Winners of the Lloyds and Bank of Scotland Enterprise Awards announced at the Grand Final. The awards were open to entrepreneurs who were currently studying at university in Britain or who graduated within the past five years and have been trading for more than one year.
School resource booking system creator Room Booking System was named Best Enterprise at the Enterprise Awards in Edgbaston last night after seeing off stiff competition from the other winners of the five regional heats held across England, Wales and Scotland earlier this year.
The Glasgow-based software company, won Best Enterprise title and takes home £50,000. Amongst the other winners wereHalifax-based dry pet food manufacturer, Pure Pet Food, scooped the £10,000 prize for Best Start-up and Preston-based international student applications system creator, Centurus, was named Best Digital business and awarded over £10,000 of support in digital expertise.
The judges were impressed with Room Booking Systems Ltd’s use of technology to streamline the process of booking resources within schools, universities and multi-national companies.
The company was awarded a £50,000 cash investment, a two year mentoring package from senior Lloyds Banking Group representatives, and free legal advice from law firm, LawNet. This is in addition to the £5,000 Room Booking System scooped for winning its regional heat.
The second category of the night, Best Start-up, went to dry pet food manufacturer, Pure Pet Food, which was judged to be the best business in its early stages. The panel of five judges chose the firm due to its dedication to manufacturing the highest quality produce and thorough understanding of the marketplace.
The final award was for the newly introduced Best Digital category, which recognises a business that has demonstrated the value of digital to the business bottom line and customer experience. The overall prize went to international student applications system creator, Centurus. The business was recognised because of the remarkable progress made in a short period of time, with its technology now being used in over 1,000 universities, colleges and international agencies.
Having already competed at the regional heats, each of the 15 finalists had to demonstrate their business credentials through a robust pitch process which included being questioned on their business strategy and approach by the panel of judges, which comprised of Stephen Pegge, director, group external relations, Lloyds Banking Group; Tim Campbell, Apprentice winner and founder of Bright Ideas Trust; James Quinn, executive business editor at the Telegraph; Tristan Wilkinson, acting CEO of Go ON UK and Lucy Armstrong, chief executive of The Alchemists.
Marcus Fields, co-founder of Room Booking System, said: “[he] was absolutely over the moon. I genuinely didn’t expect to win this award. The £50,000 will be useful in taking the business to the next step, and grow the company abroad and grow it around the world.”
Daniel Valdur Eha, joint founder of Pure Pet Food, said: “It feels fantastic to have been crowned the overall Best Start-up winner. The £10,000 of funding we have won will be great for accelerating our customer acquisition programme.
And Dawood Fard, founder of Centurus, said: “Having access to an expert digital adviser is going to be great for the future development of our system.”
Between dinner courses judge Tim Campbell MBE, gave a speech to the audience reflecting on the breadth and calibre of the talent in the room.
He said: “Being a judge on the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards has been a real privilege. All of the finalists are incredible role models for their peers.”
Adding to this, Jen Tippin, managing director, retail business banking, Lloyds Banking Group said: “These awards provide us with a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of this country’s students and graduates.”
“However, Room Booking System, Pure Pet Food and Centurus really impressed with their professionalism, determination and successes when it came to achieving their goals.”
The Manufacturer’s award gala takes place in November where we highlight and celebrate some of the UK’s greatest from, the diverse range of manufacturers.
The ceremony will be held at The ICC, Birmingham, on the evening of Thursday 27 November 2014 and is set to be another sell out event. – See more at: Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner 2014