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Zipcube pips Reframedtv to first prize in Thinking Digital startup contest

Zipcube has triumphed in the 2014 edition of the Thinking Digital startup competition.

The Newcastle and London-based company is designed to make good use of unused spaces by enabling workers to book them as meeting rooms.

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The Thinking Digital conference hosted the competition for the third year in a row, giving startups the chance to deliver three-minute pitches to an audience of entrepreneurs, financiers, potential partners and journalists.

The competition started with a shortlist of 10 firms, before being reduced down to two finalists.

After a strong pitch from Zipcube's marketing director David Helland, the audience voted that the company deserved the grand prize ahead of fellow finalist Reframedtv.

"It's estimated within three years 40 per cent of people will be working remotely and within two years seven million will become mobile," said Helland. "That's creating challenges for business and redundant space is very costly.

"So, welcome to Zipcube. You put in the city, date, type you require and search for live availability – and you can book! We're living the dream!"

Founder Guillaume Santacruz quit his job in Paris to start the firm and was soon joined in London by Hekla Goodman and Helland. With £36,000 of support from the Serious accelerator programme, the trio have been developing the company at Tech City's Google Campus.

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The fruit of their labour is a website that combines an interface for venue owners to share their space with a booking system for prospective occupants.

With the prize money in the bag, Goodman is now targeting expansion. "We are going to pick up initially the Newcastle area and then expand to Manchester, and all the other big cities around the world like Paris and New York," he said.