New firms are the lifeblood of any growing economy as they create wealth, develop innovation and, most importantly, generate jobs in local communities.

With research showing that new businesses create the majority of employment in any economy, they are making a real difference every day in improving prosperity across Wales.

The Wales Start-Up Awards were established in 2016 to recognise the achievements of those amazing individuals who have had a great idea, spotted the opportunity and taken the risks to launch a new product or service. Such entrepreneurs and their new ventures are the unsung heroes of the business community and we feel it is important, now more than ever, to recognise their talents, creativity and sheer hard work.  

Now in their sixth year, the Wales Startup Awards are also the only awards in the UK that focus specifically on celebrating the success of new businesses and recognise businesses across all sectors and all parts of Wales

Whilst the Wales Start-Up Awards had to go online in 2020, we are aiming to return to the Depot in Cardiff in September 2021 so that the start-up community can come together again in an informal and relaxed atmosphere (strictly no black tie!) to celebrate the best of Welsh entrepreneurship. 

I hope to see you all there!

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE
Creator of the Wales Start-Up Awards

Our Judges

  • Photo of Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE

    Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE

    Dylan is Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at the University of South Wales and has been championing entrepreneurship in Wales for 25 years. As well as being the founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50 Awards, Dylan created the Wales Start-Up Awards in 2016 with the aim of recognising the achievements of those entrepreneurial individuals who have spotted the opportunity and taken the risks to launch a new business.

  • Photo of Heather Anstey-Myers

    Heather Anstey-Myers

    Heather is the CEO of Chambers Wales, whose mission is to help Welsh business to grow, trade internationally and have a voice to shout loudly. With a black book of industry experts across the globe, she makes the connections that businesses in Wales need to sustainably grow and works with policymakers in the UK and Welsh Governments to ensure the views of business are heard before decisions are made

  • Photo of Gemma Casey

    Gemma Casey

    Gemma is NatWest Cymru’s Ecosystem Manager for Wales. She leads on the bank’s enterprise support to start-up and scale-up businesses across the nation, including its flagship Accelerator programme and Business Builder, a virtual tool to support business development. A former newspaper and broadcast journalist and PR specialist, Gemma believes that success comes from having great relationships, strong networks and amazing communications, and is passionate about helping small businesses achieve this.

  • Photo of Chris Coughlan

    Chris Coughlan

    Chris leads Capital Law’s technology practice as well as the firm's Irish desk. He is admitted as a solicitor in both England & Wales and Ireland, and has a particular interest working with organisations in the technology and retail sectors. Chris has worked with a wide range of businesses from tech start-ups to multinationals, and has particular expertise in advising these clients on commercial, data protection and intellectual property issues. Chris is on the South West Group Board of the Society for Computers and Law, and he leads the Capital team supporting the University of South Wales' new business incubator, Startup Stiwdio.

  • Photo of Geryn Evans

    Geryn Evans

    Geryn Evans is the founder and CEO of Project Blu, the 2020 Wales Start-up of the Year. A leading supplier of eco friendly dog and cat products, Project Blu recycles ocean bound plastics to make eco friendly pet beds, collars, leashes and toys.

  • Photo of Rachael Flanagan

    Rachael Flanagan

    Rachael started Mrs. Buckét commercial cleaning with just £20 worth of black and white flyers at just 18. Nearly 15 years on, her business employs over 250 staff and is still growing. Rachael’s drive for success has taken her on an award winning path to create and run a multimillion pound business throughout Wales and Bristol that is now a leader in the commercial cleaning market that works with high-calibre businesses such as Audi, Circle IT and S4C. 

  • Photo of Professor Simon Gibson CBE

    Professor Simon Gibson CBE

    Simon is Chairman and Founder of the Alacrity Foundation and Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation. Wesley Clover is an investment Fund specialising in seeding technology companies. Before joining Wesley Clover, he was co-founder, President and CEO of Ubiquity Software Corporation. Ubiquity was named European Innovator of the year in 2001 and in 2007 Ubiquity was acquired by Avaya Inc. Simon is a Regent of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford, a Professor at the Swansea University School of Management and Patron of the Employability Academy. 

  • Photo of Shelim Hussein MBE

    Shelim Hussein MBE

    Shelim is founder, chairman and managing director of Euro Foods. The business was established in Cardiff 30 years ago and has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of Indian and Bangladeshi foodstuffs to Indian restaurants, catering and specialist supermarkets employing 500 people in the UK. It also has three factories, a shrimp farm and a fish farm employing 1,600 people in Bangladesh.

  • Photo of Harri Helvon-Hardy

    Harri Helvon-Hardy

    Harri is the founder and CEO of Fabric Support Services, an award-winning social enterprise that is making a positive difference to young people aged 16 and 17 who are either in care or leaving care. Harri was recently listed in the top 35 business women under 35 in Wales and Fabric is the previous winner of both the Swansea Bay and Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year categories at the Wales Start-Up Awards

  • Photo of Kate Methuen-Ley

    Kate Methuen-Ley

    Following a sixteen year career in strategic marketing, Kate became the co-founder of Tiger Cardiff - the stylish Danish variety store with a difference - which has won several business awards including the Wales Fast Growth 50 consumer services winner 2017, winner of Retail Start Up 2016 at the Wales Start Up Awards, SME of the Year 2016 at the Cardiff Business Awards and Retailer of the Year 2015 at the Cardiff Business Awards. Kate is a champion of excellent customer service and believes passionately in putting the customer at the heart of everything a company delivers. 

