Two startup businesses from the University of Manchester Innovation Factory have been named in a top ten of ‘university spinouts to watch’.

The list is in Sifted, Europe’s influential media monitor of European tech startups.  Backed by the Financial Times, Sifted is the leading media brand for the European startup community.

Two of the top ten highlighted startups – FOTENIX and Watercycle Technologies – have been created and nurtured within the University of Manchester Innovation Factory (UoMIF).

Sifted says:

“There’s a new generation of entrepreneurs taking the European tech scene by storm.  From Madrid to Milan, Bucharest to Berlin, startup innovators are rewriting the economy’s rules and making waves across the continent. With some 98 cities producing at least one tech unicorn (so far) — Europe has created a decentralised Silicon Valley.”

Under UoMIF’s CEO Andrew Wilkinson, the technology transfer organisation has created 32 IP-rich spinout companies in the three years.

Sifted’s ‘top ten university spinouts to watch out for’ says:

Watercycle Technologies is a University of Manchester (UoM) climate tech spinout. The company has patented a filtration process that can extract lithium from sub-surface waters — which could be huge for the EV space, which needs lithium in huge quantities for making batteries. It’s also working with Cornish Lithium, which focuses on environmentally responsible lithium extraction.”

 FOTENIX is another UoM spinout, which uses its IP-protected machine learning and 3D imaging tech to detect diseases and pests and improve harvest quality. Brexit, climate change and the Ukraine war are putting unprecedented pressure on crop yield, and we’re seeing a growing demand for tech in this space.”

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO of the University of Manchester Innovation Factory said:

“It’s great that these two innovative University of Manchester spinout companies have been recognised as being among the very best European tech startups. Both these businesses are led by brilliant young entrepreneurs and have the potential to make an enormous environmental, social and economic impact in their target markets, as well as fantastic returns for their investors.”