The Wales StartUp Awards 2022 were held at the Depot in Cardiff
The best start-up firms in Wales have been revealed.
The Wales StartUp Awards celebrate the contribution that new firms make to job creation, creativity and innovation across the Welsh economy.
Running since 2016, this year’s awards were held at the Depot in Cardiff and saw 26 different award categories.
The overall 2022 StartUp of the Year for Wales (full list of winners below) is Drop Bear Beer, the specialist brewer of alcohol-free craft beers.
Established in 2019 by Joelle Drummond and Sarah McNena, the B-Corp business has attracted over £2m of investment to build the UK’s largest alcohol-free brewery. As a result, it is projecting revenue of £13m over the next three years from sales in the UK and internationally.
Swansea-based Drop Bear is the world’s first female and LGBTQIA+ founded alcohol-free brewery. The business has been instrumental in challenging stereotypes and bringing more diversity to a traditional industry.
Read More: Drop Bear Beer confirms new brewery site
Creator of the awards, Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, said the event not only celebrated the best new firms in Wales, but recognised the amazing entrepreneurial talent that continues to thrive in every part of the country.
He added: “I am proud that the awards, which began here in Wales seven years ago, have grown to cover every nation and region of the UK through the StartUp Awards National Series. Having already visited Glasgow, Newcastle, Belfast, Birmingham, Reading and Bristol, it was brilliant to be back in the Depot in Cardiff where it all began.
“We all know the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy and, here in Wales, it is becoming even more critical to not only encourage more people to start a business but to create an ecosystem that helps those fledgling businesses achieve their potential. This year’s Wales StartUp Awards have demonstrated, yet again, the real entrepreneurial talent we have in every sector of the economy and as we look to recover from the Covid pandemic, they must be supported to grow and prosper.
“A huge congratulations to everyone who won last night and especially to Joelle, Sarah and their business Drop Bear Beer in winning three awards and also becoming the 2022 Wales StartUp of the Year. Having won the young entrepreneur category back in 2019 when they were just starting their new venture, it has been exciting to follow their journey from an idea to a business that is going to have a radical impact on their industry over the next few years.”
Alex Murphy, Admiral’s marketing director and StartUp Awards Judge said: “The innovative and energetic soul of startups is something that resonates very strongly with us at Admiral, as that same spirit has always been at our core.
“We’re transitioning our business towards Admiral 2.0, built for a digital-first world, so seeing the quality of the nominees in the Digital StartUp category was particularly exciting. It was a pleasure and inspiration to be a judge for the awards and see so many great startups, and perhaps one or two future Welsh FTSE 100 firms.”
This year the awards have joined with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to form part of the StartUp Awards National Series, which was established this year to highlight the success of startups across nine UK nations and regions and to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy.
Full list of winners
Wales StartUp of the Year
Business-to-Business Services StartUp of the Year
Cardiff 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
Fintech 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
High Street StartUp of the Year
Innovative StartUp of the Year
Medtech StartUp of the Year
Mobile and Emerging Technologies StartUp of the Year
Online Retail StartUp of the Year
North Wales StartUp of the Year
Professional Services StartUp of the Year
Rural StartUp of the Year
Social Enterprise StartUp of the Year
Swansea Bay StartUp of the Year
Duke of Edinburgh StartUp of the Year
Valleys StartUp of the Year
Young Entrepreneur of the Year
The awards have this year now joined forces with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards to form part of the StartUp Awards National Series, which was established this year to highlight the success of startups across nine UK nations and regions and to celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs in all sectors of the economy.