Tech firms celebrated at the Wales Startup Awards

A number of innovative, fast-growing technology companies were celebrated at the Wales Startup Awards on Friday night.

Sponsored by the likes of Capital Law, IQE, DevOpsGroup and HSBC, the awards ceremony took place at the Depot in Cardiff and attracted hundreds of entrepreneurs from across the country.

The awards were established by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50, and Liz Brookes, who is managing director of Grapevine Event Management.

While the Wales Start-up Awards recognise the success of young businesses from a plethora of sectors, the shortlist was packed with technology and digital companies.

Artificial intelligence firm We Build Bots was crowned Technology Start-up of the Year and was shortlisted alongside Four Minutes, Credas, Sport Injury Fix and Hut Six Security.

Paul Shepherd, founder and CEO of We Build bots, said winning the award reflects the fact that his company is growing rapidly worldwide.

“In a year, we’ve won the Sir Michael Moritz and Wales Start Up Awards, closed an investment round, grown from 3 to 16 people, been selected for Oracle’s Global Accelerator, and won clients across the globe,” he told Tech Dragons.

“This Award is recognition of our rapid progress and will help us as we go into our Series A round to enable global growth with office openings in the USA and Asia.”

The Innovation of the Year award went to Amplyfi, which has developed a deep learning platform that harvests meaningful data from the internet. Start-ups shortlisted for this category included Credas, Hut Six Security, Paperclip, Surple and Simply Do Ideas.

Meanwhile, CineMerse was named Creative and Digital Start-up of the Year. Shortlisted companies included BabApp, Red Squirrel Marketing and Steelhouse Productions.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans said Wales is experiencing a renaissance in creativity, innovation and technology that’s being driven by entrepreneurs.

“In many respects, the future prosperity of this nation is in their hands rather than, as we have seen in the past, large multinational businesses that are encouraged to relocate here,” he said.

“For the last three years, the Wales Start-Up awards have demonstrated not only the local impact that these new ventures have but, more importantly, have showcased businesses that will have a global impact. And that, for a small nation such as Wales, is an incredible story.”