Startups Awards 2012 finalists unveiled

35 new companies in the running for 14 prestigious titles

Startups.co.uk has named 35 new and exciting companies as the finalists of the 2012 Startups Awards.

The finalists, selected from hundreds of applicants, will now go forward to be judged by an expert panel consisting of BBC Dragon Duncan Bannatyne and Ariadne Capital’s Julie Meyer as well as a hand-picked group of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, advisors, representatives of the sponsors and former winners.

The NatWest-sponsored awards, which celebrate businesses aged three years and under, has sorted start-ups into 14 different categories, including Adversity Award of the Year, Angel or VC-backed Business of the Year and Start-up Business Woman of the Year.

Among the 35 finalists is luxury hotel discount site Secret Escapes, which is set to compete against made-to-measure furniture business Made.com and family-products flash sales site Casabu for the Online Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Printed.com.

Meanwhile, ex-Virgin group director Alexis Dormandy’s recommendation business Love This will take on cancer diagnosis company Abcodia and mobile data business Snappli in the Innovative Business category, supported by Simply Business.

Winners for each category and the overall NatWest Startups Business of the Year are set to be announced at Startups.co.uk’s ninth annual awards ceremony on December 7 at the Kensington Roof Gardens. Other sponsors include accountancy firm haysmacintyre, company registration business Made Simple Group, advertising firm All Response Media, and web hosting company 1&1 Internet.

Previous winners of the awards include some of the UK’s fastest growing brands such as Wonga.com and Google-owned BeatThatQuote.com and founder of Startups.co.uk David Lester is confident many of the candidates will go onto similar nationwide and global success.

He commented: “We are delighted with the response to this year’s Awards. We received hundreds of entries from an incredibly diverse range of companies.

“The final shortlist really is a fantastic example of the prosperous and highly successful start-up businesses we have here in the UK. Congratulations to all the companies that have made it this far and good luck for the Awards ceremony!” View the finalists