Winners of the Techpreneur of the Year Awards have been announced. During a ceremony at the University Women's Club, the winners of two main categories were unveiled.
The awards are designed to encourage women to get involved in tech-related start-ups and to recognise the success of those already underway.
The categories and winners were:
Conceptual: For women involved in enterprises that have
not yet started actively trading
WINNER: Laura Willoughby founder of Club Soda was honoured with the conceptual award. Elaborating on Laura's success, the judges stated that Laura was able to edge out the competition because Club Soda was a unique idea that could be applied to a traditional space or industry. There was also a large potential market with the possibility of scaling up internationally as well. Laura, in short, was able to demonstrate that she was not only entrepreneurial but clearly a visionary as well.
Also highly commended in the category were:
Emma Coles - Adlet
Nathalie Richards - Edukit
Sinead MacManus - Fluency
Karoline Gross - Smartzer
Victoria Thomas - Trigah
Veterans: For women who play a definitive role in an
existing company which has been trading for less than five years, and has a
turnover of less than £10m
WINNER: Rosemary Francis MD and Director of Technology at Ellexus took home the veterans award. Commenting further, the judges attributed her victory to a key consideration; Ellexus was a purely technological business unlike most others nominated for the award. Demonstrating a high level of entrepreneurship as well as being a STEM role model, Rosemary not only founded the company but also created a scalable business and grown it successfully.
Also highly commended were:
Lucy Yu at Swiftkey
Irina Turcan at Arti:i:curate
Kal di Paola at BuyMyWardrobe
Kelley Klein at Student@Home
Victoria Johnson at VetCT
Fiona Scott Lazareff, Judging Panel Chair, said, "This has been an incredible first year for the awards, which has allowed us to finally reward and acknowledge the exceptional women within the tech industry. New innovations and advances in technology continue to change dramatically but this group of finalists has not only embraced these developments, but is genuinely creating a path for the next generation of female professionals.
"These awards are designed to honour these female leaders and start-ups for their unrivalled potential, talent and success in the industry and to be an advocate for women in technology at all levels. The word "tech" and the idea of starting a business need no longer be stereotyped to males - and we hope the success of these awards will enable more women to start their own businesses and apply for next years' awards."