The awards for the South West form part of the UK-wide StartUp Awards National Series
The inaugural awards, part of the StartUp Awards National Series, recognise excellence in nascent entrepreneurship across nine UK nations and regions of the UK - supported nationally by BT, EY Breakthrough Incentives, Clearco, Dell Technologies & Intel, Moblox, Fearless Adventures and with regional support from the Moja Group.
The final was held at the Propyard in Bristol and saw 20 different awards given out to new businesses in categories such as Digital StartUp of the Year, Green StartUp of the Year and the Online StartUp of the Year.
The awards were judged by a panel of prominent judges, including successful entrepreneurs such as Jon Simon, co-founder and chief executive of PieMinister, Ellie Webb, Founder & CEO of Caleño, and Tom Ball, founder of DeskLodge.
The StartUp of the Year for the South West was won by Biome Algae, which is operating seaweed farms in the UK and has quickly become an industry leader by working with customers to solve important societal and environmental issues through seaweed use.
Biome Algae has successfully farmed 100 tonnes of seaweed this season, securing revenues through the application of its innovative and unique farm model. Over the next three years, it aims to scale up its operations to produce 6,000 tonnes of seaweed and open a revolutionary processing and biorefining facility.
Originally formed as the Wales StartUp Awards in 2016, the Awards Series has joined forces with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to take the celebration of newly formed businesses nationwide.
Creator of the awards, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, said the inaugural event not only celebrated the best new firms in the South West of England but recognised the amazing entrepreneurial talent across the nation.
He added: “We have had an amazing reception across the UK over the last few weeks. The first year of the StartUp Awards National Series has demonstrated that we have incredible entrepreneurs in every sector and part of the nation that are making a real difference and are amazing role models for others to follow in their footsteps.
“The South West is quickly gaining a reputation for being an excellent place to start and grow a business, especially in knowledge-based industries, and, as all the finalists have shown this year, entrepreneurs are having a major impact across the region in developing new ideas, products and services.
“A huge congratulations to everyone who won last night and especially to Angela Mead and her business Biome Algae in becoming the South West StartUp of the Year. This is a venture that has enormous potential in not only creating jobs and prosperity in the South West, but in moving the compass on sustainability in a revolutionary way.”
Chris Sims, managing director for BT’s small office, home office (SoHo) Unit, said: “I continue to be in awe of the UK start-up community. It’s a thriving sector with so much energy and creativity and that was certainly reflected in the quality of the award entries.
“At BT we are constantly developing new products and services to support start-ups and small businesses so we can help them to be their best and succeed. We recognise the value of small firms and how they make a vital contribution to our economy, so I’m delighted that BT is a sponsor for these awards which recognise the fantastic achievements of those in this sector.”
Full list of winners
South West England StartUp of the Year
Bristol StartUp of the Year
Business-to-Business Services StartUp of the Year
Consumer Services StartUp of the Year
Construction and Building Services StartUp of the Year
Creative StartUp of the Year
Digital StartUp of the Year
Food and Drink StartUp of the Year
Global StartUp of the Year
Graduate StartUp of the Year
Green StartUp of the Year
Innovative StartUp of the Year
Manufacturing and Engineering StartUp of the Year
Mobile and Emerging Technologies StartUp of the Year
Online Retail StartUp of the Year
Professional Services StartUp of the Year
Rural StartUp of the Year
Social Enterprise StartUp of the Year
Tourism and Leisure StartUp of the Year
Young Entrepreneur of the Year