Now in its eighth year, the Tech Trailblazers Awards, the first independent and dedicated awards program for enterprise information technology…

Now in its eighth year, the Tech Trailblazers Awards, the first independent and dedicated awards program for enterprise information technology startups, has revealed its shortlist of the most innovative entrants and concepts in enterprise technology. The shortlists, selected by the Tech Trailblazers’ panel of leading IT industry experts, are now open to public vote to add to the opinions of the judging panel and help determine the winners in all categories.

To view the shortlists, and vote for your favourites, please visit before 23.59 Pacific Time on Friday, 14th February 2020.

Tech Trailblazers Awards comprises the best startups across a wide range of enterprise tech categories including:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud
  • Container
  • FinTech
  • IoT
  • Mobile
  • Security
  • Storage
  • Firestarter Award
  • Female Tech Trailblazer of the Year Award
  • Male Tech Trailblazer of the Year Award

Rose Ross, founder of the Tech Trailblazers Awards, said “Each year the judges are faced with the increasingly difficult challenge of selecting shortlists in a wide range of tech categories from some of the most innovative enterprise tech startups from around the world. Huge thanks to our judges who, once again, have taken on this difficult task. The Tech

Tech Nation, the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, today reveals the 30 companies joining its prestigious Upscale programme for…

Tech Nation, the UK network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, today reveals the 30 companies joining its prestigious Upscale programme for the UK’s most exciting and fastest growing scaleup tech companies. 

Now in its fifth year, the Upscale 5.0 cohort reflects the maturity of the tech landscape in the UK with considerable growth in key company statistics. Most of the companies on the programme have already raised a Series A round, and the average raise has increased from £4.2m in 2017, to £7.2m in 2020. Average revenues have also increased by 64% from £1.1m to £1.8m over three years, while the average number of employees when joining the cohort has grown by 48% from 31 to 46. 

Some of the biggest success stories of UK tech, such as Monzo, Bulb, Improbable and Bloom & Wild, have been through the programme, and the 30 new companies represent the next generation of digital household names. 

This cohort reflects just a small part of the UK tech scaleup ecosystem – in total, there are almost 5,000 UK tech scaleups which add £17.2bn to the UK economy and employs almost 200,000 people. UK scaleups outperformed their peers in 2019, with companies raising £10.1bn, more than France (£3.8bn) and Germany (£5.4bn) combined, and are spread right across the UK.  

The Upscale programme is designed to support the UK’s leading scaleups by tackling the leadership challenge in UK tech. A recent report by Zenger/Folkman found that management and leadership skills are lacking in just over half of all leadership teams, and organisations that invest in developing leaders are 2.4 times more likely to hit their performance targets and almost double their profits. 

Upscale sessions include addressing how to scale yourself as a leader, and how to scale internationally. The programme aims to create a peer-to-peer network of companies on their scaleup journey, and includes sessions led by tech entrepreneurs from some of the UK’s most successful companies, including Nilan Peiris, the VP of Growth at Transferwise and Will McInnes the CMO at Brandwatch. Companies are selected through a judging process of tech entrepreneurs and established VCs, including Anthony Fletcher, CEO of Graze and Cherry Freeman, CEO, Lovecrafts as well as entrepreneurs who have gone through the programme themselves, such as Aron Gelbard, CEO of London-based Bloom & Wild. 

30% of companies joining the programme are from outside of London, and are based in: Manchester, Cardiff, Cambridge, Leeds, Brighton, Belfast and Newcastle. Companies hail from all different tech sub-sectors – showing the depth and breadth of technology in the UK today. 17% of companies on the programme this year are in the healthtech sector, 17% are in SaaS and 17% are in E-commerce. Cloud computing, fintech, legaltech, AI, edtech, proptech, tech for good and adtech are also represented on the programme. While E-commerce and SaaS are evidently still pivotal to UK tech, the makeup of the programme also represents the rise of companies applying technology to societal issues, including healthtech, which has seen an increase in scaling companies of over 473% over the last decade in the UK.

By Asma Bashir, CEO of Centuro The start-up phase of a business is a challenging but exciting time. As the…

By Asma Bashir, CEO of Centuro

The start-up phase of a business is a challenging but exciting time.

As the Founder you will have no choice but to balance core responsibilities of Accountancy, Sales and Operations, before you find and can afford the right people to fill these vital positions, in many cases preventing scale and growth.

Despite being in its infancy, where decision making processes are quick and resulting action is immediate, the start-up phase of a business is definitely the most difficult, but with some key strategic changes, you will be able to accelerate your start-up into a scale-up in no time:

Establish your role in your specific market

When creating a successful business, you need to offer a product or service that solves a problem for your target audience, does it better than current market solutions or is something completely new and innovative.

