The Smarta 100 awards: special prizes (and special times!)

 

What makes a business really, really smart? Profits of millions and squillions? Nah. Sometimes, but not necessarily. Being a smart business means making the most of what you have, being truly innovative, and providing service better than your competitors - whether you're a 1,000-person super-company or a one-person start-up.
And that's what we celebrated last night at the first ever Smarta 100 awards. We announced the full Smarta 100 a few months back, but last night Smarta's partners wanted to commend some especially special smart businesses. And so did all of you, when you were busy voting for your favourite Smarta 100 winner! And so to the results of last night's special prizes - and why they're so darn smart.
The Smarta network vote award: Highland Wi-Fi
Highland Wi-Fi exists to enhance visitors' experience to what managing director William calls 'our beautiful part of the world': the Highlands of Scotland. Its network covers parts of the area that bigger networks have missed - or think aren't worth the investment. And it helps local small businesses to advertise themselves on a main website. Find out more.
The Intuit special award: Call of the Wild
Call of the Wild is an eco-friendly adventure training centre set up in a former mining area that was one of the most socially and economically deprived parts of Wales. The founders have since renewed a real sense of pride in the area by recruiting local staff and making it a tourist destination, while educating people about how to help save our environment. Find out more.
The Mishcon de Reya special award: Bizk.it
Bizk.it offers an exciting new way for US and UK businesses to generate and manage their information more efficiently and cost-effectively. It provides accounting, administration, productivity and contact management tools, for the monthly price of two cappuccinos. The team have knocked up some impressive partnerships too with the likes of Adobe and Sun Microsystems, despite only launching a few months ago. Find out more.
The NatWest special award: Freelance Students
FreelanceStudents' founder Timothy spotted a niche in the graduate employment market that big-time competitors had missed. Matching up graduates with freelance contracts means they get paid until they find a permanent job and gives them valuable experience, and small businesses benefit from the flexibility of contracts and having a young, enthusiastic pair of hands on deck. Find out more.
Huge congratulations to all the Smarta 100, who've worked their socks off, nay, their shoes off too, creating such fantastically resourceful, innovative and all-round-lovely businesses.
We had an awesome time meeting loads of them face-to-face, and everyone we talked to said they were meeting loads of interesting people. Music to our ears! Because that is really what it's all about, and what we hoped the Smarta 100 would inspire - the idea that small businesses get a lot more out of working together, helping each other and bouncing ideas off each other than they do slogging it out unsociably. We've said it before and we'll say it again: collaboration not competition, people!
And you can join in too - have a look at the Smarta 100's profiles, send them a message on Smarta, and get the ball rolling for some really exciting collaborations.
We'll be putting pics of the event up soon, and you can catch up on Smarta investor and Dragons' Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden's speech as well as Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund's when we get the video up too. Learn from that, and hopefully we'll be seeing you there next year if you didn't make it this time round. Until then!

The Smarta network vote award: Highland Wi-Fi

Highland Wi-Fi exists to enhance visitors' experience to what managing director William calls 'our beautiful part of the world': the Highlands of Scotland. Its network covers parts of the area that bigger networks have missed - or think aren't worth the investment. And it helps local small businesses to advertise themselves on a main website. Find out more.

The Intuit special award: Call of the Wild

Call of the Wild is an eco-friendly adventure training centre set up in a former mining area that was one of the most socially and economically deprived parts of Wales. The founders have since renewed a real sense of pride in the area by recruiting local staff and making it a tourist destination, while educating people about how to help save our environment. Find out more.

The Mishcon de Reya special award: Bizk.it

Bizk.it offers an exciting new way for US and UK businesses to generate and manage their information more efficiently and cost-effectively. It provides accounting, administration, productivity and contact management tools, for the monthly price of two cappuccinos. The team have knocked up some impressive partnerships too with the likes of Adobe and Sun Microsystems, despite only launching a few months ago. Find out more.

The NatWest special award: Freelance Students

FreelanceStudents' founder Timothy spotted a niche in the graduate employment market that big-time competitors had missed. Matching up graduates with freelance contracts means they get paid until they find a permanent job and gives them valuable experience, and small businesses benefit from the flexibility of contracts and having a young, enthusiastic pair of hands on deck. Find out more.

 

Huge congratulations to all the Smarta 100, who've worked their socks off, nay, their shoes off too, creating such fantastically resourceful, innovative and all-round-lovely businesses.

We had an awesome time meeting loads of them face-to-face, and everyone we talked to said they were meeting loads of interesting people. Music to our ears! Because that is a massive part of what it's all about, and what we hoped the Smarta 100 would inspire - the idea that small businesses get a lot more out of working together, helping each other and bouncing ideas off each other than they do slogging it out unsociably. We've said it before and we'll say it again: collaboration not competition, people!

And you can join in too - have a look at the Smarta 100's profiles, send them a message on Smarta, and get the ball rolling for some really exciting collaborations.

We'll be putting pics of the event up soon, and you can catch up on Smarta investor and Dragons' Den entrepreneur Deborah Meaden's speech as well as Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund's when we get the video up too. Learn from that, and hopefully we'll be seeing you there next year if you didn't make it this time round. Until then!

 

 

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