Beer52 victorious at Startups Awards 2014 as winners are announced

Craft beer club takes top prize at 11th annual awards for UK’s most innovative new businesses

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The Startups Awards 2014 winners were announced this afternoon at an illustrious awards ceremony held at the Kensington Roof Gardens, organised by and sponsored by Simply Business,

Edinburgh-based craft beer club Beer52 pipped 35 outstanding start-up finalists to the post to win the main prize of Simply Business Startups Business of the Year – selected from the winners of all the other categories – having scaled to revenue of £1m just one year after launch.

Beer52 founder James Brown, aged 24, also scooped the award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his success in having created a beer community which specialises in the “best beers in the planet”.

Running for its 11th year, the annual Startups Awards looks to celebrate the achievements of the UK’s most innovative, fast-growth businesses launched in the last three years and has a reputation for identifying companies which have gone on to become major brands.

Previous winners include the Cambridge Satchel Company, Ella’s Kitchen which was acquired by US health giant Hain Celestial last year, and 2013 Simply Business Startups Business of the Year YPlan which raised £15.3m Series B funding this week to continue its international expansion.

Following hundreds of entries, 14 other category winners were named at the ceremony with education platform Pobble awarded the People’s Champion title – voted for by the public and open to all 50 shortlisted business – after it secured thousands of votes from its peers and Startups readers.

The winning businesses were decided by a panel of 22 high-profile judges including Roast and Cinnamon Club founder Iqbal Wahhab OBE, Mumsnet co-founder Justine Roberts, Dale Murray CBE and Jojo Maman Bébé founder Laura Tenison MBE, alongside business experts and leading journalists.

The 2014 Startups Awards winners are:

Crowdfunded Business of the Year: LOVESPACE
Finalists: Seedrs, F-Board

Franchisee of the Year: Vance Parsons, Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester)
Finalists: Julian Westwood; Diamond Logistics (Birmingham), Nick Blake; Jasper’s (Warrington)

Home-based Business of the Year: Meredith Bespoke
Finalists: Lime Lace, Towers Design

Independent Shop of the Year: Seriously Sofas
Finalists: Cocoba, The iOutlet

Innovative Business of the Year: Cambridge Intelligence
Finalists: 4eco, Captive Media

Mumpreneur of the Year: Tamara Arbib, Rebel Kitchen
Finalists: Cordelia Meacher, Fieldhouse Associates; Samantha King, Lime Lace

Product Business of the Year: Eyespace (sponsored by All Response Media)
Finalists: Gousto, Lost My Name

Restaurant of the Year: The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Finalists: Sugar Supper Club, Sosban & The Old Butchers

Service Business of the Year: CommuterClub (sponsored by Big Red Cloud)
Finalists: BIZZBY, Darmouth Partners

Tech Business of the Year: Centtrip Card (sponsored by .uk)
Finalists: Flubit, Powerlinks Media

Venture Funded Business of the Year: Currency Cloud (sponsored by haysmacintyre)
Finalists: Gousto, Pact Coffee

Women in Business Award: Jodi Huggett, 4eco
Finalists: Julie and Jayne Abel, Eyespace; Gemma Ferris, Feritech

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: James Brown, Beer52 (sponsored by Made Simple Group)
Finalists: e-finity Leads, GPS Locums

People’s Champion Award: Pobble 

Simply Business Startups Business of the Year: Beer52

Hosted by prominent public speaker David McQueen, over 100 entrepreneurs and leading business names attended the event including Ella’s Kitchen founder and former winner Paul Lindley, TechHub’s Elizabeth Varley, and Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang.

Commenting on the impressive calibre of the 2014 Startups Awards winners, founder David Lester said: “We have undoubtedly seen some of the brands of the future today and some of the most talented entrepreneurs in the country.

“Congratulations to all the winners and especially to Beer52, winners of the Simply Business Startups Business of the Year. The judges were hugely impressed by Beer52’s entry which showed evidence of enviable growth and a tremendous entrepreneurial zeal from young founder James Brown.

“But the afternoon wasn’t only about the winners. This year there were a record number of entries to the Startups Awards and the standard was the highest we have seen. All 50 finalists can be very proud of their businesses; and it really does augur well for the UK economy that so many high-quality and innovative start-ups are out there and ready to make their mark.”

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