Top 20 round-up: Blue Dot secures £50,000 investment through NESTA

The latest news and deals from our Top 20 start-ups of 2011

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Blue Dot has been selected as one of the first 15 businesses to secure investment from NESTA’s Innovation in Giving fund.

The social currency concept – which rewards people for doing good things such as volunteering, donating or liking not-for-profit businesses on Facebook – was chosen from over 400 applicants to receive £50,000 from the Fund.

Launched in September, the £10m Innovation in Giving Fund is part of a £34m package from the Cabinet to increase levels of social action.

Cubesocial wins Local Business Accelerators award

Social media manager Cubesocial has been selected as one of the outstanding businesses of its local community.

The start-up, which is based in Basingstoke, was chosen as one of three businesses in the area to win the regional Local Business Accelerators award, which includes a three-month advertising campaign in a local paper and mentoring.

The business – which was recently named as a ‘One to watch’ by Index B, alongside Top 20 peer Crowdcube – will now go through to the final, where it will be assessed for its ability to create jobs, revitalise its local community and create economic growth.

The overall national winner will receive mentoring from Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden.

Marketinvoice celebrates £1m-December with international expansion

Financial e-commerce site Marketinvoice has announced plans to expand into Asia, less than a year after its launch.

The start-up – which allows suppliers to ease cashflow woes by auctioning outstanding invoices – is setting up a liaison office in Hong Kong, after spotting demand for international invoice auctioning.

The move follows a record month of trading for Marketinvoice in December, when the site helped small businesses access over £1m in finance. The founders expect their clients to auction up to $5m (£3.1m) through the site in 2012.

The fore-mentioned businesses are all among those chosen as our Top 20 start-ups of 2011

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