Suffolk Business Awards 2021: finalists for startup of the year
8:00 a.m. November 3, 2021
The Start-Up Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Beckett Investment Management Group, recognizes companies under three years of age that have demonstrated clear financial activity that results in foreign investment and / or increased turnover and / or an acceleration towards the profit stage.
Vantage Building Control
Founded in 2018 by Tony Harvey-Soanes and Russell Beaumont, Vantage Building Control is a licensed licensed inspector who employs eight team members in the South East of England. With headquarters in Earl Soham, Suffolk, it also has two additional offices in Moorgate, London and Whitstable, Kent.
The company evaluates construction plans and inspects construction projects, from domestic house extensions to large-scale commercial projects, to assess compliance with building regulations.
Even with the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision to start the business turned out to be “perfect timing,” according to the judges. They praised Tony’s ability to tailor the service proposition and focus on providing professional service under difficult circumstances which has allowed the business to thrive.
Recruiting additional team members has been essential to meet the growing demand. The judges underlined “the open and confident environment created by the company”, which will allow the company to move forward, knowing that it has a first-rate team.
Founded in 2019, AccuGrit offers a range of commercial winter maintenance services, including multi-surface winter sandblasting, snow removal and weather forecasting. By focusing solely on winter maintenance, the company has been able to innovate in the sector, using high-tech machinery to keep business premises safe and accessible throughout the winter.
Prior to launching the business, AccuGrit’s management team spent time in the United States where winters are more regular. This gave them the opportunity to research and meet industry peers, equipping them with the knowledge needed to disrupt the winter maintenance industry in the UK.
According to the judges, AccuGrit co-founder and CEO Dean Harvey “used his vast industry experience to identify a clear business opportunity,” with customer service and attention to detail seen as the real strengths of the company.
The judges added, “Obtaining three ISO accreditations is a testament to the team’s commitment to growing a sustainable business, dedicated to meeting the needs of its ever-growing customer base.
GLO – Generate leads online
GLO – Generate Leads Online is a Suffolk-based digital marketing agency which employs a number of industry specialists, graduates and interns. Since its founding by John Parnell in 2019, the agency has created results-driven strategies and solutions for more than 100 companies across the UK.
The company offers digital marketing services including Google Ads management, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing automation, and SEO website design. The latter is described by the judges as a “proposal which was capable of disrupting the market” and “affordable for SMEs which would not have the means to afford such a service before”.
The judges also praised GLO’s “flexible approach to recruiting and working hours”, which has allowed the company to grow at an impressive rate despite Covid-19. The recruitment of graduate apprentices and the use of the government Kickstarter program were particularly noted.
Restitute CIC is a non-profit organization that supports third party victims of crime – parents, caregivers, partners and families who step in when the unthinkable happens to their loved ones.
The organization provides training and commissioning in Suffolk and Norfolk to ensure families are able to recover from significant trauma. Unprecedented demand has seen Restitute’s case count triple, but her work continues to change lives.
Restitute was founded by Cath Pickles, herself a victim of crime. According to the judges, Cath’s passion for supporting third party victims “is evident to all”, and combined with her business acumen, this has allowed her to create a “unique enterprise”.
The judges added that Restitute had “identified a clear lack of benefits” and attracted the attention of the NHS and other professional agencies. They see the company becoming a national provider of this important support in the future.