The company opened up its platform in May 2011, five months before the awards. At that point we had four full time staff, around one million users and we had only just started monetising.
We felt we had innovated our industry sufficiently in a short space of time, and grown aggressively, to be considered for an award. We were delighted we entered as it helped to raise our profile, attract further investment and it widened our network of contacts.
As soon as we realised we had been shortlisted within our category, we promptly began garnering votes from our users and customers. This was quite an exciting challenge, watching the real-time leader board and trying to get enough votes to stay in the top five - we eventually finished seventh.
On the evening of the awards, we used the opportunity to network and meet lots of likeminded people. The networking in itself made the whole experience worthwhile.
It has enhanced our profile building, recognition as a fast growth start-up doing interesting stuff and the introduction of new contacts - these three elements have helped validate our proposition.
In the last 12 months, Blottr has grown its monthly audience by 200%, with more than 2.6 million people using the site as their preferred global breaking news resource. We've partnered with some great companies such as The Guardian, New York Times and Yahoo!, we have increased revenues by 500% and we raised our second round of investment. We're pretty pleased with how things have developed so far, but there is much still to do.
Be prepared for stiff competition but be proud of what you are doing and use Smarta to showcase it and recognise your achievements.