The #theSPARKies awards 2014, the digital and tech awards for the west, were held in Komedia on 30 October 2014 as part of the Bath Digital Festival. With 14 categories and 30 fantastic judges the awards recognised the very best digital and tech projects, companies and individuals in our region.
The evening itself was a fun-filled tech-fest featuring remote control inflatable sharks, hilarious compering by comedian Tom Craine and a true celebration of all that’s amazing about tech in Bristol, Bath and the West.
- You may like: Photos from The SPARKies tech awards 2014 on Flickr
You can get a flavour of what the SPARKies awards 2014 were like in the video below:
Congratulations are also in order to those who were shortlisted or nominated, the judges were amazed by the high standards of the nominees. It’s a true recognition of the breadth of tech talent in the region, and we’d like to thank everyone who was involved, particularly our judges and sponsors.
You can see the video of those nominated for a SPARKies award below:
Best Game award
Games entered in this category were finalised and released in the last 12 months. The judges accepted any kind of game (e.g. mobile, console) but it had to be a successful commercial release to be considered.
Winner: Amazing Frog? (Fayju)
The judges said: ‘It’s fun and dynamic, with a million and one things going on. A game you can never get fed up with and technically brilliant.’
- CBeebies Playtime (Mobile Pie)
- QUBE (Toxic Games)
- Toast Time (Force Of Habit)
- Victory at Sea (Evil Twin Artworks Ltd)
Best Mentor/Advisor award
Winner: Mark Mason
The judges said: ‘Founder of Mubaloo, Mark combines mentoring with running a successful creative business. His development of talent has created many business opportunities and demonstrated the value of learning and mentoring.’
Best App award
Apps entered in this category were finalised and released in the last 12 months. Either a web or mobile app, this category was judged on the way the app looked and operated; its stability, speed, content and its functionality.
The judges said: ‘We were impressed by the simple design and great usability of the Wriggle app, plus it gives great offers on food and helps reduce food waste.’
Future SPARK award
Winner: Jake Chandrasakera
The judges said: ‘Jake perfectly demonstrates the benefits of being both knowledgeable and passionate about what you do. He is clearly a fantastic innovator and it’s great that he’s been at the forefront of establishing SoMo Global in the region.’
Startup to Watch award
The judges said: ‘This is stunning technology with so many applications and they have progressed rapidly, raising funds and hiring a quality CEO. We expect to see great things from them in 2015!’
Developer/ Coder of the Year award
The judges for this award were looking for developers with excellent technical abilities, with proven results in creative problem solving and who are naturally collaborative and communicative.
Winner: Sam Davies
The judges said: ‘Sam scored highly on all of the criteria: of specific note are both his prolific contributions to open-source projects and his talks and presentations both in Bristol and internationally!’
- Ashley Gwinnell
- Chris Chapman
- James Frost
The ‘Good’ award
This category recognised the best use of technology for doing good.
Winner: Opposable Games and HandAxe Ltd (Pesky gNATS)
The judges said: ‘Pesky gNats is a computer game that uses core elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. We love the extension of gaming into the therapeutic space, connecting with young people in their own world.’
Best Service Provider award
This awards is designed to recognise a company that has demonstrated a sustained level of support and made a clear difference to the region’s digital sector.
The judges said: ‘We were impressed with the winner’s well-proven track record over the last 10 years. SETsquared’s success is now world recognised and they actively drive the development of the tech sector in the Bristol and Bath region.’
From Chips to… award
The judges said: ‘This is as close to magic as technology can come and the solution to ‘feel’ touch in mid-air has many practical applications. The company has made good progress in developing the tech and is ready to get commercial – next year will be an exciting ride!”
Individual Contribution to Technology award
Winner: Ben Trewhella
The judges said: ‘Ben is very engaged in the tech community and dedicated to making the Bristol region a focus for gaming in the UK. His reputation is incredibly strong, he has delivered real value to the area and is always looking to help other start-ups.’
Totally Killing it Abroad award
The judges said: ‘Their philosophy of Bristol-first, avoiding better-known tech centres such as Silicon Roundabout, shows that it’s possible to “kill it” globally with local talent and without compromise.’
Founder/Entrepreneur of the Year award
This is an award for those in our community who have consistently demonstrated a significant entrepreneurial spirit and whose digital activity has shown commitment, enthusiasm, success and achievement.
Winner: Joel Gibbard
The judges said: ‘Brilliant use of new technology to disrupt a tired old sector and transform lives by making prosthetics more capable, affordable and accessible. Joel combines technical brilliance with a positive social mission, making this a real example of entrepreneurship at its best.’
- Ali & Dom Beaven
- Tom Carter
- Victoria Bond
Biggest Success Story award
The judges said: ‘Vouchercloud has transformed the digital approach to vouchers and achieved 300% growth in employment and 400% in revenue. It’s now expanding globally from its Bristol base.’
Best Startup award
Starting a digital company is tough, and this award recognises a company that is doing it really well. The best startup will have achieved significantly to date, and will have significant potential for future growth.
The judges said: ‘A fantastic team that is making great progress in a very large market. A great example of a local team thinking global from day one in a tough enterprise market.’