Innovative Business Awards 2016
The Top 50 Innovative Companies in the UK
In an era where the market is increasingly saturated and everything already seems to exist, there is still a chance of becoming an innovator. Since the future is unpredictable and full of surprises, a standstill in the market is not likely yet.
Every year, many innovative businesses prove that thinking outside the box is a realistic and feasible goal. To give credit to 50 companies that have turned groundbreaking ideas into success, Market Inspector has created the most extended Innovative Business Awards of 2016. After careful selection, we have concluded that the awarded businesses perfectly illustrate what we consider cutting-edge visions. In addition, these companies prove that reinventing a familiar concept can revolutionise an entire industry.
Slow yet effective, the innovation process will be a part of our daily lives so long as forward-thinking entrepreneurs continue providing smart solutions to help solve everyday problems. So now let’s focus on innovative businesses that have come out with brand new products or services, made solely in the UK.
Made is an online design brand selling designer furniture and homewares at affordable prices. Their mission is fairly simple: “to bring high-end design lifestyle to everyone”. They take pride in design, innovation as well as challenging the status quo, everyday. Made’s strategy is to implement a direct channel service in their supply chain without compromising their high quality standards. This allows Made to drop the prices of their finished products by 70%, which results in the best price-quality ratio on the market.
Property Partner harnesses the power of crowdfunding to allow anyone to invest in, and trade, residential property by building a global stock market for real estate. Their platform allows people to instantly buy shares in tenanted properties with no need to handle the purchase, mortgage, legal or maintenance fees. Investors receive their share of the rental income as a dividend, and receive capital returns if/when they sell. The minimum investment is £50, making it easy for investors to diversify by buying stakes in multiple properties across multiple locations.
Onfido delivers next-generation identity verification and background checks, helping businesses across the world verify anyone, anywhere. Powered by machine-learning technology, Onfido is a fast and simple way for businesses to verify identities — to ensure that someone is who they say they are — and run adverse history searches such as Criminal or Driving Checks. Built for an online world, Onfido’s solution enables businesses across many sectors to run checks both remotely and at scale. Their mission? Be the solution for robust remote verification – at scale. Their vision? Build the trust engine to power human interactions worldwide.
Blaze designs simple and intelligent products for bikes to ensure safe and happy cycling. They confront cycling communities and experts’ ideas to generate new technological opportunities. The aim is to create radical innovations, such as their Burner or the Laserlight, that can save cyclists' lives. Blaze’s vision is to build the global urban cycling brand and to use technology to solve the problems of those getting across the city on 2 wheels. Their products are shipped to 65+ countries worldwide and they have recently won a contract to integrate their technology into all of the Santander Cycles in London.
Seedrs allows all types of investors to invest as little or as much as they like (from £10) in businesses they believe in. It allows ambitious businesses in all sectors to raise capital and build community through an efficient, online process. Seedrs works hard to change the pre-conception that equity crowdfunding is a niche space by letting everyone become an investor. Being future-orientated, Seedrs always looks at where innovation could go. Their mission is to make people see early-stage businesses as an important and potentially lucrative part of any investor’s portfolio.
Onefinestay is pioneering handmade hospitality by offering guests the chance to stay in the finest homes, in the world’s greatest cities, while the owners are out of town. The selection of homes ─ each of which has been seen by Onefinestay’s team in their search for space, character and comfort ─ ranges from playful townhouses to curious brownstones. They’re attentively tended to, with a face to meet you, sheets, towels and toiletries taken care of, 24/7 guest services, , and an iPhone for local calls and data. The ever-growing portfolio of welcoming homes currently spans London, New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Rome.
Evrythng is an Internet Of Things software company that helps manufacturers digitize their physical products to make them more intelligent, more interactive and more valuable to consumers and brands. Now any product can be ‘Born Digital’, with an Evrythng software identity on the Web. It can use real-time IoT data to power personalized mobile experiences and digital support services for consumers, and more efficient supply chains for brands. Companies can turn products into an owned digital media channel to connect directly with consumers and track products through the supply chain.
Lost My Name is a marvellously unusual startup that plays in the intersection between storytelling and technology. Their mission is to give every grownup creative superpowers to make magical and meaningful connections with a child. They have created both the best-selling and the most technologically advanced personalised picture books in the world. Lost My Name has continuously challenged publishing industry norms and achieved eye-popping success with its first title ‘The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name’. As the company continues to grow at beanstalk speed, there is a Smörgåsbord of new projects bubbling inside its lively London studio.
