Oyinkansola Adebayo beat tough competition to be crowned regional winner of the Tech Nation Rising Stars regional heat, with her creation of the UK’s first AI beauty salon for textured hair. She took to the stage at the West Midlands Tech Review and wowed judges with her innovative tech-first salon solution.

The serial tech entrepreneur runs Niyo Group, a multi-award-winning group of companies that specialises in enabling ambitious women to build the world’s most disruptive tech products. She pitched her beauty business, Niyo Hair and Beauty  in front of a panel of esteemed judges and a live audience at The Halls, Wolverhampton, as one of 10 entrepreneurs hoping to be chosen as the region’s winner.

Niyo Hair and Beauty came out on top after Oyin impressed judges with the capability of its outlook on the future of women’s hair. Re-imagining the end-to-end beauty experience for women especially those with textured hair. They are redefining the $500 bn women’s hair market using AI and AR technologies, customers can ‘try on’ hairstyles before they book appointments in the exciting and exclusive premium salon, which is based in Digbeth, Birmingham. Oyin is also looking to deploy the technology to other salons and customers across the country.

Niyo Hair and Beauty has already served over 1,000 clients across the UK, whilst also supporting hairstylists through an academy to get accredited. Oyin will now head to London Tech Week, the five-day tech festival that will welcome over 45,000 people to Olympia London, as one of 13 founders pitching their business to an international audience. The winner will receive £170k worth of prizes including £80k for brand development and a go-to-market campaign from Founders Makers plus a £30k out-of-home advertising package from JCDecaux.

Commenting on the win, Oyin said:

“For the first time in my life, I am speechless! I am so incredibly proud to have won the regional heat, and it is testament to the work of the entire Niyo Group family. We have worked so hard on the Niyo Hair and Beauty product for so many years, and we’re proud to have created the world’s first AR-powered salon.

“Of course I hope to win the national round, but the opportunity and exposure alone is a huge win for us, as we seek investment to roll out our technology across the UK – and beyond. It also has to be said that being a Black woman in this space is not easy; only 0.02% of venture capital goes to people who look like me, so I understand the importance of taking up this space to show the innovation and commercial opportunity being missed by funders who are simply not looking at female founders and people of colour in the investment space. 

“Thank you to Tech Nation for giving underserved founders the chance to shine on a regional, national, and international stage!”

The ‘Rising Stars’ pitch competition was relaunched by Tech Nation last year, as the ultimate pitch competition for innovative early-stage tech start-ups. Chantelle Young leads on the Rising Stars event and Tech Nation’s Libra Programme, designed for underserved founders in the tech space. She commented:

“A huge congratulations to Oyin and the whole Niyo Hair and Beauty team. The competition was tough – every single founder demonstrated not just passion and dedication, but really innovative and game-changing ideas.

“The Rising Stars competition is all about helping these ideas and founders to thrive. Giving them a platform and providing them with access to brand visibility and resources that can help take them to the next level.”

Oyin Adebayo will take to the stage during London Tech Week, which is taking place from 10-14 June. To find out more about Niyo Hair and Beauty, visit

The Rising Stars pitch competition took place at the end of the annual WM Tech Review, one of Tech West Midlands’ flagship events. This year’s event took place at The Halls, Wolverhampton and saw TechWM announce a new narrative and playbook for the region, as well as updates on £1m invested in local tech projects.

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