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O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year 2014

PRESS RELEASE:
FOR IMMEDIATE USE

DISRUPTIVE FOOTBALL FIRM SQUAWKA SCORES 'BUSINESS OF THE YEAR’ AWARD

Squawka, the fast-growing small business that using innovative data analysis to build an audience of football fans to give Sky and the BBC a run for its money, has been named the ‘O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year’ at the O2 Smarta 100 Awards 2014.

Squawka beat off more than 2,000 applicants and was voted by the public to win the ‘Best Use of Technology’ category before being selected by a judging panel that included Dragons’ Den’s Piers Linney, founder of Ella’s Kitchen Paul Lindley and former Dyson CEO Martin McCourt, to be named the overall ‘O2 Smarta 100 Business of the Year and collect a prize of £10,000.

Founded in 2011, Squawka’s ‘second screen experience’ has been labeled ‘football fans’ best friend’, providing real-time analysis and content to accompany any live football match.

With more than 700,000 customers from 192 countries using the site daily, Squawka leverages the data of its largely mobile user-base to work with brands such as Domino’s Pizza and Labrokes to offer in the moment, highly targeted promotions.

After collecting the award at last night’s awards ceremony held at RIBA and attended by 400 entrepreneurs and small business owners, Squawka founder and CEO said:

“We’re astounded to win this award, we didn’t expect it at all. The money will all go to continuing to invest in Squawka – bringing in new staff and delivering more services for the customer.”

Shaa Wasmund, founder of Smarta, commented:

“Squawka epitomises what the O2 Smarta 100 Awards look to champion: a small business innovating to deliver a superior experience for customers and a business model that’s disrupting an industry many thought beyond challenge. Squawka is a blueprint for success for any ambitious entrepreneur bold enough to think big."

Paul Lawton, General Manager of SMB at O2, added:
“It’s a fantastic achievement for businesses to be recognised in the O2 Smarta 100 Awards. At O2, we’re passionate about helping the UK’s small businesses grow and thrive in an increasingly digital Britain. That’s why we’re extremely proud to see so many of the winners embracing the possibilities of digital technology. By partnering with organisations like Smarta we can help ensure that both businesses and entrepreneurs have a great support network around them.”

The awards ceremony saw nine other small businesses also collect £1,000 prizes across 10 categories. The winners included revolutionary storage firm Lovespace; personalised apple pressing service Archer and Parry and a social enterprise helping self-harmers.

The full winners are listed below and are profiled at www.smarta.com/smarta100:

Most Innovative Business: LOVESPACE
Best Use of Technology: Squawka
Best Use of Marketing: The Rib Man
Best People Business: 3 Beards
Micro Business of the Year: One Minute London
Biggest Social Impact: Harmless
Made in Britain: Pooch and Mutt
Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Karisma Kidz
Startup of the Year: Archer and Parry
Mobile Business of the Year: Frugl

Now in its fifth year, the O2 Smarta 100 Awards has recognised 500 winners and through its annual programme of events and online support has helped more than a million small businesses. The partnership is part of O2’s on-going commitment to help UK small businesses grow.

In addition to headline partners O2, the awards are also supported by:

- Penelope, a virtual phone system designed for small businesses, and sponsors of the Micro Business of the Year Award
- Xero, providers of cloud-based accountancy solutions for small business and sponsors of the Most Innovative Business Award
- Help4IT, providers of on-site IT support tailored for SMEs and sponsors of the Best People Award
- Ryman for Business, the UK's leading stationer and supplier of home and office materials and sponsors of the Made in Britain Award
- Access Professions, a charity that connects talented young individuals with study opportunities and sponsors the Biggest Social Impact Award

Full list of judges:

Ben Dowd, Business Director at O2; Gary Turner, Managing Director, Xero; Shaa Wasmund, founder of Smarta; Piers Linney, Dragons Den and Outsourcery; Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen; Eamon Fitzgerald, Naked Wines; Al Gosling, Extreme Group; Charlie Mullins, Pimlico Plumbers; Lynne Franks, B.Hive; Polly Gowers, Give as you Live; Martin McCourt, Montagu; Matt Thomas, COO of Smarta.

Full list of O2 Smarta 100 Winners by category:

Most innovative business: LOVESPACE, Sonovate, Liquiproof, Amber Energy, NearDesk, Shortlister.com, Nosy Crow, NexusEngage, Grabyo, The House Crowd
Biggest Social Impact: Sing Up, A. M. Custom Clothing, Free: Formers, Cause4, Breaking Free Group, ClearlySo, Goodwill Solutions, The Raw Chocolate Company, Two Fingers Brewing Co., Harmless

Best People Business: Give a Grad a Go, The Mobile Pizzeria, Medical Supermarket, Super Being Labs, Friska, 3beards, GrantTree, Heck Food, LaunchPad Labs, Caffe Cream

Best Use of Marketing: SWIG Hip flasks, CafePod, Hairbond, The Chapar, The RibMan, Sport Pursuit, The Flash Pack, Filtered, Lick, The Champion Agency
Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Poppy's Funerals, Karisma Kidz, Brand Gathering, Great British Pizza Company, Slingshot Sponsorship, Hardly Ever, Venturespring, Motoriety, Astrid & Miyu, Rubies in the Rubble

Micro Business of the Year: One Minute London, Victor's Drinks, WhoCanFixMyCar.com, Urban Bundles, We Got Pop Ltd, Stare Into The Sun Ltd, Jealous Sweets, Love Moorish/ The Little Smoke Food Company, JustIngredients, Gate8 Luggage

Made in Britain: Roaming Roosters, Choc on Choc, Lexie Sport, Pooch & Mutt Flavourly Limited, Urban Apothecary, Frog Bikes, Boompods, Rosalind Miller Cakes, Grip It Fixings

Mobile Business of the Year: Taxicode, Grabble, Payfriendz, Venteo, Future Healthcare/ Smart Beds, MatchPint, Therapy Box, Dattch, Redeemia, Frugl
Best Use of Technology: Squawka, Rant & Rave, Freespee, Pact Coffee, Coniq, iGeolise, Clear Books, Carrot, Shopwave, Quill

Startup of the Year: EeBria.com, Nom Foods, Housekeep, Burrito Kitchen, Carwow, Venture Founders Limited, Archer & Parry, OnScroll Limited, Sibling Distillery, Rebel Kitchen



Notes to editors:

ALL WINNERS AND SELECTED JUDGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW

Contact information:
Matt Thomas, matt@smarta.com 07894649177

For images of the ceremony and category winners contact:

Matt Maltby, matt.maltby@smarta.com 07590820897



About Smarta

Smarta is the UK’s No.1 provider of trusted advice, tools, content and awards for startups, small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping more than 500,000 people starting and run their own businesses every month.

Contact information:
Matt Thomas, matt@smarta.com 07894649177

About O2

O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading digital communications company with the highest customer satisfaction for any mobile provider according to Ofcom. With over 23 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks across the UK, as well as operating O2 Wifi and owning half of Tesco Mobile. O2 has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news.

Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc (a business division of Telefónica SA) which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic.

To interview O2’s Paul Lawton or for more information on O2, please contact:
Matthew Bradford, matthew.bradford@telefonica.com

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