Winners of the 2019 Wales Start-Up Awards Announced


The winners of the fourth annual Wales Start-Up Awards were announced last Friday evening at an awards ceremony held at the Depot in Cardiff and hosted by TV presenter Jamie Owen.

The awards saw 70 finalists from across all parts of Wales and a range of different sectors compete for 20 awards with North Wales distillery Aber Falls winning the overall award for the 2019 Wales Start-Up of the Year.

All of the winners on the evening are to receive a free marketing support package worth over £8,000. Each category winner is set to receive an exclusive feature and audio interview in leading B2B news website Business News Wales, whilst the main winner will receive a package of support worth £1,500.

With overall sponsorship by Capital Law – the national and international provider of legal services – the awards are the only ones of their kind in Wales to recognise those new businesses less than three years old.

Other sponsors include NatWest Cymru, Abel and Imray, ALS Managed Services, Business News Wales, Bluegg, Business in Focus, Cardiff University, Freight Logistics Solutions, Swansea University, Thermal Compaction Group, Tramshed Tech, Universities Wales, University of South Wales, WCVA and the Welsh Government.

The winners of the 2019 Wales Start-Up Awards are:

Wales Start-Up of the Year

  • Aber Falls Whisky Distillery

Business to business services

  • ComLink Fire and Security

Construction Start-Up of the Year

  • Trades Work Wales

Consumer Services Start-Up of the Year

  • Jonny Blades Barbershop

Creative Start-Up of the Year

  • Sadler Jones

Digital Start-Up of the Year

  • Signum Health

Financial & Professional Services Start-Up of the Year

  • Sweetmans and Partners

Food & Drink Start-Up of the Year

  • Aber Falls Whisky Distillery

Global Start-Up of the Year

  • Youth Development Agency

Graduate Start-Up of the Year

  • SmallSpark Space Systems

Green Start-Up of the Year

  • Surple

Innovative Start-Up of the Year

  • Hexigone Inhibitors

Manufacturing Start-Up of the Year

  • Limb-art

Retail Start-Up of the Year

  • Letterbox Lab

Rural Start-Up of the Year

  • Bargoed Farm Caravan, Camping and Glamping Park and The Moody Cow Farm Shop and Welsh Bistro

Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year

  • The Good Wash Company

Technology Start-Up of the Year

  • Credas

Tourism & Leisure Start-Up of the Year

  • Adventure Tours U.K.

Valleys Start-Up of the Year

  • miFuture Group

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Drop Bear Beer Co.

Highly Commended

  • Coles Distillery
  • PiQ Laboratories
  • Studio Hicks
  • Swshi

Alys Carlton, Partner at Capital Law, said:  

“To become an established business, a start-up requires a supportive entrepreneurship ecosystem, and the role of awards ceremonies in that cannot be underestimated. Objective validation from third party sources doesn’t only boost sales and leads, it strengthens team spirit, employee motivation, and brand recognition. Awards make it easier for start-ups to work with partners and press, and can also help them attract additional investors and funding. This is why Capital Law is delighted to be the headline sponsor of the Wales Start-Up Awards for the second year in a row.”

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, co-founder of the Wales Start-Up Awards and Chairman of the judging panel, said:

“The 2019 awards have shown yet again the enterprise and innovation that is at the heart of the start-up community in Wales. In particular, I would like to congratulate Aber Falls in creating a business whose aim is to manufacture the best products using the finest ingredients sourced directly from Wales whilst creating a sustainable supply chain in the process and operating as a dual language business with local employees.

“Not only does it now employ more than 15 full time staff from the local area but has plans to take on another 15 over employees the next six months. The business has already achieved an annual turnover of £4 million despite the fact that its main product will not be ready until 2020”.

“Aber Falls is an incredible start-up firm that I am sure will grow to be an iconic brand for Wales and demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit of our great nation”.

Liz Brookes, co-founder of the Wales Start-Up Awards and Managing Director of Grapevine Events Management, said:

“The awards have shown us yet again the importance of the start-up sector to the Welsh economy. Wales is home to a wealth of entrepreneurial talented businesses who have made a significant impact, not just within the sectors of which they operate, but also across the local, national and in some instances, the global economy”.

“We’re delighted to celebrate the successes of those businesses who are not only making a significant contribution to the Welsh economy and the sectors they serve, but are an inspiration for the next generation of start-ups here in Wales.”