Index of Britain’s hottest companies confirms first 50 members

Initiative fronted by Lord Young and former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy includes Jamie’s Italian and Funding Circle in first 50

The names of the first 50 of a list acclaiming the UK’s fastest growing companies has been announced.

Jamie Oliver’s fast-expanding Italian restaurant chain, luxury drinks business Fever Tree, and the Charles Dunstone-backed Funding Circle, are among the first members of the 250-strong group hand-picked by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy and the prime minister’s enterprise adviser Lord Young.

As part of this summer’s Accelerate 2013 business conference in Liverpool, a group of high-profile business leaders have compiled the list of names representing the 6% of businesses that create more than half of new UK jobs.

In an attempt to wet appetites for a list designed to rival those compiled by Fast Track, 50 members will be announced weekly in the lead-up to the event.

On the list are Miroma’s Marc Boyan, who was named as haysmacintyre Top Gun in Growing Business’ Young Guns event in 2009, as well as fellow Young Gun entrepreneurs behind BBOXX, Central Working, EDITD, Funding Circle, and MVF Global.

Startups Awards or Startups 100 winners to make the first 50 are Senscraft, Cause4, Neon Play, Techhub, and Turtle Tots. P2i, familiar to Growing Business readers for its win at the Fast Growth Business Awards in 2011 and responsible for a technology that protects laptops from water damage, is another to make the list.

Soon after its win in the technology and international categories at the Fast Growth Business Awards, the company raised £12m. Sarah Wood’s Unruly Group, another FGBA winner in 2011 in the female entrepreneur category, has also been named.

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Organisers of the event, which takes place on June 27 and will feature Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales among speakers, will invite Accelerate 250 members to attend the festival for high potential businesses.

The group will convene to address issues facing development and to share insights on how start-ups can transition to fast-growth businesses, promised Max Steinberg, chief executive of event backer Liverpool Vision.

Representing a variety of industries, including finance, food, pharmaceuticals, retail, fashion and recruitment, the first 50 entrepreneurs are:

  • 3 Space: Andrew Cribb and Henry Mason
  • Age Partnership: Tim Loy
  • Apposing: Dave Brown
  • BBOXX: Christopher Baker-Brian
  • Cause4: Michelle Wright and Nick Gandon
  • Central Working: James Layfield
  • Clear Returns: Vicky Brock
  • Communications Plus: Steve Roberts
  • de Poel: Matthew Sanders
  • Direct Sitters: Marcus Simpson
  • EDITD: Geoff Watts and Julia Fowler
  • Richard Schiessl and Aaron Chatterley
  • Fever Tree: Tim Warrillow
  • Funding Circle: Andrew Mullinger, James Meekings and Samir Desai
  • Hallam Medical: Scott Davies
  • Harvard Engineering: John McDonnell
  • Sara Jones and Simon Swan
  • Jamie’s Italian: John Jackson
  • LILA: Leanne Linacre and Victoria Lee
  • Liquid Friday: Phillip Venn
  • Miroma: Marc Boyan
  • MVF Global: Tom Morgan
  • Daniel Price and Jonny Sitton
  • Neon Play: Oli Christie
  • P2i: Adrian Moores
  • Paddy & Scott’s Coffee: Paddy Bishopp and Scott Russell
  • Platform Black: Louise Beaumont
  • PPL Group: Paul Kimberley
  • Secured Mail: Mark Bigley
  • Senscraft: Carey Bunks
  • Sentric Music: Chris Meehan
  • Service Source: Martin Moran
  • Techhub: Elizabeth Varley and Mike Butcher
  • Top Cashback: Oliver Ragg
  • Turtle Tots: Caroline Sparks and Gabby Lixton
  • Unruly Group Ltd: Sarah Wood
  • XConnect: Eli Katz
  • XLN Business Services: Christian Nellemann

Oli Christie, founder of Neon Play, which was named in the top 10 of the Startups 100 last year, described his company’s inclusion as a “huge achievement”.

He said he hopes the programme, which will involve mentoring from former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick and the government’s digital champion Martha Lane Fox, will help the company continue its rapid growth.

Retail boss Leahy said he believes the UK’s ability to compete globally will rest on the shoulders of the exclusive group and hopes it will form “the nucleus of Britain’s future high-growth economic success.”

“It’s our belief that Britain’s prosperity in the 21st century global economy is going to be built on the success of high-potential, fast-growth businesses,” he added.


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