By re-engineering an evergreen product, Tegology has recently introduced Tegstove, the portable camping gas stove. Involving detailed design, prototyping, testing and costings, the ‘like no other’ Tegstove is supported by proven theory and practice. Tegstove’s main advantage is that it uses cheap Butane gas to achieve the most efficient balance of flame, heat, and charging capacity of any mobile device, regardless of the ambient temperatures in which the stove is being used. Tegology’s vision is to appeal to a wide range of users across activities such as camping, fishing, sailing, walking and day trips.
JustPark is Europe's leading provider of pre-bookable parking - giving 1 million drivers access to over 200,000 parking spaces at car parks, hotels and even private driveways via a website and app.
Parking is a broken industry which hasn't changed for decades. It drains wallets, wastes time and causes unnecessary stress. JustPark is reinventing parking for the digital age by creating a painless driver experience. Their vision is to create a comprehensive network of parking options which drivers can tap into in advance or on-the-go. JustPark aims to revolutionise the way people park - making the process far more efficient and helping our cities function better.
One part design studio, one part research lab, Vinaya is a London-based startup designing cutting edge wearable technology products. Vinaya’s mission is to better understand the relationship between humans and technology and improve connection to self. With a keen eye for design, and a focus on mental health and wellbeing, they empower people to elevate their human potential using cutting edge technology. Vinaya successfully launched their first product Altruis connected designer jewellery to help people be more present and improve their relationship with their smartphone. The coming Zenta collection is the world's first wearable technology combining mind and body metrics for emotional wellbeing.
Kino-mo developed the technology that allows 3D videos and images to appear floating in the air and perceived by viewers as holograms. The company’s state-of-the-art software combines all devices into manageable networks and allows you to change the holograms remotely and on demand. They are creating smart networks for the new 3D holographic billboards being deployed in public locations worldwide. New hi-tech and cost-effective advertising technology for outdoor advertising is long overdue and the established market of digital displays needs other solutions to match its growth. Simplicity in installation and content creation makes Kino-mo the technology that can lead to a new era of public displays.
Pavegen is a groundbreaking company that provides a new flooring system concept, striving to become a permanent and widespread floor solution for smart cities worldwide. Combining floor, data and energy, Pavegen’s technology generates electricity from footsteps. The electromagnetic induction occurs as pedestrians walk across the Pavegen system. With this unprecedented innovation, Pavegen is operating in every continent and implementing their technology in train stations, shopping centres, airports and public spaces. Their goal is to promote a new renewable and environmentally friendly way of producing energy on a large scale.
Jukedeck is a London startup developing an artificially-intelligent music composer - a system that writes original music completely on its own. In December 2015 Jukedeck launched their first product, Jukedeck MAKE, a site that enables video creators to create unique, royalty-free music, powered by AI. Users come to the site, choose a style of music and other settings (such as mood, speed and exact duration). Based upon the user’s specifications, Jukedeck composes a new piece of music, note-by-note, in a matter of seconds. Lots more features are coming soon to make it even easier to get the perfect soundtrack.
FreeAgent is designed to simplify accounting for freelancers and small businesses owners with an easy-to-use online accounting software. The service comes with a dashboard view of the overall business performance, including invoicing, estimates, expenses, taxes and much more. FreeAgent uses different financial panels providing detailed information concerning the company’s transactions. These simple accounting management features have guaranteed FreeAgent thousands of trusted businesses.
Qubit provides multichannel companies new ways to improve customer relationship management or simply deepen their trends in consumer’ behaviour. They operate with data analysis and use information related to segmentation, A/B testing and web personalisation with the Visitor Cloud. Qubit collects information on different scales, from great parameters to targeted market segments, allowing marketers to develop new customised ideas and to meet demands on a real-time basis. The aim of Qubit is to join quantitative and qualitative data in order to target people with pinpoint accuracy.
Open Bionics came out of The Open Hand Project with the aim of developing 3D robotic prosthetic hands at a low price. High-functioning prosthesis is only affordable for very few people. Therefore, Open Bionics created bio-electronic limbs that cost at least 90% less. The recent growth of 3D printing technology has contributed to this accomplishment, changing the prosthesis market and its prices. The objective of Open Bionics is to push the boundaries of robotic medical technology whilst being price conscious.
