Startups Awards 2015: Judges’ advice

What makes a successful business? Cath Kidston, Dragons' Den's Touker Suleyman and Innocent Drinks co-founder Jon Wright reveal all

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On 28 October 2015, at the offices of Coutts, our Startups Awards judging panel met to debate which of our start-up finalists would be walking way with awards.


We asked a few of the 24 judges in attendance – including Jon Wright (Innocent Drinks), Divinia Knowles (Pact Coffee, Mind Candy), Touker Suleyman and Cath Kidston – to use their experience to provide some bitesize advice to others on how to build a successful business.

Watch the video below to find out what the judges had to say…

Sponsors include Simply Business, Nominet, haysmacintyre, Big Red Cloud, MadeSimple Group, Experian and RBS.

In addition, we asked a few of our judges what the key challenges facing start-ups were. Here's what they said:

Simon Devonshire, co-founder, Wayra
Key challenges for start-up success and for them to scale broadly fall into three categories: access to talent, access to finance and funding, and – I think the biggest challenge – access to customers.

Will Gibbs, Associate VC, Octopus Investments
Whilst we’re seeing some really exciting businesses, they often face very similar challenges: number one is hiring the best people. Not just good people, but the best Head of Product, the best Head of Sales across Europe.

Chris Slater, COO, Simply Business
The biggest challenge facing start-ups in the UK remains the legislation and red tape they need to get through. This is a call out to governments to make it easier for start-ups to get their businesses going and scale!

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