Startups Awards 2015 winners revealed

Retail marketplace Appear Here took the top prize of Simply Business Startups Business of the Year at the 12th annual start-up awards ceremony

The winners of the prestigious Startups Awards 2015 have been announced, with online retail marketplace Appear Here triumphant as the overall winner – taking home the title of Simply Business Startups Business of the Year.

Unveiled at an awards ceremony at the underground vaults of Vinopolis, London Bridge on Friday 27 November, the 60 inspiring and innovative start-up finalists gathered with entrepreneurs and investors to hear comedian host Alun Cochrane name the winners of the 15 award categories before the identity of the overall winner was revealed.

London-based Appear Here took the top prize of the evening – selected from the winners of all the other categories – for its early success in having listed more than 1,000 spaces on its site, achieved international expansion and raised over $7.5m in equity investment.

Other award winners included shaving subscription service Cornerstone which took home the accolade of People’s Champion; an award voted for by readers and fans of the brands.

Former Apprentice contestant Susan Ma’s vegan skincare business Tropic Skincare was crowned Product Business of the Year while online estate agency Purplebricks won two awards; Tech Business of the Year and Innovative Business of the Year.

Backed by headline sponsor and the UK’s biggest business insurance broker Simply Business, the Startups Awards celebrated its 12th year and continued its record of highlighting the achievements of the UK’s finest up-and-coming businesses.

With a record number of entries this year, the judges; which included Dragons’ Den star Touker Suleyman,  Cath Kidston MBE, and Innocent Drinks co-founder Jon Wright, had a tough challenge in nominating the winning businesses.

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The 2015 Startups Awards winners in full:

Simply Business Startups Business of the Year: Appear Here
People’s Champion: Cornerstone
App of the Year: minicabit
Crowdfunded Business of the Year: Berrywhite
Export Business of the Year sponsored by Experian: Frog Bikes
Franchisee of the Year: Schmidt Palmers Green
Innovative Business of the Year: Purplebricks
Lean Start-up of the Year: Nutriment
Product Business of the Year: Tropic Skincare
Retail Business of the Year: Gousto
Service Business of the Year sponsored by Big Red Cloud: ForrestBrown
Tech Business of the Year sponsored by Nominet: Purplebricks
Venture Funded Business of the Year sponsored by haysmacintyre: Appear Here
Women in Business Award: Swoon Editions
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: PROPERCORN

David Lester, founder of, commented: “This year we’ve seen a stellar line-up of judges uncover the cream of the crop in business.

“In 2015 we also welcomed more entries than ever before, so this year’s finalists truly are the best in their fields. Huge congratulations to all of our participants, particularly our 16 outstanding winners.

“This evening has shown what the UK has to offer in terms of high-quality and innovative start-ups, which will drive the UK economy for years to come. I predict bright futures for all of our shortlisted and winning companies – watch this space..!”


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  1. Great article, thank you. Congratulations to former apprentice contestant Susan Ma and her vegan skincare business Tropic Skincare that was crowned Product Business of the Year. A great skin care business success story. We wish you lots of success in the future! We know how challenging skin care business start-ups can be. For over 10 years now at Illumination Consulting, we have assisted entrepreneurs and companies getting started in the beauty industry. It is a lucrative industry, but also very competitive.