At Graze they prepare sweet and salted snacks with healthy and light ingredients. You can create your own snack on their website and once the request is sent, they deliver the box to the address provided within 48 hours. With the option to pick from over 100 natural ingredients and tasty combinations, the company has quickly experienced growth. From “snacks by mail” to stores, Graze has recently launched a new range of snacks that may be found in Britain’s largest supermarkets.
CityFibre is a unique British wholesale provider of pure-fibre networks for local authorities, mobile operators and communication providers. They are the company behind the project Gigabit Cities, aiming to create an accessible digital infrastructure for towns, businesses and homes. CityFibre connects 37 cities to major data-centres across the UK. Besides their gigabit speed dark fibre, their portfolio presents a wide range of products suitable for service integrators, enterprise and consumer service providers and mobile operators.
Appear [here] offers the best bargaining for property owners and temporary retailers, making vacant spaces bookable as hotel rooms. Their mission is to let people unlock their great ideas and promote their creativity. Their vision is to build a global network of untapped spaces for people willing to show their potential. Appear [here]’s innovative concept goes hand in hand with the constant development of the retail channel. As a result, both short-terms tenants and landlords get benefits simply from by exploiting an empty space in the right place.
Deliveroo operates a food delivery service from restaurants to customers. In just 3 years the company has quickly expanded and is now active in more than 10 countries all over the world. Deliveroo works with a wide selection of local restaurants and allows consumers to easily order food from their desk. Once they complete their order, the meal is delivered to the designated address in an average of 32 minutes. Their mission is basically to help both clients, by meeting their food needs, and also restaurants, by expanding their customer base outside of the restaurant.
DueDil is one of the largest company information sources in Europe. It combines comprehensive sources of data to uncover business opportunities and understand risks, helping users make data-informed decisions. DueDil takes live data from a wide range of authoritative sources, combines it and presents it clearly. On top of this foundation is an intuitive set of features that allow users to search for, segment, benchmark, monitor and export company information. As a result, over 175,000 businesses use DueDil to find information about the companies they deal with and the people who run them.
Bizzby offers an on-demand door-to-door service. They operate with handymen, beauticians, electricians, gardeners, personal trainers and many other professionals. Customers need to fill in the contact form on their website by simply saying what service they need and where. A professional is sent to the door in 60 minutes. As their motto says, Bizzby truly provides “any service, anywhere”.
Flypay allows customers to handle the bill at their table with no need for a waiter or waitress, transforming the payment experience in the restaurant. Consumers are able to speed up and manage their own dining experience. They can check, split and pay at their table with total autonomy. In addition, Flypay enables consumers to order at the table, increasing efficiency and up-selling within the restaurant. Their vision is to facilitate the payment process and regulate bills in less than 60 seconds.
At Luma, they realise new technological ideas for all kinds of events. They provide digital experiences including 'plug and play' products for brand activations, retail installations, festivals, international exhibitions and conferences. Luma develops customised software for every event, from simple one day activations to world-wide tours. The company is constantly growing and has partners in several countries. Their aim is to make people enjoy state-of-the-art technology and digital experiences.
Heat Genius has developed an app and a smart system that allows people to remotely control the heating of their house from their mobile device. It also enables tenants to only heat the rooms that are being used or that they are willing to heat up. Heat Genius allows you to set up heating schedules, create heating zones and discover how much heating is used. This innovative concept ensures a drop in household energy consumption and significant money savings.
Digital Shadows provides cyber situational awareness to help individuals, companies and institutions prevent cyber attacks, loss of intellectual property, and loss of brand and reputational integrity. Their platform operates with intelligent security systems and offers exact data analysis. Digital Shadows i identifies and detects potential threats so that there are limited cyber incidents. Their mission is to develop an extended coverage and tailored intelligence to mitigate cyber-related risks.
Farmdrop quickly delivers fresh food from local producers to final consumers through their online platform and aboard zero emission electric vans. With this principle, people receive the freshest food, delivered the same day it is picked from the field. Farmers increase their revenue by 70-75%, getting a better deal than what supermarkets bid. Farmdrop’s objective is to “to fix the food chain” in order to make the world healthier and provide “sustainable values at heart”. By breaking the constraints between farmers and retailers, Farmdrop’s click-to-harvest model is the best compromise for producers and the environment.
