Huckletree Renegade Search: The Shortlist

BY Emily PrichardJune 15, 2019

Renegade Search Planets Graphic In Purple and Blue

Call off the Renegade Search!

Last month, we put out a call for the most renegade idea in the universe. Our aim? To champion and support one incredible team. They’ll receive a year’s membership on us, starting at our new investor-first workspace, Huckletree Soho.

From inclusive fashion trailblazers to foodtech groundbreakers, you shared your ideas in droves. Now comes the difficult part…

Across London and LA, our Renegade Search Champions are deep in final deliberations over our five shortlisted teams. Each one brings together passion, vision, skills and determination. What’s more: they’re all raring to embark on the next stage in their scaling journey.

Introducing…

ARGENT

We’re living in strange times. As political division and economic uncertainty abound, it’s time for renegade founders to tackle our collective sense of powerlessness.

The first smart wallet for Ethereum-based crypto-currencies and apps, Argent’s mission is to make crypto easily accessible to everyone. Founder Matthew Wright explains:

“Both the internet and finance are dominated by a few monopolies. People lack control and startups’ competitive instincts are stifled. Crypto – being based on open, decentralised platforms – turns this on its head. It’s the most viable solution to date to helping people and startups take back control.”

Radical attitude is central to Argent’s DNA. Its founding team is formed of serious serial entrepreneurs who founded and exited Peak, the world’s leading brain training app and a quantum information startup. Also key to Argent’s burgeoning success? Accessibility. Their app offers a straightforward user experience, making using tokens ‘as easy as using Monzo’.

With $4m Seed from Europe’s top investors, including Index Ventures, Creandum and firstminute capital, it’s clear that Argent’s capability to offer decentralized access to digital products promises to resonate far and wide across the universe. Big giants, start trembling…

HOTCAKES

Renegade Search isn’t just about teams forging new paths. We’re proud to champion founders who are radically revolutionising existing ones, too.

Hotcakes was born from the magical combination of three friends, fried chicken and a maverick idea. The UK’s first online platform for wholesale food and drink, they’re making it easy to access products from emerging brands. There’s more: they’re hugely passionate about operating in an ethical way that puts small businesses first. Spiritual cousins to Huckletree D2 members Kontainers, they’re innovating an industry that’s been largely, and crazily, ignored by tech innovation.

The numbers say it all: 16,000 food and drink brands emerge every year, but only 10% of them survive that initial 12 months. Hotcakes are transforming how they get their product out there and into the hands and stores of passionate retailers.

CEO Tara is also Founder of Bread & Jam, the largest community of food and drink founders in the UK. Her insider knowledge of the foodie market is sure to be a huge advantage in scaling the business. She explains:

“In our day to day lives, we experience Amazon Prime, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram. Why is wholesale buying stuck in the dark ages, with thick paper catalogues and fax machines?”

SAFE AND THE CITY

The facts are ugly. Over 85% of women in the UK having experienced sexual harassment in public. Over 90% of assaults on public transport going unreported. It’s clear we need a clearer picture of our city beyond the fastest way to get around it.

Street-smart app Safe and the City is taking steps towards a better universe, starting in your neighbourhood. Founder and former Huckletree Alpha Jillian Kowalchuk’s safer navigation app helps Londoners find smarter, safer routes based on crowdsourced data. They’re also partnering with local businesses to create Safe Sites, offering people in distress a refuge in case of uncomfortable or dangerous situations.

In between championing SATC and female talent in the innovation sector at London Tech Week, Jillian gave us the latest on their plans:

“We raised over £60,000 and are rapidly developing our product. We’re also testing our product-market fit with a number of large opportunities that create sustainable change in our communities. These partners include the Metropolitan Police, UN Women UK and several London Business Improvement Districts.”

Think globally, act locally: the world needs radical minds to reimagine everyday life – and Jillian is leading the charge.

ERASE ALL KITTENS

We need to talk about the STEM gender gap. Currently, women account for just 14.4% of people working in STEM in the UK, despite making up just over half of total workforce. The pipeline of female rebel thinkers entering the industry just isn’t big enough – but change is on the horizon. Dee Saigal took a roundabout career route via the advertising industry to founding Erase All Kittens:

“When I was at school, my dream was to be a games designer but since I didn’t see anyone like me making games, I didn’t believe that I could do it.”

Alongside her co-founder and team, she’s creating the world’s first game designed to inspire girls to code, whilst equipping them with professional programming skills. Their aim? Inspire 10 million girls to code by 2025.

With an advisory board featuring original minds such as UK gaming industry legend Ian Livingstone CBE, a partnership with MIT and feature in Creative England CE50 cohort, Erase All Kittens is on track to spark a lifelong interest in coding in the next generation of girls.

HARTH

As our attitude towards ownership and environmental impact shifts, rental platforms are on the rise. Whilst the fashion industry has embraced innovation, there’s been a wide gap in the market elsewhere. Harth is pioneering the movement with a peer to peer rental platform for interior design, art and furniture. Founder Ed Padmore explains:

“We’re on a mission to unlock the masses of amazing things in storage units, garages and unloved spaces, the world over.”

Inspired by a costly and frustrating period of home and office moves, Harth is an alternative to condemning much-loved design to an eternity in storage units. Currently, over 15,000 products are currently available on the beta, with the team seeing overwhelming demand for B2B projects. Harth treasures are now being sought for pop-ups, property developers and show rooms. In the pipeline: partnerships with global brands that’ll enchant design devotees, plus bespoke styling services (Co-Founder and Director Henrietta Thompson is Editor-At-Large of Wallpaper*).

Combat thoughtless consumption. Open the door to an ever-revolving lineup of beautiful things. Mother Earth (and your apartment) will thank you…

Which idea do you think should be declared our Renegade Search winner?
Sign up to our newsletter for the big reveal on Tuesday 18th June.

AUTHOR

Emily Prichard

Manager, Brand and Creative