The finalists in the 2018 Elevator Awards have been announced, with 27 companies and individuals making it on to the shortlist.
Applications were received from entrepreneurs and businesses for 10 award categories, which include an Inspirational Mentor of the Year Award for the first time.
Organised by Elevator – which works across Scotland to help facilitate the start-up, acceleration and growth of new and existing businesses – the annual awards honour business excellence, commending outstanding employers, entrepreneurs, inspirational mentors, businesses at every stage of their journey along with innovations and community impact businesses.
The 2018 Elevator Awards see Royal Bank of Scotland remain as the principal partner and sponsor of the awards, with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council as event partners.
The winners will be announced at a black-tie dinner at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel on Thursday, June 28,which will be hosted by charismatic and well-known writer, TV personality and former MP Gyles Brandreth for the second year running.
Elevator Chief Executive Professor Gary McEwan said the number of quality entries had made judging this year’s applications extremely challenging.
He said: “Our strong belief is that the North-east is home to some of the finest examples of true entrepreneurial spirit and business creativity in the entire country and this is reflected in the high standard of entries, which have come from a wide variety of sectors including food and drink, oil and gas, design, childcare and charities.
“We once again received a large number of excellent applications, which is particularly encouraging given therecovering economy, and we have an exceptionally strong cohort of finalists.
“Choosing just 27 finalists was a tough task and we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to submit an application. We are now looking forward to the awards ceremony in June to celebrate so many positive examples of business success here in the North-east.”
The Elevator Awards 2018 finalists are:
Most Promising New Business – sponsored by Business Gateway
- The Alexander Smokery Ltd
- DYNAMIX Modular
- Lynwood Kennels
Business Success Under 3 Years – sponsored by AberdeinConsidine
- Fierce Beer
- Beast Gear Limited
- AV One Solutions
Business Success Over 3 Years – sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland
- Zenith Energy
- Eat on the Green
- Motive Offshore Group
The Innovation Award – sponsored by Murgitroyd
- RIGOCAL Engineering
- Air Control Entech
- Softcell Medical Ltd
Employer of the Year
- J.Puddleducks Childcare
- The Orthodontic Clinic
- FortyTwo Studio
Spirit of Enterprise – sponsored by The Princes Trust
- MGM Consultancy – Miles Murawiecki
- Animal Obsessed – Amy Fergusson
- Aberdeenshire Hypnotherapy – Emma Armes
Enterprising Communities Award – sponsored byAberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council
- Charlie House
- Gathimba Edwards Foundation
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by the University of Aberdeen Business School
- Rebecca Carr
- Kieran Hope
- Jai Aenugu
Inspirational Mentor of the Year – sponsored by TechX at The Oil & Gas Technology Centre
- Samantha Leys
- Jamie Bennett
- Alastair Donald
There are no finalists in the Entrepreneur of the Year category, which is also sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, as the winner is announced on the night of the awards, along with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Last year saw Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen, awarded the Entrepreneur of the Year accolade and Pat Machray, former chairman and chief executive of ANM Group, named as the recipient of the LifetimeAchievement award.
Russell Whyte, director, Corporate and Commercial Banking in Aberdeen at Royal Bank of Scotland said: “The Elevator Awards are the North-east’s most inspirational business event and recognises the outstanding talent that the region has to offer. The Royal Bank of Scotland is proud to once again support the awards and the skill, diversity and ambition of all those nominated.”
Aberdeen-based Fierce Beer won the Most Promising New Business award last year and is a finalist in the Business Success Under 3 Years category this year.
Dave Grant, managing director of Fierce Beer, said: “Winning the Elevator Award last year was a great springboard for us and raised awareness of all the positive things we are doing in our brewery. Since then we have secured major overseas investment, started producing canned beer and successfully raised £120,000 in crowdfunding which has allowed us to open our own bar. Elevator has been so supportive of our business and we are thrilled to have been shortlisted in recognition of Business Success Under 3 Years.”
The new sponsor of the Business Success Under 3 Years Award is Aberdein Considine.
Partner Ritchie Whyte said: “We are delighted to support the Elevator Awards and in particular the Business Success Under 3 Years category. This is a part of the market Aberdein Considine know very well and we are pleased to support our clients across the North-east with start-ups and in growing their businesses during this initial phase and beyond.
“The Elevator Awards are a perfect showcase of the incredible range of entrepreneurial talent in the region and offers entrants a fantastic opportunity to share their stories with the business community.
It is no secret how difficult those first three years in business are and so to see so many impressive candidates is testament to their hard work, determination and business acumen.”