Shoot It Yourself turns wedding guests into filmmakers, without the need to hire third parties. They simply deliver video cameras and the deed is done: the bride and groom’s family and friends do the rest. After the wedding, a courier is in charge of collecting the cameras and then Shoot It Yourself staff takes care of post production. The final outcome can be either a funny or professional video of the wedding, according to the customers’ preferences.
UM! Brands has created well-designed and damage-free removable adhesives. They offer a wide range or products, from wall hooks and hangers to reusable adhesives, and portable whiteboards. UM! Brands applies a new patent-pending material which is made out of nano-suction technology rather than glue and tape. This makes it possible to reuse the products without damaging any surface. UM! Brands’ goal is to bring convenience and portability to home improvement hardware.
Reviveaphone has invented a smart system for water damaged phones. When a phone is accidentally dropped in water, it is corroded and oxidised, which is what shuts down the whole device. Reviveaphone has developed solutions for cleaning the phone from all the impurities and as a result makes it work again. They provide a door-to-door instant repair service but they have also launched a repair kit for water damaged phones. Their mission is to offer hassle free mobile solutions.
Funding Circle is a capitalised online marketplace lending platforms to the world. Their focus on small businesses enables new entrepreneurs to borrow money directly from a wide range of investors, including organisations, the UK Government, local councils and universities. Funding Circle was created with the idea of implementing global progress in the financial world, which should be “fair, simple and fast”. Thousands of loans later, they are still making businesses and investors growing their revenues.
At Pact, they love freshly roasted coffee and want to let people enjoy its raw and natural taste. So they use Direct Trade to source selected coffee beans. This means their so called “Head of Coffee” travels and tastes hundreds types of coffee in the process before updating their ever-changing menu. The direct trade concept means there is no need for middlemen. This allows the company to pay 25% of the profit to the farmers they get their fresh beans from. And since freshness matters, Pact coffees are ground, packed and delivered across the UK within 7 days of being roasted.
Enclothed is fashion business that guides men in the selection of their personal outfits. Enclothed provides an online platform offering a personal shopping service. According to style, preferences and size, an algorithm transforms this information into a profile. Professional stylists select and prepare tailored outfits, which are finally delivered to the designated address. During a 10 day trial period, it is possible to either keep the clothes or return them free of charge. Enclothed’s mission is to make the shopping experience simple and pleasant, even for men.
Bboxx is a pioneering company that designs, produces and supplies innovative solar systems to make solar energy more accessible in Africa and the developing world. Bboxx manages all the steps of its business operations, from manufacturing to distribution in 35 countries around the world. Their goal is to provide 20 million people with electricity by 2020, with a special focus on Africa and emerging countries. Their aim is to create hundreds of jobs for local employees and create a new type of retail market.
Entrepreneur First is an online platform that merges entrepreneurs and helps them build new businesses from scratch. This forward-thinking company invests in the top technical talents, by selecting the best individuals for their programmes in London and Singapore. By collaborating with the brightest techies in the world, they guide individuals in their entrepreneurial evolution and help them turn an idea into a business. The finished project is presented to the investors and then the entrepreneurs can finally start their journey as a new business.
Hassle.com is an online cleaning marketplace that matches busy working professionals with trusted home cleaners. Hassle.com gives access to the best local cleaners available, complete with ratings and reviews from their previous services. The booking and payment process are carried out online, without the need for contracts or fees. “Simple, reliable and hassle-free”, the mission of Hassle.com is to benefit customers with an accurate service but also cleaners, by managing their booking and paying them on time.
TranferWise allows you to send or transfer money with the current exchange rate. Their aim is to operate in total transparency unlike banks, that usually show low fees or no commission, but who add on extra charges when converting money. TransferWise applies low additional fees and immediately shows the conversion rate and the amount charged. TransferWise helps customers send money abroad at the lowest cost, striving to realise free cash flows.
Flavourly produces and delivers high-quality craft beer and gourmet food at an affordable price. They are a team of expert tasters working with small producers and micro-breweries all over the UK. Their mission is to let beer lovers taste unique brew flavours that are out of the ordinary and therefore not available in large-scale distribution. Flavourly’s philosophy is to focus on details and make this luxury convenient.
