Smarta 100 // Judges
Smarta 100 / Judges
The Smarta 100 will be selected by a heavyweight entrepreneurial judging panel
Ryman and Dragons’ Den
With a career portfolio spanning retail, property, finance and consumer goods, TV dragon and Smarta investor Theo Paphitis is one of the UK's most high profile entrepreneurs. Paphitis is a classic entrepreneur, having kicked off his career when he ran the school tuck shop. He joined an insurance broker as the tea boy when he left school and went on to launch his first business aged 23. He has since turned around several big businesses, most notably Ryman and La Senza. His latest venture Boux Avenue, is an innovative and rapidly expanding lingerie business and he also owns the experience company Red Letter Days with fellow dragon Peter Jones.
The driving force behind Smarta, Sháá Wasmund has always been a "doer" in business. At 21, she became the first female - and youngest - promoter on the boxing circuit for Chris Eubank, later she helped James Dyson launch his iconic vacuum cleaner and founded businesses with Bob Geldof and Ben Way to boot. Wasmund knows all about thriving in a challenging economic climate having launched Smarta in the middle of one of the worst recessions this country has experienced. Smarta has grown to become one of the leading small business resources in the UK.
Business director Ben Dowd is one of O2's longest standing directors and has overseen major changes in the business during his 16 years there. He has been absolutely instrumental in moving the business from a narrow focus on mobile to the wider ICT space. Dowd is passionate about helping businesses to succeed and has championed new technologies and ideas, helping businesses of all sizes to capitalise on new trends that can help them succeed.
Last year's overall Smarta 100 winner turned the wine industry on its head when he launched Naked Wines. Gormley introduced the innovative approach of working directly with the winemakers and cutting out the middle man, saving customers big money and boosting the wine industry along the way. More recently, Gormley has launched Naked MarketPlace, applying a crowd sourcing model to allow winemakers to pitch their products direct to customers.
The brains behind the free magazine titles ShortList and Stylist has a long and brilliant career in publishing behind him. Having started out as the beauty editor of a women's magazine, then editing pop title Smash Hits, he later revived the ailing FHM magazine. The launch of ShortList in 2007 and then Stylist, both distributed for free to hundreds of thousands of commuters have been followed by a number of sister supplements. Soutar showed true enterprising defiance launching the publications in a recession, but he has made them a success by firmly taking advantage of a niche in a struggling market.
Thea Green was living the high-life as fashion editor of Tatler magazine when her entrepreneurial instinct kicked in and she came up with the idea to start a chain of nail salons. Inspired by a more casual approach to the business model in New York, she opened her first nails inc salon in London's South Molton Street and launched a range of nail varnish in 1999. Green has turned her bright idea into a hugely successful business with 59 stores in the UK and a presence in Europe and the US. She is now plotting the expansion into Asia after setting up a partnership with cosmetics giant Sephora.
Forced to cut short a promising career as a professional rugby player Alastair Lukies came up with the concept of mobile payments after meeting co-founder Steve Atkinson.
The pair launched Monitise in 2003 despite encountering a lot of scepticism in and outside the board rooms as investors doubted the plan. Lukies was last year named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Growing Business awards and Monitise is now the fastest growing banking and payments market in the world. It has established partnerships with most UK banks, provides services to more than 250 financial institutions in the US and has more than six million users across the world.
The managing director of NatWest Business Banking is responsible for the leadership and strategic direction of the Business Banking franchise, supporting NatWest customers in England and Wales and RBS customers in Scotland. Walters has been with NatWest for more than 25 years and has covered areas including corporate, commercial and business banking.
His solid experience in strategy, financial planning and risk management means he will bring a rounded approach to the judging table and he will asses applicants based on the wide variety of small businesses he has worked with throughout his career.
Social Enterprise UK
As the CEO of Social Enterprise UK, the national body for social enterprise, Peter Holbrook has worked with a plethora of social enterprises from across the country. Before taking on this role he ran his own award-winning social business and since 2007 he has been one of the UK's social enterprise ambassadors, a role which has seen him lobbying politicians and speaking at events, all in the name of social enterprise. Holbrook has experience working with a range of businesses - both big and small - as well as charities including Greenpeace and Oxfam.
king of shaves
Will King founded male grooming brand King of Shaves in 1993, taking on US shaving giants Gillette and Wilkinson Sword. Since then, the brand's holding company, KMI, has acquired personal grooming brands including Ted Baker and Fish. This year King has launched an online cut prize razor subscription service offering customers three razor blades for £3 a month. Through the experience of growing his own business and working with companies he has mentored King will be able to tell what works and what doesn't in the cut-throat world of business.
The co-founder of Cloud collaboration provider Huddle is responsible for growing the company's US presence. Since founding in 2005, McLoughlin has guided Huddle to become one of Europe's most awarded and easily recognised technology start-ups. A keen advocate of entrepreneurship, McLoughlin has also launched DrinkTank, the popular entrepreneur networking event with Huddle co-founder Alastair Mitchell. He also mentors early-stage start-ups and blogs on entrepreneurship and social media. Drawing on his own extensive experience as well as those of his mentees, he will have a unique insight into the start-up world.
The founder and CEO of the MOBO Organisation knows everything there is to know about starting a small business and, crucially, making it a huge success. Having launched in 1996, King has since grown the celebration of music of black origin into a massive global venture, broadcasting the annual awards show to hundreds of millions of people around the world. She is the perfect example of how you can turn your bright idea into a brilliant business as long as you have the right vision and a steely determination.
Special Awards Shortlist
Congratulations to all Special Awards nominees – it was a close competition!
- » Best use of InnovationA week's stay at the exclusive Lower Mill Estate holiday house in the Cotswolds for up to five people
- Charity Engine
- EcoEgg (winner)
- » Best use of Technology£1,000 worth of Intuit products
- Funding Circle (winner)
- » Best use of Resources£1,000 business insurance products
- Magaluf Takeover
- Maskarade (winner)
- RedDog Design
- Simon Beattie
- » Best use of Marketing A three-hour PR and communications workshop, worth £1,000, with founders Michael Hayman and Nick Giles
- Alyssa Smith Jewellery
- Less Packaging Company
- MediaDevil (winner)
- Oil and Gas People
- » Best use of People£1,000 worth of training from NatWest Mentor
- Enterprise Labs
- Hatstand Nelly
- Livity (winner)
- The Bicycle Academy
- Young Rewired State