Spectator Briefings

Innovator of the Year Awards: Leeds

23 min listen

In This Episode

For the next round of The Spectator’s Economic Innovator of the Year Awards sponsored by Investec, we met in Leeds at the Dakota hotel and restaurant.

For the Yorkshire and Northeast region, three finalists joined us for lunch — out of a record total of 176 entries across the whole of the UK — to pitch their ventures to our distinguished panel of judges. The finalists you’ll hear about on this podcast are: Testcard, in the healthcare sector; MudDaddy, a portable dog shower and Tofooco. After lunch, we also met Powersheds via Zoom who couldn’t make it to the pitching lunch.
The judges were Gordon Black, venture capitalist and former manufacturer; Caroline Theobald, entrepreneur and chair of the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University. Finally from our sponsors Investec; Dan Sheahan, Michelle White and Rowena Huston.

The judges faced the tough task of comparing businesses in very different sectors and stages of development. But all four made compelling pitches – and the variety of entries is part of the fun of these awards.

We hope all the companies we meet gain from the networking opportunities, benefit from the accolade of being selected as finalists and enjoy the buzz, the conversation and the lunch. We hope Spectator readers and podcast listeners also enjoy following the search for this year’s ultimate winners – and will take a few minutes to explore the finalists’ websites and products.

More Economic innovator of the Year Awards podcasts coming shortly!


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