Voting is now under way to find the overall O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year, winning £10,000 courtesy of O2.
This year’s Smarta 100 provides a fascinating snapshot of UK small business today: a cross-section of ingenious new ideas, individuals seeking self-employment after redundancy, the innovators of the cloud and crowd and the fast-growth big businesses of tomorrow.
Zkatter, based in London, is a new social media platform for aggregating live moments into public and private networks.
Beyond this, there are 99 other businesses, all battling it out for the title of O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year. From the weird and wonderful world of non-spill potties, pillows for long-distance lovers and non-tooth pulling toffee, to market changers like crowd-powered wine dealer Naked Wines, parcel innovator MyParcelDelivery.com and fast-growing retailer WedgeWelly, innovation and entrepreneurship are alive and well in Britain.
Many of this year’s winners have triumphed through adversity. Take Camille Johnson, who set up Pink Ribbon Lingerie after her mother’s experiences struggling to find attractive mastectomy lingerie. Or Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes, who used their £20,000 redundancy pay-off from Woolworths to set up toy retailer Toy Barnhaus, now turning over £1.4million from three stores.
Proving the crucial role small businesses have to play in the future recovery of the UK economy, Smarta 100 revenues total over £65,000,000 with an average turnover of £692,000. They’re contributing more to the nation’s coffers than they’re borrowing too, with over half (51%) entirely self-funded.
On average, they are three years and two months old. They employ a total of 740 people, with 9% employing a staff of more than 20. Smarta 100 businesses tend to be running lean operations however, with a growing shift to virtual teams and networks of freelancers – 79% employ fewer than 10 people and 68% fewer than five.
The Smarta 100 also tells us about the people behind Britain’s brightest small businesses. This year’s winners are 55% male, 45% female, aged between 18 and 52 with an average of 33.
Commenting on their inclusion in the Smarta 100, Zkatter, Founder and CEO, Matt Hagger said:
“It is fantastic to be part of such a great list of companies, thanks Smarta for this fantastic recognition and for the great service you provide to the business community of the UK!”
Commenting on this year’s Smarta 100 winners, Dragons’ Den star and Smarta board member Deborah Meaden – who wasn’t part of the judging process – said:
“This year’s Smarta 100 has uncovered some superb small businesses, many of which I’ll admit I’d never heard of but have enjoyed discovering and am very much looking forward to meeting.
“What pleases me is that these awards are championing passionate and ambitious people with brilliant ideas who’ve acted on those ideas and turned them into flourishing businesses. These small businesses and individuals are hugely important and deserve our recognition and support.”
Simon Devonshire, General Manager, SMB for O2, said: “The SMBs that have made the final shortlist are testimony to the dynamism and variety of businesses that are operating and flourishing in the UK. O2 supports young companies such as this that are looking to make a name for themselves by offering them flexible communications packages. It will be fascinating to find out which companies win the categories and the O2 Award, which will act as a springboard for future growth.”
Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund added: “The quality of entries for this year’s Smarta 100 was ridiculously high. If anyone ever tries to tell you the UK lacks an enterprise or entrepreneurial mindset, point them to this list.
“We’re hugely proud of this year’s award winners. I’ve every confidence a significant percentage will double in size by the time we announce the 2012 winners!”
Voting for the overall O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year is now live.
The winner will be presented with their £10,000 prize – courtesy of O2 – at The Smarta 100 Awards final on Wednesday 21st September at London’s IndigO2.
The evening will also see six special awards presented for the Smarta 100 companies deemed the best in the categories of Innovation; Technology; Social Impact; Use of Resources and Marketing. The shortlisted companies are now available to view online.
These awards will be decided by the Smarta 100 judging panel consisting of King of Shaves founder Will King, Bebo founder Michael Birch, PR guru Lynne Franks, TV’s Sarah Beeny, creator of MySingleFriend.com and Tepilo.com, Smarta’s Shaa Wasmund and O2’s Simon Devonshire.
The special awards winners will receive prizes including mentoring sessions with former Dragon Doug Richard, MOBOs founder Kanya King, an iPad2 provided by Viking and a £1,000 worth of consultancy and training courtesy of RBS Mentor.
The judging criteria was based around a variety of factors, so to become a winner is an incredible achievement for us and goes to illustrate how our service leverages the device potential of a developing platform.
Zkatter is now available to users of smart phones running Samsung’s native bada platform, as we monitor and test our system. All users who download and install the application on their device shall receive an e-mail allowing each user to access the web at:
We will be following this in the next few days with invites to our database of web signups who are currently waiting to trial and test our service.
This will be followed by launches on Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S and the Iphone in January 2011.
We are attempting to create something significant with a very small team and we are taking one step at a time. Thank you to everyone for your continued support. Becoming a winner of Samsungs Global developer challenge and the publishing of our service on Samsungapps is the beginning of our exciting adventure’
On the 28th October 2010, Plugandplay tech center, co-hosted a iexpo with Samsung Electronics.
Plug and Play iEXPO is the Silicon Valley’s Premier International Investment Forum. Designed to expose ~40 top entrepreneurs from all around the world to the Venture Capital,
Entrepreneurial Talent, Corporate Development, Engineering, and Ecosystem Resources of the Silicon Valley, Plug and Play iEXPO is a one stop shop to introduce your company to the most advanced tech ecosystem in the world.
The day saw 40 new start ups pitch to a room full of venture capitalists and there was some interesting discussions on how start ups can get more involved with Samsung and their technology roadmap.
The panel provided an interesting insight into the challenges facing start ups and smaller organisations when partnership with large corporations. Here is part of the panel featuring Matt, discussing the challenges and best practices for working with a large corporation from his own experiences:
Samsung’s bada developer day on October 22nd 2010 saw Zkatter’s CEO Matt Hagger, demonstrate Zkatter running on Bada OS for the first time in the USA, following our successful public unveiling in Berlin and the IFA Technology Show in September 2010.
Zkatter leverages the features of Bada’s wave smartphone to provide a compelling experience for remembering live moments and sharing these in real-time across Zkatter, facebook and twitter or within intimate private networks of up to 50 people.
Keep up to date with everything happening at Zkatter from our Twitter and Facebookpages:
Zkatter was officially revealed at IFA 2010 in Berlin this weekend in the Samsung Exhibition Hall, running the consumer electronics giant’s Bada Platform. Their decision to showcase Zkatter is very exciting for us as the service is yet to officially launch on the platform.
Our Founder and CEO, Matt Hagger, attended the event and is pictured here at the booth:
The London Bada developer day was in London last Friday and some of the team went along to gain some more information from Samsungs platform engineers and to literally debug the client! It was a helpful day and most reassuring in terms of Samsungs commitment to a native SDK in the face of competition in a very crowded space.
Some interesting views on bada from from a variety of different people, including our Founder and Ceo, Matt Hagger:
Zkatter is at the heart of London’s bada development community and continue to evangelise the platform within Londons technology ecosystem. We plan to have to announce some developer meet ups very soon in cohension with Samsung mobile innovator, but in the meantime you can follow things from http://twitter.com/badamobile
As the big day approaches and you are looking for those final gift ideas why not check out the Zkatstore. In partnership with Cafe press we have a whole load of Christmas goodies for you to get your hands on:
Take a look and happy holidays X0X0
Buy a gift here and then watch Zkatdroid deliver it here
On behalf of Matt Hagger, Founder and CEO and the rest of the Zkatter crew we would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and we look forward to welcoming you to our service in the new year.
We have created a little Christmas Card for all our suppoters. Without you guys there is no Zkatter, so thank you for your amazing support and encouragement this year!