An exclusive behind the scenes look at the Startups Awards 2018 judging day

We took the chance to speak to our judges, including Lord Young and Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts, about our 77 impressive finalists and the robust health of UK enterprise

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Our esteemed Startups Awards judges came together in October to take on the mammoth task of deciding the winners of our 16 categories. And we’ve got a exclusive backstage look at what happened…

We took the chance to chat to some of the judges and get their invaluable insights on what impressed them about our 77 amazing finalists and what they love about being a judge.

Now in its 15th year, the Startups Awards – supported by headline sponsor The Start Up Loans Company – is the longest-running UK awards of its kind and celebrates incredible early-stage businesses launched in the last four years with the potential to become established brands.

Given the calibre of the finalists, competition was fierce: financials were scrutinised, growth plans examined, and successes celebrated.

But, after hours of deliberation, winners were chosen for categories such as Export Business of the Year, the Women in Business Award (sponsored by AXA Business Insurance), and brand new categories like Side Hustle of the Year.

The 2018 judging panel was as star-studded as ever with the likes of Mumsnet’s Justine Roberts, The Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham CH, and co-founder of innocent drinks and JamJar Investments Jon Wright.

Here’s just some of what they had to say about the finalists:

Roberts: “Incredibly vibrant, incredibly diverse, and incredibly committed.”

Oracle NetSuite senior director David Turner: “People are finding niches in areas that you wouldn’t think they could and coming up with great innovations that you wouldn’t expect.”

Lord Young: “What has really impressed me is the sheer scale of innovation that is coming out of small firms.”

The Startups Awards 2018 winners will be announced during a prestigious awards ceremony at the Royal Garden Hotel on Wednesday 21 November hosted by StartUp Britain co-founder Oli Barrett MBE.

There’s still plenty of time to vote for the Startups Awards finalist that gets your vote for People’s Champion.

View the shortlist and cast your vote here, voting closes at midnight on Sunday 11 November 2018. 

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