A 12-month business outlook: The Startups Awards Winners’ Dinner

From growing pains to fostering relationships and a lively Brexit debate, 10 of our start-up winners discuss current and future challenges and opportunities…

Back for its 13th year in 2016, when its headline sponsor will be accounting software firm Sage, the Startups Awards has a stellar record for picking the brightest up and coming business stars.

From naming Ella’s Kitchen as micro-business of the year way back in 2006 to honouring Purplebricks.com as Innovative Business of the Year in 2015 just ahead of its £58m AIM-listing – our collective alumni have steadfastly grown to an illustrious group to be reckoned with.

And one key thing they all have in common? They all know a thing or two about turning an early-stage start-up into a global British success story – from the ultimate highs to the terrible headaches you just have to grin and bear.

And that’s why we wanted to get a group of them together. To share their trials and tribulations not only with each other but also with you. To revel in the joys and offload the burdens of running a business in the current climate.

Hosting an intimate dinner at the elegant Covent Garden Hotel, Startups, in association with longstanding Startups Awards sponsor and leading mid-tier Chartered Accountants and tax advisers haysmacintyre, invited 10 former winners to discuss their outlook on the next 12 months. And we’ve now pulled the best insights together for you to enjoy.

But first, who were the 10 winners? Find out more about each of them in the bios below, or go straight to our first article here.

Amer HasanAmer Hasan, minicabit

Winner: App of the Year

Launched in 2012 by Amer Hasan, minicabit claims to be the only app (and website) of its kind which allows users to instantly compare and pre-book local and long distance trips by cab, up to 12 months in advance. With a network of over 800 licenced operators, the start-up has already secured deals with Heathrow Airport and Big Yellow Storage.


Andrew Jennings BerrywhiteAndrew Jennings, Berrywhite

Winner: Crowdfunded Business of the Year

Andrew Jennings is on a mission “to bring healthier drinks to the masses” with his organic, natural and schools-compliant drinks start-up. The business not only boasts impressive market traction and growth – it also donates 10% of its profits to innovative projects that help to educate underprivileged people around the world.


Startups Business Awards 2015 @ Vinopolis, London ***Pic by David McHugh -07768 721637***Bastiaan Haghuis, Appear Here

Winner: Simply Business Startups Business of the Year; Venture Funded Business of the Year

In the last two years Appear Here has transformed the UK retail space with its simple but brilliant proposition: an online marketplace for short-term retail space. With an impressive list of clients including Google and NET-A-PORTER, and exclusive deals with some of the UK’s biggest landlords, the funded business has listed more than 1,000 spaces nationwide.


Julien CalledeJulien Callede, Made.com

Winner: Young Start-up of the Year

Julien is part of the founding team behind Made.com – the design, retail and manufacturing platform for great-looking furniture. With a background in the sourcing industry, Julien helped Made achieve revenues of £42.8m in 2014, an increase from £26m the previous year. Last year the company branched out into selling mattresses online.

Mark SmoutMark Smout, ForrestBrown

Winner: Service Business of the Year

Founded in 2013 by Simon Brown, ForrestBrown specialises in simplifying the process of receiving R&D tax credits simple by helping innovative companies navigate the R&D tax credit scheme and maximise the relief available. With a 25-strong team and a target to generate £50m of savings for clients during 2016, the company has ambitious growth plans.


Oliver BridgeOliver Bridge, Cornerstone

Winner: People’s Champion

Cornerstone’s subscription shaving business has racked up an impressive 70,000 customers in just 24 months. Selling all you need for the perfect shave – razor, gel, face-scrub and post-shave balm – the business operates on a flexible delivery schedule that matches your shave routine. Its simple but effective solution has also proved popular with the crowd, raising over £900,000 in summer 2015.


Shelley LawsonShelley Lawson, Frog Bikes

Winner: Export Business of the Year

Keen cyclists and parents Jerry and Shelley Lawson launched Frog Bikes around a simple idea: the lighter the bike the easier it is for children to learn and progress. Just two and a half years after launch, the family firm is already taking on the big global players, peddling its wares to nearly 850 stockists in 30 countries.


Steve PurdhamSteve Purdham, 3rings

Winner: Rising Star of the Year

Capitalising on the booming Internet of Things market, 3rings is creating waves with its disruptive solution to care monitoring. With an appearance on Dragons’ Den under its belt and patents currently pending, the ‘smartplug’ and cloud-based care platform which lets you keep an eye on your relatives from anywhere, is making a name for itself in the care industry.


Suzanne BrockSuzanne Brock and Peter Nicholas, Nutriment

Winner: Lean Start-up of the Year

Nutriment manufactures healthy, natural and completely raw food for dogs and cats. Started in 2013 by Suzanne Brock, the Surrey-based business has been completely self-funded but has already expanded into six international markets and grown to a team of over 25. The start-up prides itself on its no-supermarket philosophy; retailing through independent pet shops instead.

Editorial team

Ian WallisIan Wallis, Startups.co.uk

Editorial director.



Lucy WaymentLucy Wayment, Startups.co.uk






haysmacintyre chartered accountants and tax advisers provide quality accountancy, audit, tax, corporate finance and business advice to entrepreneurs and fast-growing businesses.

Natasha Frangos. Haysmacintyre. London. United Kingdom.

Natasha Frangos, haysmacintyre

The head of creative, media and technology Natasha has been a partner at haysmacintyre since 2009. She specialises in advising clients across their lifecycle from first round of investment through the growth phase to an exit.


David Cox. Haysmacintyre. London. United Kingdom.

David Cox, haysmacintyre

David became a partner at haysmacintyre in 2006. He is currently head of the firm’s technology sector, but clients come from a broad range of areas including property, motor dealers and manufacturing. As a member of the firm’s audit committee, David leads the accounting and auditing technical department.



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