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The UK Startups Awards 2014 winners were announced at a gala reception in Kensignton Gardens in London. Organised by, the #StartupsAwards was aimed at young companies across 14 categories that scaled to revenue of £1m just one year after launch.

For Big Red Cloud this is our first year as sponsor and judge and it has been a most rewarding experience. Any business owner reading this blog post will immediately relate to the passion and enthusiasm that start ups must engender in their early stages and indeed beyond. Start ups by their very nature are fragile vessels that must navigate though very choppy waters and they must extract every ounce of strength that they can from just being positive.

So, it was a very exciting place to be – in the midst of all these high energy start ups. Bear in mind that there was a large number of entries and despite the best will in the world, many did not make it past the judging process. Interestingly, Big Red Cloud sponsored a similar start up awards competition in Ireland, ‘The Bank of Ireland 2014 Startup Awards’, and it too threw up the one obvious differentiator between those that made it to the final stages and those that did not. ‘The better pitch doesn’t necessarily mean a better product or service but it leaves a better impression which leaves you better positioned for more in-depth follow ups. Again, part of the learning process or practice makes perfect.’

To all the finalists, it’s a great learning experience and to the winners, drive on from here. Your business has received well deserved recognition.  Use that to drive awareness and build new communities that are waiting to hear from you. At Big Red Cloud we can’t wait to tell the world about you.

You might also take the opportunity to tell the world about our great news – We have been shortlisted for the Sponsor for a Day competition and your vote could make all the difference. Click here……

The Startups Awards 2014 winners are:

Crowdfunded Business of the Year: LOVESPACE
Finalists: Seedrs, F-Board

Franchisee of the Year: Vance Parsons, Driver Hire (Hereford & Worcester)
Finalists: Julian Westwood; Diamond Logistics (Birmingham), Nick Blake; Jasper’s (Warrington)

Home-based Business of the Year: Meredith Bespoke
Finalists: Lime Lace, Towers Design

Independent Shop of the Year: Seriously Sofas
Finalists: Cocoba, The iOutlet

Innovative Business of the Year: Cambridge Intelligence
Finalists: 4eco, Captive Media

Mumpreneur of the Year: Tamara Arbib, Rebel Kitchen
Finalists: Cordelia Meacher, Fieldhouse Associates; Samantha King, Lime Lace

Product Business of the Year: Eyespace (sponsored by All Response Media)
Finalists: Gousto, Lost My Name

Restaurant of the Year: The Yorkshire Meatball Company
Finalists: Sugar Supper Club, Sosban & The Old Butchers

Service Business of the Year: CommuterClub (sponsored by Big Red Cloud)
Finalists: BIZZBY, Darmouth Partners

Tech Business of the Year: Centtrip Card (sponsored by .uk)
Finalists: Flubit, Powerlinks Media

Venture Funded Business of the Year: Currency Cloud (sponsored by haysmacintyre)
Finalists: Gousto, Pact Coffee

Women in Business Award: Jodi Huggett, 4eco
Finalists: Julie and Jayne Abel, Eyespace; Gemma Ferris, Feritech

Young Entrepreneur of the Year: James Brown, Beer52 (sponsored by Made Simple Group)
Finalists: e-finity Leads, GPS Locums

People’s Champion Award: Lend Me Your Literacy

Simply Business Startups Business of the Year: Beer52

If you’re a start up, why not take a trial of Big Red Cloud accounting software and see how we can make running your accounts easier.

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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