Who are the companies that are rewriting the rules, the game-changers that are redefining their own marketplace? The Spectator and Julius Baer have once again come together to present the Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards – a celebration of creative entrepreneurship throughout the UK.
In front of more than 120 guests from across the business world, the awards were announced on Wednesday 13 November at a gala dinner at the Postal Museum in London, chaired by Spectator chairman Andrew Neil. The winners were drawn from nearly 150 nominations from across the UK.
The entrants have all been innovators, driven by real passion for what they do, and represent each of the different regions of the UK. The finalists are recognised as those with the greatest potential to scale-up: taking their ideas from the local to the national, and – from there – to the wider world.
With the potential to become the UK’s first global ‘edutech’ venture, CENTURY was named the overall winner of the 2019 awards, as well as the regional winner for London.
CENTURY is the creation of Priya Lakhani OBE. Lakhani, an entrepreneur and former adviser to then Business Secretary Vince Cable, became excited about the possible uses of artificial intelligence in education software. She developed CENTURY: a tool that helps teachers not only to organise what pupils are learning but, uniquely, to identify specific points at which individual pupils need more help. It seeks to transform teaching via neuroscience rather than merely digitising existing classroom methods.
CENTURY is already reaching more than 200 UK schools and has been exported to schools in the UAE, Belgium, Lebanon and Malaysia.
Andrew Neil, chairman of The Spectator, says: “CENTURY combines cutting edge technologies with a successful business model and a socially-conscious outlook. Its smart and ethical methods have seen the company already reach clients globally. With its capacity to expand and its tried-and-tested success, we consider CENTURY the worthy winner of this award.”
Martin Vander Weyer says: “CENTURY has already shown its ability to improve children’s information retention by up to 30 per cent, while saving many hours a week of teachers’ time. We hope this award can help increase the recognition of its excellent work, as CENTURY embarks the next stage of its fantastic journey.”
Our full list of regional winners – chosen for their creativity and scaling potential – were:
London & the South winner: CENTURY
North West & Wales winner: Transcend Packaging
Midlands winner: ReBound
Scotland & Northern Ireland Winner: WFS Technologies
North East winner: The Floow
Overall runner up: Transcend Packaging
Overall winner: CENTURY
Julius Baer and The Spectator thank all of the entrants and everyone else who has made this year’s the Economic Disruptor of the Year Awards such a resounding success.
We are delighted to announce that we will be opening nominations for the 2020 Awards in March.