Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Wales Start-Up Awards Shortlist Revealed


The hotly anticipated shortlist for the 2018 Wales Start-Up Awards has today been announced, with over 140 entries across 14 categories received from new businesses throughout the country.

The Awards, now in their third year, are exclusive to Welsh companies that have launched within the last three years. They provide a unique opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those new businesses that are making the greatest impact on the Welsh economy.

Alys Carlton, partner at Capital Law, said:

“The calibre of entry into this year’s awards has been hugely impressive. With digital transformation prevalent across the country, it’s never been a better time to take the leap and start your own business. Being part of the awards has been inspiring and I look forward to seeing the success stories of those shortlisted.”

Jamie McGowan, campus director at Welsh ICE, added:

“We are, and always have been, extremely proud to be involved in this event. The quality has risen yet again, and we are thoroughly looking forward not only to the awards evening to celebrate with all those shortlisted, but to the future, given what we know about the investment winning an award like this can secure.

“This really cements Wales’ reputation as one of the fastest growing entrepreneurial hubs in the UK, boasting an increasing number of amazing entrepreneurs and start-ups.”

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, chairman of the judging panel, believes the Wales Start-Up awards are important in highlighting the important role that Welsh entrepreneurs play in boosting growth in the Welsh economy.

“Research has shown time and time again that new firms are important for generating economic prosperity, employment opportunities and innovation. The Wales Start-Up awards will again celebrate this amazing contribution by entrepreneurs on our economy and the impact they have on communities across our nation.

Liz Brookes of Grapevine Events, co-founder of Wales Start-Up Awards, said:

“We’re thrilled that we can do this all again for the third time. There is no other event like this in Wales, and we are proud to be the ones pioneering the most innovative, bold and creative talent in the country.

“This year’s Awards will be held at The Depot in Cardiff Bay, and we are looking forward to seeing all the amazing teams, and celebrating the bright futures they have ahead of them.”

With overall sponsorship from Capital Law – itself a Start-Up just 12 years ago – the Wales Start-Up Awards 2018 are being supported by some of the country’s biggest organisations from across a wide range of sectors.

The shortlist is as follows:

Construction Start-Up of the Year

  • CAUKIN Studio
  • CDB Design & Build
  • Oakwater
  • Rails Direct

Creative and Digital Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by DevOps Group

  • BabApp
  • CineMerse
  • Red Squirrel Marketing
  • Steelhouse Productions

Financial and Professional Services Start-Up of the Year

  • Chatterbox Communications
  • Mango HR
  • Paradigm Human Performance
  • Talentbe

Food and Drink Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by

  • Cobbles Kitchen & Deli
  • Dyfi Distillery
  • JT Hospitality Group
  • Volare Italian Dining & Bistro

Global Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by Swansea University

  • Freight Logistics Solutions
  • POW! Virtual Running
  • The Youth Development Agency

Green Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by Clearly PR

  • Awel Co-op
  • CASA Facilities Management
  • Surple

Innovative Start-Up of the Year– Sponsored by Welsh Government

  • Credas Technologies
  • Hut Six Security
  • Paperclip
  • Simply Do Ideas
  • Surple

Manufacturing Start-Up of the Year- Sponsored by Wynne Jones IP

  • CDB Design and Build
  • Mon Naturals
  • Odddot

Retail Start-Up of the Year

  • Barr & Co Jewellery
  • FUTT
  • Letterbox Lab
  • Live Spiffy
  • UK Leisure Living

Services Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by HSBC

  • Apollo Business Village
  • Codez Academy
  • Freight Logistics Solutions
  • Mochdre Vets
  • Passport to Employment

Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by WCVA

  • Awel Co-op
  • Help4Wales Foundation
  • ShedNet
  • Upside Down Circus

Technology Start-Up of the Year – Sponsored by IQE

  • Credas Technologies
  • Four Minutes
  • Hut Six Security
  • Sports Injury Fix
  • We Build Bots

Tourism & Leisure Start-Up of the Year

  • Beacons Trike Tours
  • EverTrek
  • Katag UK
  • The Forge

Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Sponsored by Acceler8me

  • Chloe Smith – BigMoose Coffee
  • Rhiannan Falshaw-Skelly – CineMerse
  • Jarrad Morris and James Forrest – Elite Vehicle Sourcing
  • Jade Fisher – Jade Fisher
  • Lian Poulson – Lian Cara

For information about the Wales Start-Up Awards, please visit