By Daniel Hunter
A cyber-security company and a free fashion search engine and app provider are two companies pushing the boundaries of technological innovation in the UK.
The winners of the Innovate UK 2013 Peer Awards, PixelPin and Snap Fashion, received the most votes from other participants at Innovate UK, the leading multisector business and networking event organised by the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).
The show gives SMEs and entrepreneurs a platform to showcase the pioneering developments in innovation and technology taking place across in the UK today.
PixelPin, winner in the Most Innovative Product category, was recognised for its developments in the cyber security sector. The founders, Brian Taylor and Geoff Anderson, had long established careers working in security with defence companies before developing the PixelPin patented approach to online authentication - using personal pictures to replace passwords.
Launched in 2012, PixelPin was nominated as one of the most innovative mobile start-ups by UKTI and SMART UK in January 2013.
Upon accepting the award Geoff Anderson, co-founder of PixelPin commented: “This award is very special for us as we’ve been nominated by our peers and fellow innovators. The aim of the product is to bring security to everyone and we feel this award recognises our efforts to ensure our users are protecting themselves from the ever increasing risks in the digital world.”
Also recognised by its peers, Snap Fashion was awarded Most Innovative Process. Invented and developed by 25-year old computer science graduate, Jenny Griffiths, Snap Fashion was borne out of her own sartorial frustrations. The process is a simple one: take out a smartphone, launch the free Snap Fashion application, select the product type that you want to search, and then snap it. The item is then searched for on Snap Fashion’s extensive list of affiliates via cut, colour, and style, and the results are delivered straight back to you within seconds.
Jennifer Griffiths, founder of Snap Fashion said: “This award comes as a real surprise as we were in a room surrounded by astounding innovations being showcased by not only small start-ups like ourselves but also by some well-known brands. We are really thrilled to have been chosen for this award by our own peers.”
The awards culminated in an informal ceremony last night at The Business Design Centre and was hosted by Dale Murray, Non-Executive Board Member of the British Government's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and UK Trade & Investment.
During the awards she commented: “In receiving these awards the young start-ups have not only received the seal of approval from like-minded innovators, but it gives also gives them a vote of confidence. I hope it brings them great success and I look forward to seeing how they progress over the next few years. They should feel proud of being nominated, especially when the room was full of fantastic innovations.”
Innovate UK, a three-day event taking place this week, from 11th-13th March, showcases transformational companies looking to accelerate their growth through innovation, international trade and investment. With the aim of driving economic growth by stimulating business-led innovation and opening up international trade, the event and the awards offer industry innovators throughout the UK a unique opportunity to demonstrate their innovation and imagination as they tackle their own local, economic and social challenges as well as secure opportunities for growth.
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