Children’s tech is too 'shouty': Book-maker

Lost my Name wins CNBC Power Pitch! wins CNBC Power Pitch!   

It might be London Technology Week, with unrelenting tech talk engulfing the capital, but the winner of CNBC's Power Pitch competition was the maker of a good-old, physical book. – named winner of the pitching competition by investor Eileen Burbidge on Friday – creates personalized books for children.

And although the end product might be a physical book, both Burbidge and company co-founder Asi Sharabi were quick to stress that complex technology was at the heart of the company.

"When people don't see a screen, they tend to disregard the tech. But there's more tech behind the creation of this physical book than there is behind quite a lot of things in the app store," Sharabi said.

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Burbidge, a partner at prominent seed-stage venture fund Passion Capital, said the technology involved in the book-making process was subtle, but far from trivial.

"When you think about what they've done, and how quickly you can preview a book based on a name and gender. That requires some serious technology; that requires an algorithm," she said.

Prospective customers can preview a personalized book online within seconds, and delivery takes eight days. The book, which costs £18.99 ($32.40), tells the story of a child who has lost their name, and goes on journey to discover its various letters.

The company also came top of an online poll which asked the CNBC audience to vote for their favorite pitch by one of four exciting British start-ups. Safety bike-light maker Blaze, interactive video services provider Brainient, digital "taxi top" advertiser Eyetease joined in pitching their big ideas in just one minute.

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'Very shouty, very demanding"

The popularity of companies like demonstrate a shift away from some technological products back towards artisanal, well-made items, Burbidge said.

And Sharabi added that this was especially important when it came to children's entertainment. uses tech for storytelling uses tech for storytelling   

"In the space of kids' media, technology has become very noisy, very needy, very shouty and very demanding," Sharabi said.

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"We like to create experiences that involve a lot of technology, but the end product is still a physical book that parents and children can still enjoy quietly at bedtime, and really focus on that interaction, rather than any other bells and whistles screaming at you."

Speaking on the last day of London Technology Week, Sharabi conceded that there was some hype surrounding the capital's position as a leading digital hub.

"Sometimes 'hype' can be a bit negative. But in London right now there's hype, but there's also a lot of substance," he said. "There's a great sense that something big is happening here and it's only going to get bigger."