Innovative Business of the Year 2018: Meet the finalists

Mortgages, aloe vera, quantum physics; this year's Innovative Business of the Year finalists - sponsored by Oracle NetSuite - are truly a diverse and exciting bunch

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It can cost £2.9bn and take 15 years to bring a new product to market. And that’s before you reckon with the high chance of failure. GTN is the company using an innovative combination of quantum physics and machine learning to more efficiently assess useful molecules and more accurately predict chemical activities. This can create efficiencies across the entire drug development lifecycle and get effective medicines to market faster.

Learn more about GTN and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Encore Musicians

Dubbed the “AirBnb for musicians”, Encore Musicians was founded by two musicians and Cambridge grads on the Entrepreneur First accelerator. It acts as a marketplace for booking over 25,000 outstanding musicians – based on videos, reviews, song lists and more – to perform at all types of events, from parties and weddings to conferences and concerts, and allows musicians to eliminate admin and earn more doing what they love.

Learn more about Encore Musicians and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Access Install

Access Install was founded by Christopher Fagan and Lee Dickinson, both of whom have worked in the energy industry for over 25 years. Looking at the market as a whole and quickly realising the niche market was ripe to explore, Access Install offered a one stop shop for energy suppliers for the metering requirements. In doing so their growth has sky rocketed 4500% in staffing levels and 1900% in revenue line in less than 18 months. With in-house software developments and applications the business is posed to continue to keep the customer journey at the very heart of its operating model.

Learn more about Access Install and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Many customers are put off buying high value items because they feel uncomfortable parting with such a huge sum. Divido is the retail finance platform that allows businesses to offer instant customer finance, driving conversions, attracting new customers, and increasing sales by around 20%. Available online, in-store and via mobile, it has partnered with over 900 merchants, banks and partners including the likes of HTC, Lenovo, BMW and Mastercard.

Learn more about Divido and cast your People’s Champion vote here

Simplee Aloe

The founders of Simplee Aloe – former city bankers, Alex Lai and Raymond Pang – spotted a gap in the UK aloe vera market: there was no great tasting, low sugar, grab-and-go drink that “reaped the benefits of the ‘miracle plant’”. So, they made one. A product pitch to Sainsbury’s saw it picked up straight away and stocked in 200 stores. Today it’s in 4,000 outlets and other major retailers including Waitrose, Asda, Whole Foods Market, and Planet Organic.

Learn more about Simplee Aloe and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Have you ever tried to buy that perfect piece for your home and struggled to find it? Aneeqa Khan had – which lead her to founding eporta. eporta gives interior designers, architects, property developers, and anyone delivering a commercial or residential project access to the largest network of furniture manufacturers globally. With over 65,000 products available on the platform, eporta saves time in product sourcing and cuts up to 50% of the cost through working directly with them.

Learn more about eporta and cast your People’s Champion vote here


With the convergence of software development, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things and cloud computing, businesses are undergoing digital transformation at an unprecedented pace. But demand for software developers is outstripping supply… That’s where Diffblue comes in – a differentiator that uses AI to write code and automatically write software, doing programming tasks that programmers find laborious and time-consuming.

Learn more about Diffblue and cast your People’s Champion vote here


Mortgages. They can be a nightmare – as Daniel Hegarty found when he almost lost his home. He launched Habito – a free, online mortgage broker – to bring the traditionally hellish mortgage application process into the 21st century. Habito uses its own custom sourcing platform that accesses a database of over 20,000 products from over 70 lenders, to find the best possible deal for every applicant.

Learn more about Habito and cast your People’s Champion vote here

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