- 15 finalists narrowed down to 8 for inaugural Growth Champion of the Year award, supported by Smith & Williamson
- Eight Growth Champions to face off in a public vote to determine the overall winner
- Check out growthinvestorawards.com/shortlist for details of finalists in all award categories
Eight Growth Champions have been selected to go through to a public vote to decide which company will be announced as the 2016 Growth Champion of the Year, supported by Smith & Williamson. Chosen from an initial shortlist of fifteen, the award recognises top performing SMEs that have best optimised EIS, SEIS or VCT funding to scale up their businesses, with the judges considering a range of growth metrics including revenues, job creation, and regional / international expansion before narrowing the field down to the final eight.
The final eight Growth Champions who go through to the public vote are:
- Darwin & Wallace
- Eve sleep
- GO Outdoors
- Outplay Entertainment
Between them these eight companies have received over £120 million of venture capital, with an average investment of just under £17.5 million. Together, the companies employ over 2,800 people and are expected to turn over in excess of £310 million this year. Half of them are expanding overseas, three of them are located outside London, and the sectors they work in range from Food & Drink, to Media, Technology and general business enterprises.
A publicity campaign will now commence. Video interviews with senior representatives of each of the companies will be promoted on social media to allow members of the public to cast their votes before the winner is announced at the Growth Investor Awards Black Tie dinner to be held on 3 November at the Marriott Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London.
The Awards are organised by Intelligent Partnership (IP), the UK’s leading provider of research and education in alternative investments, and supported by partners including the BVCA, EISA, UKCFA, The Centre for Entrepreneurs, The Entrepreneur Network and The Supper Club.
Guy Rigby, Head of Entrepreneurial Services at Smith & Williamson – sponsor of Growth Champion of the Year – commented: “We were delighted with the entries for this Award, which show that Entrepreneur Britain is truly alive and kicking. Whilst many of the entrants deserved recognition, our eight finalists have shown extraordinary resilience and growth. These companies are inspirational role models and they are all worthy winners.”
The awards programme is guided by an Advisory Board including angel investor and entrepreneur Sherry Coutu CBE, Co-founder of the Scale Up Institute; Luke Johnson, Chairman of Risk Capital Partners; Claire Cockerton, Founder and Ambassador of Innovate Finance; Tim Hames, Director General of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA); Emma Jones MBE, CEO of Enterprise Nation; Simon Devonshire OBE, Entrepreneur in Residence at BEIS; and Michael Hayman MBE, Co-founder of Seven Hills.
Commenting on the importance of recognising the impact of SMEs through the Growth Investor Awards, Luke Johnson said: “I’m supporting the Growth Investor Awards because I think that recognising talent and effort and those who go the extra mile to build new businesses and back new businesses, matters. I believe that they have a disproportionate impact on the economy. It isn’t easy starting a business, it isn’t easy risking your capital in an early stage company and I applaud those who have the boldness to do it.”
Commenting on the need to focus on supporting businesses that are scaling up, Simon Devonshire OBE said: “Starting a business here is relatively easy, it’s scaling up that’s actually quite difficult, and so the more we can do to help businesses who aspire to scale, to showcase those who are doing it successfully and to really celebrate their success, the better.”
Commenting on the vital role scale up companies play in our economy, Sherry Coutou CBE said: “Competitive advantage doesn’t go to the nations that focus on creating companies; it goes to the nations that focus on scaling them.”
Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership, which organises the Growth Investor Awards, commented: “We had over 30 entries for this particular award, which we then shortlisted to 15 Growth Champions and now only 8 finalists have been selected to go forward to the final stage of judging and a public vote. This is the only award where the winner will be determined by a dedicated judging panel in combination with a public vote, and we think this award reflects what the Growth Investor Awards is all about – recognising impact beyond investment.”
The 2016 campaign for the Growth Investor Awards is supported by a family of sponsors including Smith & Williamson, Bovill, Bates Wells Braithwaite, LGBR Capital, Mainspring, RAM Capital Partners, MICAP, and RW Blears.
Winners will be revealed at the Growth Investor Awards Black Tie dinner held on the evening of Thursday 3 November at the Marriott Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, London. Visit www.growthinvestorawards.com/shortlist for a full list of all finalists and information on how to attend the event.