Renewable energy company was overall winner while a sex toy firm was export business of the year
The 14th annual UK Startups Awards took place last night as they celebrated the best in new British business, showcasing an array of exciting start-ups from up and down the country, all of which were launched in the last 4 years.
Judges of the awards include beauty entrepreneur Liz Earle MBE, Dragons’ Den investor Touker Suleyman and Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen.
The overall winner was Bulb, which bagged The Start Up Loans Start-Up of the Year award. The renewable energy company promises the cheapest 100% renewable energy on the market. According to Bulb, its average member saves 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – the equivalent of every member taking 1.3 cars off the road.
Other notable wins come from the Women in Business category, which saw 65 year-old Tricia Cusden, founder of Look Fabulous Forever, a beauty and cosmetics site aimed at older women, named as winner.
Franchisee of the Year went to Hannah Drury, of Caremark, Sutton – a domestic homecare business – Hannah took over as franchisee in 2015 after the tragic death of her stepfather. Two years on and Drury has demonstrated her business acumen with profits up 74% in that time supported by contracts with the local authority and privately-funded clients.
Sex toy company MysteryVibe took home Export Business of the Year, its smart vibrators are shipped to 55 countries worldwide.
The People’s Champion 2017 went to Cornerstone; founded by Oliver Bridge, Cornerstone is a mail order razor company with an ethical focus. This is the third time Cornerstone has won the People’s Champion title – a record 40,000 votes from the public were cast this year.
Ian Wallis, Editorial Director at Startups.co.uk comments: “There are three things that really stand out among our winners. The pace at which some start-ups scale is phenomenal. Renewable energy supplier Bulb, as The Start Up Loans Start-up of the Year, has doubled its customers to a staggering 200,000 in just three months. Second, age is no barrier. The founders of Bulb are in their early 30s while our Women in Business award winner Tricia Cusden started Look Fabulous Forever at the age of 65.
“And the third point we see every year. Funded or not, big or smaller, London-based or not, there seems no end to the deep well of brilliantly innovative, determined, and passionate entrepreneurs in the UK. We’re in awe of what our finalists and entrants have achieved.”