The UK entrepreneurial scene is certainly coming together, with all its inadequacies - Investment, Billion dollar exits etc. It is certainly coming together.
In a year where other businesses have been forced to close down, others have being unable to keep up with competitors. It's always good to take some time to reflect, praise and encourage those startups that have done a great job in remaining resillient, competitive and profitable.
2012 is already gearing up to be an even more successful and exciting year in the UK startup scene, we are already seeing a lot of exciting companies starting up.
As the year gently comes to an end, I decided to put together a list of companies who I thought came out on top this year.
This is in no particular order.
Imagine being able to rent some of central london's elite houses (which cost up to £1 million) for the price of staying in an luxurious hotel. If you're someone that prefers that homey feeling whilst travelling then this will certainly appeal to you. Onefinestay allows you to stay in a beautiful home while the owner is out of town, while enjoying all the convenience and comfort of a hotel.
Earlier this month, the company added seven new Central London homes to their growing list of properties.
Onefinestay was founded by Greg Marsh, Demetrios Zoppos and Tim Davey in 2009.
Themed after their launch as the "YouTube of radio" - Mixcloud allows its users to connect to great radio content and helps content creators promote their radio shows and podcasts.
If you are a DJ, broadcaster or run a podcast show, Mixcloud gives you the platform to reach hungry music and audio content consumers.
The startup was founded by Nikhil Shah and Nico Perez in september 2008.
Why would you ever wait around for a courier if you could get your shopping delivered to you in a matter of minutes… or at a time chosen by you? Seriously, why would you?
This London-based internet start-up aggregates a platform of thousands of small courier companies to collect online orders directly from high street stores, instead of a distribution hub, allowing it to deliver quickly to customers’ homes or workplaces.
In August, Shutl expanded to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester
The company was founded by Tom Allason the founder & former CEO of eCourier.co.uk in 2008.
Struq is the leading specialist in Personalized Retargeting; a powerful new alternative to standard/static display advertising. Their technology A.R.T. technology (Advanced Retargeting Technology) enables brands to identify and retarget only the most profitable in-market users with completely personalized ads optimized in real-time using scientific principles.
On average, for every £1 a retailer spends, they get £19 in revenues in post-click sales.
Struq was founded in 2008 by Sam Barnett
If you're a music fanatic, especially when it comes to watching your favourite artists perform live then you will understand why over 1 million people are addicted to using Songkick.
Songkick offers music enthusiasts a place where they track their favorite bands and receive email alerts when a tracked band plays a gig nearby and also providing personalized news about live music events.
Singkick was co-founded by Ian Hogarth, Michelle You and Pete Smith in October 2007.
BraveNewTalent are a social recruiting platform where employers can form and manage an engaging relationship with candidates in advance of the job application. We build targeted talent communities based on the employers needs. Users are given a simple management tool to see and engage with people within their community. Candidates get a way to keep up to date, educate themselves and be better matched to companies and roles.
BraveNewTalent was founded by Lucian Tarnowsk in 2008
Thinking about starting up a society or currently looking for ways to manage your existing one online with tools to maintain your mailing list, update members, and receive payments - Group spaces makes administration of groups more effective.
GroupSpaces is an online platform that provides technology to help real-world clubs, societies, associations and other groups manage their membership and activities, and promote themselves online which help improve members communications and saves organizers time.
GroupSpaces recently hit two million memberships on the website. GroupSpaces was co-founded by David Langer and Andy Young in October 2007.
Huddle being in the list has nothing to do with the fact that Rishi works there, but everything to do with the fact that they kicked serious ass this year, you will need to have serious balls to be going head-to-head with microsoft (sharepoint). Lets not forget the controversy surrounding them telling Google to remove Google+ feature called Huddle from their platform.
Huddle is a cloud collaboration and content management platform for enterprise, it allows companies to share files, organize meetings, and collaborate even when they are not operating within the same firewall.
The company was founded by Alastair Mitchell and Andy McLoughlin in 2006.
Getting a parking space can sometimes be such a headache, especially when you're looking for a parking space in London during peak times or sometimes you find out that the parking prices are just too expensive. And then on the other hand, you have property owners that have free parking spaces either because they have no cars or use their cars during the day for work etc.
ParkatmyHouse allows property owners to rent out their parking space either long term or just for a few hours. For those people who are looking for a parking space all you do is enter the postcode or address in the search engine and the website will give you a list of potential parking spaces which you can use in negotiating with the owner.
The company has 125,000 drivers registered with its service. The site has helped property owners make more than £1m from renting out their driveways, spare land and parking spaces.
The company was founded by Anthony Eskinazi in September 2006.
If you run a blog, forum and any other sites that deal with content distribution and you are looking to make some revenue through it - this is where Skimlinks comes in handy.
Skimlinks turns links on content sites into their affiliate marketing link equivalents on-the-fly, so publishers can focus on creating quality content rather than creating and maintaining affiliate links with no technical or admin effort.
