The SPARKies Awards 2020: Driving Tech Innovation in the South West

It’s been a busy start of 2021 for HdE GROUP, with two new recruits to our growing team and lots of exciting client projects well underway. Whilst, on the most part, we can all probably agree that it’s best to put 2020 in a locked indestructible box and throw away the key far, far into the distance,  we wanted to take a minute to reflect on an event that helped end the year on a high for us and the South West tech community: The SPARKies awards 2020.

If you’re familiar with the Bristol and South West tech scene, you’ll know that The SPARKies, bought together by TechSPARK, is a standout event on the social calendar. The award show shines a light on the crème de la crème of people, products and companies within the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and broader West of England region. The show has proved to be such a success within the tech community that it’s now in its 8th consecutive year of running.

With the South West tech scene absolutely thriving of recent,  the choice of whom would be crowned the winners for the 2020 edition (held on the 10th December) was sure to be a tough decision for the judges to make. A total of 17 categories were up for the taking, including ‘Best Scaleup’, ‘Entrepreneur of the year’ and ‘The Good Award’. 

HdE GROUP were incredibly proud to be sponsors of the Best Startup” award for 2020, with HdE GROUP’s MD, Ashley Wheeler, explaining:

As a start-up ourself, we felt it was particularly important this year to get behind startups within the community“.

The SPARKies Awards 2020 had a slightly different set-up to previous years, which sees members from the regions tech community get together to celebrate and connect. With the pandemic, of course, putting a halt to in-person events, this year the show went virtual, with nominees, sponsors and visitors able to enjoy from their living rooms.

And what a show it was! Hosted by the hilarious Jarred Christmas and managed and produced by the talented folk over at Pytch and TechSPARK, the hard work paid off as viewers enjoyed a highly entertaining show in a “non-dodgy” socially-distanced way as TechSPARK’s MD, Ben Shorrock put it…

Sparkies are really all about community, connection and celebration. 2020 is a year where we really needed to celebrate stuff and we really needed to connect with people. We couldn’t do it like we normally do, so I’m really really really happy that we’ve been able to work with the team at Pytch to bring something that I really think has enabled us to touch all parts of the community in a non-dodgy way and have an amazing time. It’s been awesome and I can’t wait for us to do this again next year,” explained Ben.

HdE GROUP’s Scott Murphy, who was lucky enough to attend the in-person production of the event with Ash and Dale explained:

What an experience. Just seeing people accepting awards with family members, children, and from the car… I think it’s really summed up 2020!

According to organisers, TechSPARK, the event saw a record number of nominations, with judges commenting on how tough it was to decide on the final shortlist. But without further ado, let’s take a look at who was crowned the SPARKies 2020 winners…

SPARKies 2020 Winners!

Best Scaleup: Seccl

Best Digital Design: Storm Consultancy

Data Data Data: Data Cubed

Best Mentor/ Advisor: Mark Corderoy

Most Exemplary use of Virtual or Mixed Reality: Virti

FutureSPARK: Alice McNeil of Rocketmakers

The Hardware Award: One Big Circle

Founder/ Entrepreneur of the Year: Andy Rogers & Vlad Nanu of Amdaris

Best Cyber Company: KETS Quantum Security

Most Innovative use of Tech: Rovco

The Good Award: Ferryx

Lifetime Achievement: Marina Traversari

The Totally Killing It Award: Rovco

Best Startup: OneSub

Best Place to Work in Tech: NMI

The Community Award: New Enterprise Competition

The People’s Choice Award: Bunk

For more information on the categories and to find out which other tech companies were shortlisted, head over to TechSPARK winner announcement blog.