If you’re still sitting in the start-up medium, you’re still likely to be experimenting with and refining your target audience, developing your true market and value proposition and establishing a baseline for your key business metrics.

However, a business in scale-up mode has guaranteed to have mastered their market position, confidently executing everything on a larger scale, without sacrificing their current niche for the sake of growth.

To achieve this, your business needs to have everything confidently laid out, whilst being able to maintain a strong sales strategy, knowing exactly what your product or service offers and how it is set aside from key market competitors.

It sounds simple but clearly defining your market position can really make a difference to your approach and resulting business growth.

Embrace online opportunities

The digital world is crammed with opportunities for your business, and sadly with the limited time constraints start-ups have, it can be a factor that just doesn’t get utilised.

A strong website with articulate branding and an original message can go a long way, particularly when you consider it only takes about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for consumers to form a positive or negative opinion about your website.

Your business needs to have an online presence, there’s no question, but the way you deliver your business on these platforms can be make or break for a consumer.

With social media, powerful blogs to drive your message, and even the use of video to document your journey in building your business and your brand, can really give you an edge over your market competitors, as long as you are consistent in your output and approach.

Secure funding and generate a steady revenue stream

Starting a business can be an expensive venture, where a lot of start-ups dive in head first with limited funds.

Since they are still building a concrete product/service and a steady revenue stream, start-ups are often dependent on some sort of outside funding — whether it be provided from a venture capitalist or a bank.

Though a clear marker of success, organic growth can be slow, where a start-up in receipt of funding drives that shift to scale-up by enabling them to invest in key job roles, an increased marketing strategy or greater production, which simply wouldn’t have been possible during start-up phase due to cash flow constraints. 

Ultimately, with an established product or service offering and concrete funding, start-ups can shift into a bigger operation – enabling the brand to grow and develop at scale.

Implement automated or replicable systems

In order to fully transition from start-up into a scale-up, the concept of automation cannot be overlooked.

It is very common for new businesses and their employees to be bogged down by simple and repetitive tasks, which can be better placed to driving business growth.

Whether this is marketing automation through scheduling tools or automating the lead generation process, there is a host of tech platforms that you can implement into your business that will allow your operations to aid and adapt to growth and scale.

This can funnel into all areas of your business, from integrating cloud accounting software to cloud-based storage systems to ensure all team members can access all documentation to fulfil their job role from any computer or mobile device.

It can be tough in the initial growth phase to find the staff to share your dream and want to pursue the growth for your business. When taking on new hires, start by instilling your passion in the business from the get-go to ensure they can add value and fuel your growth from day one.


Asma Bashir is the CEO of Centuro, a leading London-based Consultancy agency, helping businesses and entrepreneurs thrive in their chosen career industry.

Asma is a legal professional and philanthropist with over 20 years’ experience within the legal services industry.

The UAE is making a concerted move to place the region at the centre of the pharmaceutical manufacture and export…

The UAE is making a concerted move to place the region at the centre of the pharmaceutical manufacture and export chain. Dubai Science Park already boasts 19 factories producing around 1,500 different types of medication and medical instruments and the park is aiming to achieve a total of 36 factories by 2021.

Fresh new startup, Supplycompass, has entered the market in a bid to help organisations set up reliable supply chains seamlessly and efficiently. The technology-powered startup is described by one of its founders, Gus Bartholomew, as a ‘design-to-delivery sourcing platform for fashion, accessories and brands’. Another startup, Roadie, has just achieved backing from Home Depot, bringing the company’s fundraising total to $US 62 million. This forms part of the startup’s $37 million Series C funding announced at the LINK2019 conference.

In the USA, Bristlecone, an organisation specialising in supply chain transformation, announced a strategic partnership with Tradeshift, a global supply chain payment and marketplace solution. The partnership is focused on automation and collaboration to drive supply chain efficiencies and simplify payments and procurement.

Smithfield Foods has announced changes to its grain supply chain that are aligned with sustainable farming and reduced costs. The company has engaged with 80 percent of its grain supply chain in these sustainable practices, exceeding is original goal of 75 percent and making a significant step towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2025.

Kraft Heinz stock dropped by as much as 28 percent in spite of the use of zero-based budgeting and investments in supply chain technologies designed to help curb costs. The company has showed impressive innovation in the supply chain space and this may yet see it turn around over the course of the year.

Tive announced the arrival of the Tive Solo, a brand new tracker product for the supply chain. The Tive Solo’s features include the ability to measure and report temperature data every 15 minutes along with shipment location, plus a 30-day battery life.

Also in the news: Mastercard, Amazon and Accenture announced a partnership that’s focused on building a transparent blockchain supply chain; General Electric has sold its life sciences unit for $US21 billion; Primark reveals a strong performance and profits; and Brexit continues to be top of mind for firms as they prepare for its impact – both BASF and Bunzl are among those in the pre-Brexit news today.