The website was co-founded by Joe Stepniewski and Alicia Navarro in 2006.
Between 18-25 years old? Starting a business? Need help? Then checkout the IncuBusLDN programme
I can still remember the first time I used moonfruit, one of my friends in school had just started his music career and was really excited to share his new music with all of his friends on msn, me included, this was way before myspace and other music sharing platforms started to spring up. I ended up creating a page using a tool called SiteMaker for the sake of it under 20 mins.
I am pretty sure almost everyone had a go making their mini-websies on moonfruit when it first launched. A lot has happened since then, the dotcom bubble etc.
The company is still growing and for those newbies still wondering what moonfruit does, it allows less tech savy individuals to create website with ease using their website construction tool called SiteMaker.
The website was founded by Wendy Tan White in 1999
If your business is offering a service and looking for a system where you can manage all your booking, enquiries and reservations - Say hello to BookingBug.
BookingBug enables businesses to share their availability – by hour, day, week or as classes, courses or events – and take bookings and enquiries online. The system is both realtime and distributed in that it’s booking and enquiry widgets can be embedded onto other sites, or affiliate partners and through social media.
The site was co-founded by Greg Bock and Glenn Shoosmith in November 2009
Brightpearl is an integrated end-to-end web based solution that helps companies streamline the management of core business processes: accounting, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), stock control and order management, customer support and e-commerce.
Brightpearl offers its customers exceptional functionality around ERP for SMEs, particularly for businesses who are e-tailers/retailers, distributors, wholesalers, as well as businesses who are billing time.
Customers are able to pick and choose any of the available modules to address individual business needs and challenges.
Bristol-based Brightpearl was founded by Chris Tanner and Andrew Mulvenna in 2007
Especially with the demand of website services, it is unimaginable that any business does not have a website nowadays, It's very much like your company identity. Not every business owner out there know how to build a website, most of them more concerned about the business side of things than the technicality of getting a website up and running, certainly dont know how to get their hand dirty with some html and css.
Basekit allow people with little or no web expertise to build their own website, without the need to hire expensive developers. A business which would generate attractive, captivating websites using templates and drag-and-drop.
BaseKit is based on a flexible layout structure and allows users to create a site directly from a Photoshop design, or customise a pre-made site themes to get online faster.
The company was co-founded in 2008 by Simon Best, Richard Best and Richard Healy
Smarkets was founded in 2008 by Jason Trost and Hunter Morris.
Imagine every decision, interaction that you make online being tracked? PeerIndex measures your online influence by gathering data on your activity, audience and authority to either maximise your online relevance and insight or just tell you how bad you're doing. Authority measures how relevant your activity is to the community. The Authority measure is boosted whenever others like, comment and/or engage with your activity.
The london based company provide these analytics based on users activities on social media services such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Quora.
PeerIndex was founded in 2009 by Azeem Azhar, Bill Emmott and Ditlev Schwanenflugel.
I'm unsure if the discovery of mendeley would have done my researching and courseworks any favours during my time at university, maybe it might have helped, who knows? I guess if you're doing any academic research and finding it hard of where to get quality research done with the ability to network with academics, then i guess mendeley wouldnt be a bad place to start.
The website allows users to manage and research papers - discovering data and collaborating online.
The website was co-founded by Paul Foeckler and Victor Henning.
With the high increase in unemployment constantly rising in the UK, no wonder job seekers are switching attention to online job listing sites for a way out and thats what exactly People per hour offers: The websites connects people looking for work with jobs, that simple.
In more details, Clients are able to post ads on the website looking for part-time, a bit like what gumtree does, but i guess in a more professional and structure online environment, I guess they are currently doing what you would have expected gumtree to do, most clients post jobs for freelancers, mostly part0time, sometimes full-time but to get those jobs, you had to bid and whoever bids came successfully got the job/contract.
The company was founded by Xenios Thrasyvoulou and Simos Kitiris in September 2007.
Think about the countless number of athletes around the world, the number of tournaments being watched by sports lover across the globe, crazy right? Now think about those individuals and associations and their need for social presence, with the growing presence of facebook, It's not hard to understand why big corporates would be paying big bucks in order to be connected directly with their brands through facebook.
The start-up manages Facebook pages and campaigns for athletes, sports agents, sporting governing bodies and associations.
Their in-house technology allows them to automate much of the process of providing relevant and timely content to fans across social networks, and to monitor a brand's activity within those networks.
The company was founded by Jae Chalfin and Nick Thain in April 2008
If you're looking to make some money from your video online. Brainient makes it easier for advertisers to get the most out of their video campaigns through interactive video advertising and personalized video retargeting.
Brainient was founded by Emi Gal in 2009
Between 18-25 years old? Starting a business? Need help? Then checkout the IncuBusLDN programme