Spectator Briefings

Innovator of the Year Awards: Consumer

33 min listen

In This Episode

Every year, The Spectator travels the country in search of the best and boldest new companies that are disrupting their respective industries. In a series of five podcasts, we will tell you about the finalists for 2023’s Innovator of the Year Awards, sponsored by Investec. The awards winners will be announced in a prize ceremony in November.

The businesses in this category are reinventing the very staple goods that we, as consumers, use everyday, from pet food to laundry tabs. You might not think that much can be done to improve on them, but some bright British entrepreneurs have come up with great ideas. Finalists include a subscription service for children’s bikes, so you can trade up as your children grow, and prams that can gently rock your baby to sleep while playing soothing background sounds.

Martin Vander Weyer, The Spectator‘s business editor, judges the awards and hosts this podcast along with three other judges: Merryn Somerset Webb, senior columnist at Bloomberg and former editor in chief of Moneyweek; Gordon Black, investor and former chairman of Peter Black Holdings, a major supplier of retail goods; and Michelle White, co-head of Investec’s private office.

The finalists in this category are:

  • Rockit, which produces affordable vibrating devices that gently rock prams, strollers and cots to give parents some time off.
  • The Friendly Chemical Co, which produces eco-friendly household, personal care and laundry products.
  • Bike Club, which is Europe’s largest subscription provider of children’s bikes.
  • Pets Purest, which creates all-natural supplements to treat ailments in pets, such as digestive, skin and joint issues.
  • Lovat Parks Ltd, which is a provider of holiday homes and caravan parks.
  • Net World Sports, which sells premium sports equipment at cost.
  • Cascade Cash Management Ltd, which helps customers get the best returns on their savings.
  • Smartify, a culture and museums app, which has partnered with more than 700 cultural institutions internationally.
  • Picture News, which produces thought-provoking and engaging news resources to help teachers explore current affairs with pupils of all ages.


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