Intern Avenue is an online professional platform that connects hiring companies with students and graduates willing to take an internship. Their aim is to fill-in the contact gap between undergraduates and employers and connect them if conditions are fulfilled. The objective of Intern Avenue is to eliminate the time-consuming job posting, application, and research processes. Intern Avenue gives market visibility and offers the easiest and fastest possible way for businesses and future junior hires to connect online.
Blippar has developed an innovative way for people to connect with brands. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology and smart devices, they bring life to images and the physical world, providing a newfound digital experience. Blippar is geared to a new form of brand communication that goes through augmented reality and customers interaction. They enhance people’s curiosity towards brands and connects them with interactive objects through a brand-new method of Visual Marketing.
Bare Naked Food is focused on turning carbohydrates into healthy and low-calories food. They have transformed pasta, noodles and rice by eliminating carbs and by adding proteins. Among the benefits associated of Bare Naked Food products is that celiacs can taste “carb-looking” food without compromising their health. The protein intake makes no-carb food a nutritional meal, especially for athletes, that sponsor and give credit to the brand.
Neighbourly is an online community that connects charity projects with helpful people and companies. With the unique purpose of supporting good causes with altruism, they provide a platform where people can list their initiatives and receive the aid of others to help i develop it. Neighbourly promotes and gives visibility to organisations or individuals willing to organise donations or voluntary activities. They believe collaboration, common work and positive actions empower the creation of constructive and beneficial changes.
EnergyEgg strives to provide simple ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity bills. Using patented SitStill™ motion technology, the EnergyEgg detects people’s movement in a room and acts like a remote control, wirelessly switching appliances and lights on/off to suit their needs. They think saving energy shouldn't be a hassle or inconvenience. They recognise that everyone uses energy differently, and believe that these diverse needs can be met through simple, safe and easy to use products.
Open Utility is a young and ambitious technology company based in London aiming to “make the complex, simple”. Their goal is to give customers more choice and control over where they source their electricity. Therefore, they have developed the Piclo app, that provides data about electricity sources and consumption in an interactive interface. This can benefit both energy users, that get more value from their renewable generation assets, and electricity retailers, by letting them engage with customers in a decentralised marketplace.
Servicing Stop makes the process of car service hassle free, convenient and cost effective, by offering free collection and delivery for car repairs. The company provides door-to-door car service suppliers that use the latest equipment. Servicing Stop has 1500+ garages in their British network, where they carry out the car repairing service and provide 12 months warranty. They operate in order to spread quality and affordable car servicing nationwide.
Value My Stuff is an online valuation company that strives to make the art-identifying and valuing process as approachable and fast as possible. Behind the website, a community of experts bring their knowledge to everyone who needs to define the value of a specific object. Value My Stuff offers further services such as insuring, auctioning, shipping, storing, selling and exhibiting stuff. By simplifying the complex valuation process, Value My Stuff helps you save time. Value My Stuff's strategy is simple: make the appraisal process as easy as possible and offer the best possible expertise.
Reestore takes everyday waste objects and playfully upcycles them into beautiful accessories and functional pieces of furniture. They design and manufacture a range of handmade products for home, office and retail sectors. Their current range includes chairs made from shopping trolleys, roll top baths transformed into sofas, and magnificent desks produced from aeroplane wings. Their vision is to change consumer attitudes towards recycling and re-use, by providing desirable upcycled alternatives.
The Wand Company was born to turn magic into reality, as their founders had the idea of putting advanced electronics inside a traditional-looking wizard’s wand. The Wand Company creates authentic and high-quality magic products by paying attention all the way to the last detail. Their aim is to bring life to fantasy and science fiction props using clever design, electrical engineering and first class manufacturing. The Wand Company’s motto “owning is believing” reflects their focus on delivering excitement on different levels.
Minicabit is a taxi cab comparison site and app that provides great deals across 300 UK locations. Whether people travel near or far, even taxis can be a cheap, easy and fast option. Minicabit calculates fares from mini-cab companies across Great Britain, enabling them to compare real-time quotes pre-set by the companies themselves. They operate with a wide range of cabs, including hybrid mini-cabs, for an undefined number of people. Minicabit aims to reduce the effort of switching between multiple modes of transport, taking the stress out of a travel.