Innovative Business of the Year 2014: Meet the finalists

Startups unveils its shortlist of businesses with truly ground-breaking propositions

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Most of the businesses shortlisted for our awards have some kind of exciting or unusual proposition, but our Innovative Business of the Year contenders go one step further; all have started a business with the potential to change how we view a sector or even create a new one entirely.

It’s one thing to start a successful business, but it’s quite another to do so whilst blazing a trail of innovation at the same time.

Our shortlisted contenders represent the very best innovative start-ups in the UK, with self-evidently appealing propositions, enormous potential, and excellent growth to boot.


Any product that can save consumers around £250 a year on bills warrants immediate attention in any event, but doubly so when it is helping save the environment at the same time. 4eco’s flagship product immerSUN uniquely diverts energy generated from solar panels directly into heating devices in the home rather than giving it straight to the National Grid (as is normally the case). This means environmentally-aware consumers can use every watt of energy generated by their solar panels for themselves, rather than having to buy it back from the National Grid at a higher price later.

Read the full 4eco profile here.   

Cambridge Intelligence

‘Big Data’ is all the rage these days, but you’d be forgiven for wondering exactly what the oft-repeated term actually means. Cambridge Intelligence is here to help you and others truly understand and appreciate the power large amounts of interconnected digital information can hold; Dr Joe Parry’s technology uniquely finds and analyses connections in large data sets, presenting the information in an easy-to-understand visual format. The start-up, who already has customers across six continents and staff on either side of the Atlantic, has huge potential indeed.

Read the full Cambridge Intelligence profile here.

Captive Media

Although the idea for urinal-controlled videogames initially raised laughter amongst investors on Dragons’ Den, it’s clear this start-up is having the last laugh as its popularity begins to snowball. Advertisers and brands have been catching on to the fact they can have a consumer’s totally undivided attention when they are occupied in the men’s room, and Captive Media can now count Lynx, Captain Morgan, Beats by Dre, and other huge global brands as clients as it continues its impressive growth.

Read the full Captive Media profile here.

The Judges

Founder of Jojo Maman Bebe Laura Tenison MBE knows all about building an innovative business, having built the UK’s first fashion-focused maternity clothing brand in the early ‘90s. The Supper Club owner, Duncan Cheatle, will also lend his expertise, alongside a panel of business leaders, entrepreneurs and journalists.

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