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The O2 Smarta 100: 2014 Winners

The O2 Smarta 100 Awards celebrate the most innovative and exciting small businesses in the UK. Over the last four years the awards have profiled and championed over 500 small businesses with Shaa Wasmund, founder of Smarta, stating, “This year’s winners, in my opinion, are the strongest yet.”

Covering everything from football stats to rib shacks, there’s plenty your business can learn from 2014’s champions. Let’s take a look at some of the ways entrepreneurs have grown their enterprises and some tips you can steal for your business

Best Use of Technology & Overall Winner: Squawka

Football fans are likely to be well acquainted with Squawka, the multi-media platform bringing together a love for the game and smart technology. Offering special offers alongside live statistics during matches, users have the tools to rival match commentators whether alone in the living room or down the pub with friends. A stand out feature includes the Player Performance Rating that uses an algorithm developed by the Squawka team.

Tech take out: Use algorithms to strengthen your offering. As well as offering your customers a more personalised service, they can make your working life easier.

Try this: Algorithm 2, a great online tool offering tutorials and software to help you create algorithms, even if you don’t have coding or programming knowledge.

Mobile Business of the Year: Frugl

Want to have fun on a budget? Then Frugl is the app for you. The brainchild of former publicist and lover of all things thrift, Suzanne Nobel, Frugl curates free and cheap events in the area of your choice. To develop the app, Suzanne teamed up with web developer Tikiri Hulugalle and London-based design duo Inktrap.

Tech take out: As mobile takes over as the platform of choice, coming up with a mobile strategy will make your business much more accessible.

Try thisAppypie. Cute name aside, this platform offers a range of templates to help you develop your own app, including this business template.

 

Best Use of Marketing: The Rib Man

A butcher since the tender (sorry!) age of 15, Mark Gevaux has built his one-man business by taking advantage of social platforms. He successfully funded The Rib Man through crowdfunding and his sense of humour has won him an army of 13,000 fans on Twitter.

Tech take out:  Social media works! Mark responds to every tweet he is sent, as well as creating hilarious conversations around football (Hammer till he dies) and his adventures trading on London’s Brick Lane.

Try this: Indiegogo. Crowdfunding isn’t just about raising revenue; it’s also a great marketing tool. You can test the waters with your audience, get real time feedback and build a customer base for your launch. Watch our video with Indiegogo’s Marketing and Community Manager Anastasia Emmanuel for more advice.

Read more about the other category winners below:

Most Innovative: Lovespace

Lovespace is a cost-effective storage solution described as “‘Like cloud storage, but for your physical things,” created by Streetcar founder Brett Akker.

Best People Business: 3beards

The biggest cheerleaders of the London tech scene, you can expect beards, beers and abundance of tech knowledge, connections and opportunities at 3beards’ weekly tech mixers.

Biggest Social Impact: Harmless

This user-led organisation saves lives by breaking the self-harm cycle, offering support online and over the phone.

Made in Britain: Pooch & Mutt

High quality dog food from the best of British produce, making sure that your pets eat as well as you do.

Micro Business of the Year: One Minute London

Never again will you have to experience an unsatisfactory meal or atmosphere in a restaurant – at least, that’s the idea. Explore what different eateries have to offer in One Minute London’s short videos to help you decide where you want to dine.

Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Karisma Kidz

Mother of five Erika Brodnock created this business to teach children social and emotional skills through toys and games. Erika received support from Telefónica’s start-up accelerator scheme, Wayra.

Startup of the Year:  Archer & Parry

Personalised apple-pressing service. Yes, you read correctly. This is a brilliant bespoke service that enables you to buy your own apples and press your own juice, which is then delivered in personalised bottles and lasts for up to 18 months.

To find out more about the Smarta 100 awards and Smarta network vist the website:

For tech advice for your business, speak to an O2 Guru in store, online or over the phone:



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