Startups 100 2019: The Judges’ Picks

Meet 2019's Startups 100 Judges' Picks. Selected in a number of categories to highlight some of the best new UK businesses

Chosen by top UK-based entrepreneurs, the Startups 100 Judges’ Picks have been selected to reflect some of the top trends in this year’s list.

With a range of finance companies taking the top spots, these categories cover a range of themes, with judging based on the strength of a company’s proposition compared to companies in the same category.

This year’s judges were:

  • Titus Sharpe – serial entrepreneur and founder of MVF
  • Gi Fernando – investor and inventor specialising in technology, data and behaviour
  • Gemma Metcalfe-Beckers – influencer, entrepreneur, and small business supporter
  • Tim Rodber – CEO of the Instant Group and ex-England rugby player
  • Alex Farrell – entrepreneur with a passion for about digital and tech

Unsurprisingly, given the caliber of entries, in all but one of the categories we had to select commendable businesses too.

Company Founded Category Winner
Scape Technologies 2016 Tech
MyTutor 2014 Family
The Cheeky Panda Ltd 2016 Social
Tide 2015 B2B
Igloo 2017 B2C
Senseye 2014 Regional

Special criteria have been selected for each of the categories above:

  • Tech – The Startups 100 Tech Business Winner should offer an innovative tech solution or product.
  • Family – The Startups 100 Family Business Winner should help families and make lives better.
  • Social Impact – The Startups 100 Social Impact Winner should be trying to improve the world, either through social or environmental innovation.
  • B2B – The Startups 100 B2B Business Winner should be helping other businesses to succeed in a truly effective way.
  • B2C – The Startups 100 B2C Business Winner should be helping consumers and recognised as doing so.
  • Regional – The Startups 100 Regional Business Winner should be an excellent business operating outside of London.

Startups 100 Top Tech Business

Winner – Scape Technologies
Ranked 66th in the full Startups 100 list, Scape Technologies impressed the judges, landing the number one tech spot.

Scape Technologies uses AI to enable cameras to recognise their surroundings. Providing centimetre-level location recognition and laying the foundation for a ubiquitous, large-scale ‘AR-Cloud’, Scape has collected street-view imagery in over 100 countries spanning five continents, all in just twelve months.

View Scape Technologies’ full profile here.

Commended – BIOS
Ranked 96th in the full Startups 100 list, BIOS just missed out on being judged as this year’s top tech business.

BIOS is a neural engineering startup creating the open standard hardware and software interface between the human nervous system and AI. The nervous system is the main communication network in the human body and many chronic conditions occur as a result of neural failure. In short, BIOS’ mission is to build the tools that can communicate with the nervous system; in time, this work could facilitate real innovation in the health space, providing treatment options for chronic conditions that, right now, can’t be cured.

View BIOS’ full profile here.


Startups 100 Top Family Business

Winner – MyTutor
Ranked 29th in the full Startups 100 list, MyTutor’s approach to education earned it the top position in the family business category.

It’s well-known that one-to-one tuition can significantly improve pupils’ grades and confidence. Yet, for many, it remains unaffordable and out of reach. MyTutor aims to bridge this gap by bringing tutoring to everyone using an affordable online platform. Working with more than 10,000 parents and 250 schools, MyTutor helps students from all backgrounds achieve the best results possible.

View MyTutor’s full profile here.

Commended – Baby2Body
Ranked 98th in the full Startups 100 list, Baby2Body’s personalised health and wellbeing coaching app impressed the judges, earning to earn a commendation in the family business space.

The Baby2Body fitness and wellbeing app supports women through pregnancy, taking into account each mother-to-be’s lifestyle and personal goals. Founder and CEO Melinda Nicci plans to develop the business to target other significant points in a woman’s life, creating a totally bespoke wellbeing journey for the physical changes that women experience in pregnancy and beyond.

View Baby2Body’s full profile here.


