North centre in Manchester.

Inovus Medical, a St Helens-based technology scaleup which designs and manufactures surgical training technologies, was crowned KPMG’s UK Tech Innovator 2023. Mimicrete, an advanced materials science startup from Cambridge, came second. Inovus joins the impressive list of winners who have gone on to do great things, including companies such as What3Words, SafetoNet, FIDOTech and 2022 winner HiiROC who went on to win the global final in Lisbon.

Ben Bamford, Co-CEO at Leap Automation, said: “It was a great experience to stand alongside some of the UK’s most pioneering innovators and take part in the competition. The other finalist’s creative flair and dedication to a better future was truly inspiring, and this experience has given us access to people and ideas which will absolutely help take Leap to the next level.

Commenting on the result, Robert Aitken, Director at KPMG in Aberdeen, said: “A huge congratulations goes to Ben and the team at Leap Automation. Coming in third place is a huge result and is testament to their innovation with AI across the food packaging industry. This really is just the start for Leap and we cannot wait to see where the team take things next.”

Alongside the other finalists Leap Automation will gain entry to a bespoke version of KPMG’s Access programme for fast growth businesses, exclusive networking opportunities among industry experts, their peers and other tech innovators. 

The 12-month programme has been designed to help supercharge the growth of some of the UK’s most innovative scale-up businesses with insights, knowledge and a robust peer and adviser network.  Founders will be supported by monthly masterclasses on business fundamentals such as leadership and resilience, governance and building effective boards, ESG strategy and reporting and international growth.

These sessions, alongside four peer networking events and regular one-to-one mentorship, will connect businesses with KPMG advisers to support firms in developing their growth strategy.

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