SMARTA 100 AWARDS: And the winners are...

What a night! With a star-studded attendee list from Dragons' Den investor Deborah Meaden, to MOBOs founder Kanya King, PR guru Lynne Franks to King of Shaves founder Will King, this year's Smarta 100 winners had the opportunity to network with some of the biggest names on the entrepreneurial circuit.

Up first, the Smarta 100 Special Awards. Presenting the Special Award for Marketing was none other than b.hive founder and author of the SEED handbook Lynne Franks. She took to the stage with trademark panache, congratulating all the shortlisted firms on their stellar campaigns across social media, PR, innovative partnerships and product placement. Charlotte Murray, Gower Cottage Brownies, Tutor2u, Peppersmith and Neon Play all waited with baited breath -but there can only be one winner...

And the winner of the Smarta 100 Special Award for Marketing is... Tutor2u, the online resource for teachers and students.

Founders (and brothers) Jim and Geoff Riley win a scrumptious mentoring lunch with MOBOs founder Kanya King at One Alfred Place.

Next up, we're talking technology. This award, sponsored by the wonderful people over at Intuit comes with a kicker: £1,000 worth of financial consultancy. Here's the shortlist: nDreams, MyParcelDelivery, Isomob, Affectv, and Trading4u

The winner was commended for its spectacular innovation, incredible value for the customer and for setting a new industry standard.

And the judges favourite was... MyParcelDelivery, the online comparison website for courier services.

Innovation was celebrated next as MC and Smarta founder Shaa Wasmund welcomed King of Shaves boss Will King to the stage to present the Smarta 100 Special Award for Innovation.

This was particularly tough category to judge with Crowdcube, Pourty, Plumen, ValueMyStuff, and Naked Wines vying for poll position.

But in the end, the judges were unanimous that for its unique and exciting offering with an environmental twist, designer energy-saving light bulb Plumen deserved the gong.

The two founders Nicholas Roope and Michael-George Hemus couldn't make it tonight (one of the perils of being a two-man band - you can't be everywhere), but they win a mentoring lunch with ex Dragon, School for Startups and School for Creative Startups founder Doug Richard!

On to the Special Award for People, sponsored by RBS Mentor. Gordon Merrylees from RBS was at hand to present the award and the prize: £1,000 worth of staff training from RBS Mentor. Amid whooping from the crowd, Merrylees announced the shortlist: Andrea's Autos, Gnewt Cargo, Little Kickers, Toy Barnhaus, and Umi Hotels.

The winner "truly values its people, empowers staff to make real change in the organisation and makes a positive impact on the community," he revealed.

Congratulations go to... Umi Hotels, the chain for luxury accommodation on a budget.

Next up, the Smarta 100 Special Award for Resources, sponsored by Viking, celebrating the firms that truly make a little go a long way, bootstrapping to the max and outstripping the big boys.

And the shortlist is: Third Door, Sophia & Matt, Great Little Place, Ella Riley, Skins4Things.

Ann Ng from Viking was on hand to present the award. She said: "The judges felt that this company was a masterclass in bootstrapping. On a limited budget, they have crossed borders, created a huge fanbase and grown exponentially using serious entrepreneurial savvy."

And the much-deserving winner is: Great Little Place.

Our last Special Award, the Social Impact prize, is sponsored by our very own Smarta Business Builder. The shortlisted firms - CoaST, Flamingo, Pink Ribbon Lingerie, Upcott House, and SilenceBreakers - all do incredible work for the community, the environment and for at risk or marginalised people.

All five companies deserve an award for their social achievements but the judges had to pick a winner...

CoaST, the online network promoting One Planet Tourism, picked up the Smarta 100 Special Award for Social Impact, winning £500 worth of experience vouchers for Red Letter Days to reward the team for all their hard work.

The Special Awards shortlisted firms were all congratulated for their innovation, entrepreneurial savvy and game-changing propositions. From online valuation firm ValueMyStuff to natural gum-makers Peppersmith, crowd-funding venture CrowdCube to eco B&B Upcott House, the achievements across all six categories were commended by the judges.

And then on to the main event: the O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year.

It has been an adrenaline-fuelled three weeks on Smarta.com as the Smarta 100 winners battled it out for the prized O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year Award. Smarta.com received over 40,000 votes as the public pushed their favourite firms up the Leaderboard. In the final week, to ensure that the winner was a surprise on the night, the Leaderboard was hidden and replaced with a ranking of the fastest-climbing firms. Among the fastest climbers were Cuski, Little Kickers, Blottr and b-tempted.

Okay, okay. We'll get to the winner...

With nearly 4,000 votes, Naked Wines scooped the award for O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year - and the £10,000 cash prize with mentoring package, provided generously by O2.

Deborah Meaden, investor on the BBC's Dragons' Den, congratulated Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley on his win:

"This year's Smarta 100 has unearthed some of the most exciting and innovative firms in the UK. It has also showcased the power of the crowd. The winner of this year's O2 Smarta 100 Business of the year, Naked Wines, received over 3,500 votes from customers, suppliers, fans and followers. It's a true credit to entrepreneur Rowan Gormley and his team that Naked Wines has built such a vast loyal and dedicated network".

Shaa Wasmund added: "My congratulations go to Naked Wines for winning the O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year Award. The business has truly shaken up the wine industry with an innovative and unique business model and the public voted with their feet to support it."

Now, back to networking as the bubbly flows, the winners celebrate and the losers commiserate. Many thanks to everyone who voted. And remember, the Smarta 100 will be back again next year.

Could you be a winner?

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