Startups 100 Best Social Impact Business

Winner – The Cheeky Panda Ltd
Ranked 48th in the full Startups 100 list, The Cheeky Panda Ltd won the judges’ top spot for the business with the best social impact.

The Cheeky Panda Ltd has created a range of innovative, sustainable bamboo based products. Stocked in a range of leading UK supermarkets, the 100% biodegradable and plastic free product line already has a loyal celebrity fan base boasting actress Joanna Lumley OBE and Dame Judi Dench. With the ability to create new product lines within six months, the business is among the most agile on the list, providing customers with the products they need at speed.

View The Cheeky Panda Ltd’s full profile here.

Commended – Goodbox
Ranked 28th in the full Startups 100 list, Goodbox narrowly missed out on winning the social impact business category.

Enabling people to give to charity using their contactless cards, instead of cash, Goodbox is tapping into the increased move toward a cashless society. Working with charities of all sizes, Goodbox also empowers its partners through big data analytics; largely ignored, the charity sector stands to gain a great deal from companies like Goodbox, which make giving easier than it ever has been.

View Goodbox’s full profile here.


Startups 100 Top B2B Business

Winner – Tide
Ranked 52nd in the full Startups 100 list, Tide takes the top spot as the number one B2B business.

Tide is a banking service developed exclusively for small businesses. With high-street business bank accounts often taking weeks to apply for, Tide can provide a sort code and account number in less than five minutes, a Mastercard that’s free to use at home or abroad and a useful app to keep track of your finances. With over half (52%) of SMEs saying that traditional banks aren’t business friendly, Tide fills a lucrative gap in the market.

View Tide’s full profile here.

Commended – Ravelin
Ranked 26th in the full Startups 100 list, Ravelin was commended by the judges in the B2B category.

Based on the founders’ own merchant experience, Ravelin was built to transform fraud detection. Using machine learning models to score every customer interaction for fraud risk, combined with link and behaviour analysis, Ravelin can spot signals of suspicious activity that might be missed by traditional fraud solutions. Combined with Ravelin Accept, which enables PSD2 compliance, this business empowers merchant and payment providers to maximise payment acceptance, and keep fraud rates low.

View Ravelin’s full profile here.


Startups 100 Top B2C Business

Winner – Igloo
Ranked second in the full Startups 100 list, Igloo is an energy company that piqued the judges’ interest to earn the top B2C business spot.

Igloo won the judges’ attention with its innovative, smart approach to energy. Passionate about creating innovative solutions to help customers save money and reduce their carbon footprint, this business ticked a number of boxes. Founded in 2017, Igloo already has over 30,000 customers and also boasts the highest rated mobile app of all UK energy suppliers. The plucky newcomer also features in Citizens Advice’s top five energy companies for customer service.

View Igloo’s full profile here.

Commended – Elder
Ranked fifth in the full Startups 100 list, Elder impressed in a number of ways, earning a commendation in the B2C business category.

Providing users with access to vetted carers is an admirable aim that goes some way to solving the aging crisis. Elder helps people grow old gracefully, living in their own homes rather than having to move into care. One of the top Startups 100 entrants, Elder was recognised largely because of this contribution to social good.

View Elder’s full profile here.


Startups 100 Top Regional Business

Winner – Senseye
Ranked 34th in the full Startups 100 list, Senseye stood out as a top regional business and earned the top spot in this category.

Based in the South East, Senseye is a cloud-based product for predictive maintenance. Used by teams to halve unplanned downtime and to increase maintenance efficiency, this product uses proprietary machine-learning algorithms to forecast failures and predict product decline rates. Typically, Senseye achieves ROI in less than three months and with founders hailing from the aerospace and defense industries, Senseye boasts a pedigree and scale that many other businesses simply cannot match.

View Senseye’s full profile here.


Agree with the Startups 100 2019 Judges’ Picks? Think there’s a company missing? Read on to find out more.

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