Recognition for Bristol’s brightest tech stars in this year’s coveted SPARKies awards

July 22, 2022

Bristol’s tech talent has shone brightly at The SPARKies, the awards that champion the best of the West of England’s tech and digital community.

The 17 awards, which celebrate the best start-ups, designs, hardware, people and more, were handed out at a lively ceremony at Bristol event space Propyard last week.

The awards, which were launched in 2012, have grown to become to best-respected tech accolades in the region, attracting hundreds of entries from across the region’s vibrant tech sector.

A record number of nominations of the highest quality this year gave the judges a tough time deciding on the final shortlists – testament, say organisers TechSPARK, the information hub for all things tech in Bristol, Bath and the West of England, that the sector continues to build back better from the impact of the pandemic.

The Bristol winners included Dr Zara Nanu, CEO and co-founder of Bristol-based Gapsquare, who landed the Awesome Human Award. Zara launched Gapsquare in 2016 to harness data and AI technology to help organisations put a stop to biases and practices preventing equality.

Last August it was acquired by Surrey-based HR consultancy XpertHR, part of the US data giant LexisNexis. Last month Zara was awarded an MBE for services to tackle global workplace inequalities and promoting fairness and inclusion in the the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list. 

The Totally Killing It Award went to Aico HomeLINK,  whose cutting-edge home integration and analytics technologies addresses the needs of social landlords and their residents, while data protection and cyber security firm KETS Quantum Security nabbed the Hardware Award.

The ‘Good’ Award was shared by Clue, whose cloud-based investigation case management and intelligence SaaS platform is used by police, governments, and the private, sport, and not-for-profit sectors around the world to help counter serious and organised crime, and TalkLife, which builds global peer support communities that offer safe and engaging places for people to get mental health support anytime and anywhere.

The Founder of the Year category also had two winners – Emily Hill, CEO and co-founder of Bristol software developers Ghyston, and Nicola Telford CEO and co-founder ViewsForChange, an impact marketing platform.

The Data Data Data Award went to Spherics, which designs software that helps companies identify their carbon footprint and their major carbon sources from which effective mitigation actions can be implemented, while CytoSeek, based at the Science Creates incubator where it is developing cell therapies to treat solid tumours in cancer patients, landed the Best Start-up accolade.

NMI, the US fintech group that moved into Bristol after acquiring payment technology company CreditCall in 2018, walked away with the Best Place to Work in Tech trophy, and digital design agency Atomic Smash claimed the Best Digital Design title.

The People’s Choice Award went to Loqbox, the FinTech aiming to eradicate financial exclusion.

The headline sponsor for The SPARKies was Huboo, the Bristol eCommerce fulfilment company. Other sponsors included Future Space at UWE, accountants Bishop Fleming, law firm VWV, NatWest and Bristol tech marketing agency Estrella Ventures.


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