2012 UPDATE: MAKE A NOMINATION NOW FOR THE 2012 FUTURE 50!
The Future 50 is a list of the most exciting, ground-breaking firms – under four years old and across all sectors – in the country.
The Future 50 are the firms set to disrupt markets and dominate headlines.
Real Business and Red Bull set out to find these bright young things in June. It was no simple task. We contacted VCs. We got tip-offs from the Institute of Nanotechnology and the Technology Strategy Board. We talked to RDAs, angels, trade mags, PRs and the Department for Business.
From interested firms, we wanted 500 words on why they are Future 50 material. And as word got out, momentum grew. We even heard from firms in Canada and France (désolé, mes amis. Not eligible).
Finally, we presented the Future 50 shortlist to our judges: Mark Pearson of Myvouchercodes.co.uk; investor and co-founder of MessageLabs Jos White; Madeleine Milne of eMusic (iTunes’ arch rival); Al Gosling, CEO of The Extreme Sports Company; and Nigel Trood, MD of Red Bull UK.
Together, they identified the Future 50, plus their favourite ten firms.
Note: all these companies are British. Yes, we’ve had riots. The threat of a double-dip recession looms, and our national debt sports an unnerving number of zeroes. But if these firms are the future, the only rational response is optimism.
Future 50 winners – we salute you. Click on the profiles to read all about each future star! Note, these are not ranked.
Which of the 50 companies stands out for you? We asked the public to vote for their favourite Future 50 company. Find out who won the Future 50 People’s Choice award.
- Anesco – renewable energy consultancy
- Bamboo Innovations – e-learning for schoolchildren
- BaseKit – automated website creator
- Biscuiteers – bespoke gift biscuits
- Borro – online pawnbroker
- Buddy – SMS app to help depression sufferers
- Cella Energy – hydrogen storage technology
- Cognitive Match – online advertising service
- Concept Cupboard – showcases and sells design services of arts students and graduates
- Cotswold Gold – rapeseed oil products
- Durham Graphene Science – nanotech graphene
- Electrospinning – nanofibres for the biotech industry
- Fins for Him – shoes brand for men
- Floxx – gossip, lechery and chatter on a map
- Flybrid Systems – automotive energy conservation tech
- Funding Circle – disintermediated lending to small firms
- Girl Meets Dress – designer dress rental
- Housebites – website for chefs to sell food in a “virtual takeway”
- Housetrip – holiday home rental website
- Image Analysis – diagnostic software for MRI scanners
- Infectious Media – online advertising service
- Insure the Box – GPS box in car for car insurance
- LoveThis – social network focused on recommendations
- Made.com – online furniture store
- MarketInvoice – eBay of invoice financing
- MBA & Company – freelancer consultancy model, using MBAs and PhDs
- MobileRoadie – app creator
- Mubaloo – mobile apps maker
- MyWorkSearch – manages a jobseeker’s journey into employment
- Navmii – maps for mobiles
- Neul – radio chip maker, targeting white space spectrum
- Newtons Solicitors – virtual law firm
- OneFineStay – couchsurfing meets hotels. Brent Hoberman is an investor.
- Orlebar Brown – men’s swimwear
- Oxford Yasa Motors – electric motors for cars
- People Per Hour – freelancer job allocator
- PitchUp – campsite bookings
- Secret Escapes – boutique hotel booking service
- SharedBand – broadband maximiser
- Simeio – biometric sign-in sheets for construction industry
- Snap Fashion – Google Googles for the fashion industry
- Songkick – concert tickets
- Sports New Media – fan pages for sports
- Teamly – productivity web-app
- Tepilo – Sarah Beeny’s property management service
- TransferWise – disintermediated currency exchange
- Universal Fuels – fuel supply. Founder is 19
- VirtualGym – personal fitness delivered via the internet
- We Are Social – social media marketers
- Wikijob – open source job site