Product Business of the Year 2014: Could it be you?

Find out if your product start-up has got what it takes to impress industry experts and win this esteemed Startups Awards category…

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Megan Dunsby

Why have we got a Product Business of the Year category?

The UK’s start-up scene may appear to be increasingly dominated by tech and service-focused companies but there’s still a huge market for product businesses. Last month early-stage furniture brand Swoon Editions raised £4m Series A funding, Kate Middleton’s brother James has just secured over $1m for his personalised marshmallow business Boomf, and ‘cool’ parenting device Bleep Bleeps recently secured $90,000 in crowdfunding – all signs which point to a thriving marketplace for new products.

With the annual Product Business of the Year category, we look to celebrate the country’s creative minds and budding innovators who have successfully produced an exciting and tangible product, and identify the product start-up set to become the ‘next big thing’.

2011 winner The Cambridge Satchel Company offers a demonstration of an excellent Product Business of the Year. Having impressed the judges with its “phenomenal growth” and international expansion, the satchel start-up has since permeated the fashion world; beloved by high-profile celebrities and fashion bloggers alike, secured a major TV advert with Google, and in January 2014 secured a $12.7m cash injection.

Unlike The Cambridge Satchel Company, your business doesn’t necessarily have to manufacture the product – it’s the idea the counts -and we’re looking to gather entries from a range of industries; food, cosmetics, gadgets, furniture, clothing, toys, you name it.

What are we looking for in a great product business?

With a leading panel which includes talented product entrepreneur Laura Tenison of JoJo Maman Bébé; the Startups Awards judges are looking for a product business that stands out from the crowd and boasts excellent growth potential. Revenue growth, profitability and major client wins will all be taken into consideration.

Businesses must be independently owned, have started trading no earlier than 1 August 2011 and no later than 31 July 2014, and be UK-founded and UK-based.

Why you should enter your business for Product Business of the Year

Now in its 11th year, the Startups Awards has gained a reputation for its unrivalled track record of unearthing the UK’s finest entrepreneurial businesses. Winning the Product Business of the Year not only gives your product validation and endorsement by industry experts but also serves as a great PR opportunity with national and local press coverage.

Alongside The Cambridge Satchel Company, you would also have the opportunity to emulate other great British product businesses such as Tinc, a specialist in the sale of own-branded ‘funky’ stationery and gifts, and interactive teddy bear company iTeddy, as previous winners of the Product Business of the Year award.

Winners and finalists will also be provided with a logo to use on marketing literature and letterheads, and a template press release to maximise media coverage. Video interviews of all winners will also be displayed on the Startups Awards website.

In addition, the Startups Awards provides a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs therefore helping to drive awareness about your brilliant product business.

What our sponsors say

Simply Business – “The products […] entered to the Startups Awards each year give us enormous pride in our sponsorship, and enthusiasm for the years to come.

“There is simply no better celebration of business achievement in the UK right now than these awards and we’re more proud than ever to be a part of it.”

Companies can enter as many relevant categories as they like for a one-off fixed fee – you don’t need to fill the form in separately for each category but you will need to provide tailored answers.

We want to hear from you if you think your product business is the most innovative product start-up around right now – enter today.

Megan Dunsby

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