  • Photo of James Shapland

    James Shapland

    James Shapland is the Co-Founder of Coffee #1.  Under his tenure Coffee #1 won Best Coffee Chain in the UK over 4 consecutive years and cemented itself as a formidable presence on the British high street.  In 2011, James sold the business to Welsh brewer SA Brain for a record sum.  Coffee #1 is now visible in over 100 locations across the UK.

  • Photo of James Taylor

    James Taylor

    James Taylor is one of Wales’ most successful young entrepreneurs.  He is the founder and CEO of Bridgend-based Superstars which was started with personal savings of £1000 but now employs 100 staff and helps over 80,000 children a week across 250 primary schools. In 2014, James become the IoD UK Director of the Year, one the UK’s most prestigious annual business awards and was the chair of the Welsh Government's Entrepreneurship panel.

  • Photo of Richard Theo

    Richard Theo

    Richard is the CEO of which is democratising investing and is backed by Aviva. He is also the founder of, the UK's leading comparison site and broker of health protection insurance. Currently, he is the UK Government's Fintech Envoy for Wales and is working to develop the Welsh Fintech ecosystem.

  • Photo of Caroline Thompson

    Caroline Thompson

    Caroline is currently Head of Partnerships for the Alacrity Foundation (UK), a unique 15 month programme that provides graduates with practical business training, software skills and mentoring so that they can develop as entrepreneurs and launch their own UK based technology companies. Prior to taking up her position with the Alacrity Foundation, Caroline was CEO of Be The Spark - a movement in Wales designed to bring together innovation and entrepreneurship in a more visible, simple, connected way - and headed up the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator hubs for NatWest in Bristol and Cardiff.

  • Photo of Hannah Williams

    Hannah Williams

    Hannah Williams is one of the founding team and CFO at Tiny Rebel, the leading Welsh craft brewery based in Newport. Since their humble beginnings, Tiny Rebel have concocted hundreds of mouthwatering recipes, moved to an incredible new brewhouse, opened three bars and show no sign of slowing down.


  • Os modd rhoi cais i'r gwobrau drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg?

    Rydym yn croesawu ceisiadau trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg a gellir gofyn am ffurflen gais oddiwrth 

  • How many categories can I enter?

    You can enter as many categories as you like. However, the judges reserve the right to consider you in another category different to those entered if your company is eligible. We will also only allow businesses to be in TWO categories if shortlisted (although an individual in those businesses can also be shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur award)

  • Is my company eligible to enter the Awards?

    The business' registered office and/or trading address must be located in Wales and the business should have started to trade on or after June 1st 2018. Trading is when a business has started selling its products or services.

    The business should be independently owned i.e. is owned by its founders/independent investors and not a subsidiary of another business.

  • What’s the judging process?

    All shortlisted candidates will be called to attend an interview with a panel of judges. 

    If the candidates cannot attend the interview, we can arrange for a video or online interview to take place.

  • When will the interviews take place?

    Interviews for all shortlisted finalists will take place in June and July 2021

  • How long is the interview?

    The interview should take no longer than 15 minutes. A 5 minute presentation and 10 minutes of questions and answers with the judges. No presentation aids are allowed. 

    The interviews will be held at the Capital Law Office, Tyndall Street, Cardiff, CF10 4AZ.

    The location of the offices can be found here

  • If my company is shortlisted, do we get any free tickets to the Awards night?

    No - everyone is asked to purchase tickets from the website in advance of the evening. Priority is given to shortlisted companies and sponsors but it is on a first come first served basis so get you are advised to book early to guarantee the tickets you require.

  • How much are tickets?

    Tickets are £60+VAT. Payment must be made prior to the event.

  • What is included in the ticket price?

    The price includes a drinks reception, and a voucher to use against any of the street food vendors at the Depot for a 2 course meal and 2 drinks from the bar.

  • How do I book tickets for the Awards?

    You can reserve your ticket request via the website and you will be sent an invoice.

  • Are tickets refundable?

    Refunds are available as long as cancellation is received no later than 10 days prior to the event. Please view our terms and conditions for more information.

  • Someone that was coming can’t attend any more - can someone take their place?

    Yes, just let us know so who they are and if they have any dietary requirements.

  • Where are the awards held?

    The awards are held at the Depot, Williams Way, off Curran Embankment, Cardiff, CF10 5DY 

    The location of the Depot can be found here

  • What are the timings of the event?

    Open - 6.15pm

    Eat - 6.45pm

    Awards - 8.30pm

    Dance - 10.15pm

    Home - 12.00am

  • What is the dress code?

    There is no dress code for the evening. You can dress to impress or be as casual as you want.