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The team over at the UK Startups Awards contacted a few of the judges for this year’s awards and asked them what they see as the ‘exciting opportunity to find the heroes of tomorrow’. For any company getting ready to fill out their entry form, the following should provide some guidelines or insight into what the judges will be keeping an eye out for.

“Businesses with a strategic vision and a founding team with the guts and determination to turn that vision into reality.” Nick Wheeler, founder Charles Tyrwhitt

“I’m looking for a simple compelling proposition and a strong team that collectively has the skills to deliver. I’m looking forward to helping some great new businesses get the recognition they deserve and meeting founders who will make the future even better.” Jon Wright, co-founder Innocent Drinks

“The most important thing I’m looking for is a business and not just an idea. The kind of start-ups I look for have a great team, have financial discipline and either an innovative new product or service or are innovative in their execution of an existing product or service.” Simon Franks, co-founder LOVEFiLM and chairman, Redbus

“Businesses with outstanding teams who have the ambition and capability to scale their businesses rapidly and become leading European businesses in a matter of years.” Will Gibbs, associate VC Octopus Investments

“A well-reasoned business plan with a proper knowledge of the sector, and how consumers behave in that sector – but I’d especially like to see business ideas that aim to put at least as much back into society as they take out.” Sophi Tranchell, MD Divine Chocolate

“Strong innovation and a solid revenue – and some really unique ideas being turned into reality.” Elizabeth Varley, co-founder TechHub

“People are THE most important part of building a new business. I look for founders with a clear vision of what they’re building, combined with the flexibility to adapt and the grit to deliver.” Rory Stirling, VC investor

Get your UK Startups Awards 2015 entry form here.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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