Sara Murray was thrilled to be awarded the Technology and Innovation Award for her tiny GPS tracking device, buddi. “I was absolutely delighted to win the award – and against some very tough competition,” she told Real Business. Tough, indeed. Murray’s buddi was pitted against i3 group’s super-fast, convenient broadband network; JBW group’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition vehicles; healthcare recruitment firm Team 24; and absentee software firm Truancy Call.
“I think it’s fantastic that the judges recognised and chose to reward the work we are doing at buddi. Especially because we’re trying to keep people with the growing problem of dementia in their own homes for longer, by improving their safety and reducing the stress on their carers,” said Murray.
The Young Company of the Year Award was hotly contested this year. But one firm stood out for the judges – Mitesh Soma has, in the space of just two years, built his online pharmacy Chemist Direct into a £20m business, stocking 20,000 products and attracting 25,000 hits per week.
Soma told Real Business he is “ecstatic to win this award”, and says it’s all down to “a simple idea of offering value, service and convenience – it’s been extremely popular with consumers”. Well done, Chemist Direct!
Glasses Direct’s Jamie Murray-Wells may still be in his twenties, but what he lacks in age, he makes up for in enthusiasm. Murray-Wells is an untiring champion of entrepreneurship, promoting the next generation of entrepreneurs through his work on mentoring schemes for the Times, as an ambassador for National Enterprise Week and as a member of George Osborne’s New Enterprise Council.
Having accepted the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Phones 4u legend John Caudwell, Murray-Wells said: “It’s pretty cool to get an award from John Caudwell. When you’re trying to build a consumer brand, it’s very motivating to get a vote of confidence from a man who’s built one of the biggest consumer brands of our time.”
Congratulations to all the winners of the Growing Business Awards – watch out for more comments from the winners on RB.co.uk