The Finalists for the 2020 Wales Start Up Awards are Revealed


The shortlist for the 2020 Wales Start Up Awards has been announced today.

Now in their fifth year, they are exclusive to Welsh companies that have launched within the last three years and provide a unique opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those new businesses that are making the greatest impact on the Welsh economy. The awards are due to take place on Friday September 18th at the Depot in Cardiff.

Having received a record 540 entries – with 40 per cent coming from female-owned firms – a total of 108 finalists have been selected across twenty six categories covering all sectors in Wales.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of South wales and the creator of the awards back in 2016, was surprised but delighted at the enthusiasm demonstrated by the high number of entries into this year’s competition during the worst economic crisis ever.

“I would have expected that the Covid-19 pandemic would have resulted in fewer applications this year but the entrepreneurial community across Wales has surprised all of us. More importantly, this year’s competition was not only about quantity but the quality of entries which made the job of the judges very difficult in shortlisting this year.

With new firms creating the majority of jobs as countries emerge out of recession, this year’s finalists, along with thousands of other start-up businesses across Wales, will be critical in ensuring that the Welsh economy recovers quickly over the next twelve months. Certainly, I am looking forward to celebrating the enterprise, creativity and sheer hard work of all those that have made the 2020 shortlist later this year.”

The awards are sponsored by actors from all parts of the Welsh entrepreneurial ecosystem – finance, government, entrepreneurs, corporates and universities. They include Capital Law, Nat West Bank, Abel and Imray, Bluegg, Business in Focus, Business News Wales, the Celtic Manor Resort, CEMET, CP Hire, the Development Bank of Wales, Fintech Wales, Freight Logistics Systems, Mazuma, North Wales Ambition Board, South Wales Chamber of Commerce, Town Square Spaces, the University of South Wales, Welsh Council for Voluntary Action, the Welsh Government, Wolfberry and Zip World.

Chris Coughlan, senior associate of the overall sponsor Capital Law said:

“The unprecedented number of applications which we received this year, all of a very high-calibre, is testament to the talent and resourcefulness of Welsh entrepreneurs. It was inspiring to read about the progress achieved by so many start-ups, despite the challenges brought by Covid-19. At Capital, we’re passionate about developing and maintaining a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wales. This year’s applications leave me in no doubt that this support network will help us come out of this crisis even stronger.”

A new category for 2020 – Rising Stars – recognises those new start-ups set up in the last 12 months that could be the growth businesses of the future. Sponsored by Town Square Spaces, this special award has shortlisted ten firms from all over Wales that the judges considered to have potential for further growth.

Gareth Jones, founder of Town Square, said

“This new award highlights the nascent entrepreneurial talent that exists in every part of Wales and I look forward to following the progress of this list of start-ups over the next year as the economy recovers from the current recession”.

The 2020 Wales Startup Awards shortlist is as follows:

Business to business services start-up of the year

Avantis Marine
Gorilla ERP
pH Innovate
Safe Hands Homes
Talent Intuition

Cardiff start-up of the year

Creative Spaces Design
Lux Family Law
Proactive First Aid Solutions
Sero Homes
Talent Intuition

Construction start-up of the year

JMW Heating & Plumbing
Specialist Facade Inspections
W2 Construction

Consumer services start-up of the year

JD Print Supplies
Party Wales
Rainwild Spa Aberystwyth
Skybound Therapies
Sparkle Home Services

Creative start-up of the year

Animated Technologies
Lynn PR
Route Media

Cyber start-up of the year

Awen Collective
InfoTeam International
Security Foundry

Digital start-up of the year

Bright Branch Media
Business Butler
Sky Life Accountancy

Equity-backed start-up of the year

Dog Furiendly
Sports Injury Fix
Talent Intuition

Financial and professional services start-up of the year

ANNA Money
Lux Family Law
Platform Resourcing
The Profit Works

Fintech start-up of the year

ANNA Money
Moneyshake Holdings
Pension the Pennies

Food/ drink start-up of the year

Bragdy Cybi
Drop Bear Company
The Indian Street Kitchen
Welsh Homestead Smokery
Wye Valley Meadery

Global start-up of the year

Avantis Marine
Limb Art
Project Blu

Graduate start-up of the year

Captivate Digital Marketing & Events
Ember Technology Design
Specialist Facade Inspections
The White Tent Company

Green start-up of the year

Bug Box UK
Project Blu
Sero Homes

Innovative Start-Up of the Year

Semper Paratus Group
Space Forge

Manufacturing start-up of the year

Cedar Tree Pods
Paragon Engineered Timber
Wardill Motorcycle Company

Medtech start-up of the year

Concentric Health
Crispr Biotech Engineering
Sports & Wellbeing Analytics

Mobile and Emerging Technologies start-up of the year

Pension the Pennies
Sports & Wellbeing Analytics

North Wales start-up of the year

Animated Technologies
Aspire Adventures
Enbarr Foundation
Safe Hands Homes

Retail start-up of the year

Bear and Oak
Motor Trade Stock Suppliers
The Good Wash Company
The Northey Lights

Rural start-up of the year
Aspire Adventures
In the Welsh Wind Distillery
The Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop
Skybound Therapies
Welsh Otter

Social enterprise start-up of the year

Helo Welsh
Inspire Alpine
North Wales Recycle IT

Tourism start-up of the year

Aspire Adventures
Escape Holidays
Llandudno Chocolate Experience
The Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop

Valleys start-up of the year

Drone Evolution
Paragon Engineered Timber
W2 Construction

Young entrepreneur of the year

Dragon Aerospace Systems (Cameron Edwards)
Good Brothers (Martyn John)
RWR Recruitment (Robyn Walters)
The Social Butterfly Marketing (Amy Price)
Welsh Luxury Hamper (Abigail Chamberlain)

Rising Stars
My Procurement
NJJ Business Solutions
Swapp Skills
Vala Energy
Wrexham Clothing Exchange