Cambridgeshire’s brightest and best businesses have been honoured at a ceremony that celebrated the great achievements of businesses large and small.
The CambridgeshireLive Business Awards for 2020 were held online – and brought together winners ranging from an independent family-owned camera store to one of the global IT world’s best-known innovators.
Businesses and entrepreneurs from across the county met virtually last night for a virtual ceremony that once again showcased Cambridgeshire as a home of innovation and business success.
The event was streamed on The Awards Room platform and hosted by broadcaster Ayesha Hazarika. And for the sixth consecutive year, Barclays was the event’s headline sponsor.
The Price Bailey Award for Business of the Year went to biotech firm Mogrify, with judges saying its technology could one day help change the world.
Pierre-Louis Joffrin, corporate development officer at Mogrify, told Ayesha tonight that the award was a “very big surprise”.
He added: “”It’s really important to keep getting the message out there that next generation cell and gene therapy is an important part of future healthcare.”
The AstraZeneca Award for Outstanding Contribution was won by Raspberry Pi, the creators of the pioneering single-board computer that has sold millions of units worldwide. Ayesha said judges had chosen to celebrate a business “which has contributed and gone above and beyond to serve not only their county, but the entire globe”.
Eben Upton, co-founder of Raspberry Pi said: “We’re delighted to have won. It is a wonderful piece of recognition, not just for the Raspberry Pi team, but for the broader community that has grown up around the product and the mission.”
Meanwhile, the Barclays Award for Large Business of the Year went to digital radio specialist: Sepura.
Among the other winners were two independent businesses – family-run retailer Campkins Cameras and glass design company Go Glass.
David Bartlett, Audience and Content Director for London and the South East at Reach plc, said the awards should have been held exactly a year ago tonight.
He said: “The last 12 months have been extraordinarily difficult for all of us, and the pandemic has had an impact on both our personal and business lives.”
He added: “However we are not deterred, and tonight recognise all of the fantastic businesses that have made it through to the finals.”
Martin Clapson, managing director at Business of the Year Award category sponsor Price Bailey, said the award judges “realised how lucky we are to work in Cambridgeshire where there are so many great businesses and leaders”.
Host Ayesha said: “I’m sure I can speak on behalf of everybody in Cambridgeshire and everyone that is watching across the world tonight, we are extremely proud of your achievements.”
Barclays Award for Independent Retailer of the Year
Winner: Campkins Cameras
Campkins Cameras is an independent, family-run retail business specialising in the sale of new and second-hand cameras, both modern and vintage, binoculars and telescopes. It has been a feature of the Cambridge high street since 1955, serving the local community’s photographic and optical needs. When trading on the high street became tough, Campkins continued to move forward with the wants and needs of its customers. In October 2019, the retailer organised the second Cambridge Photography Show, creating a platform for 25 brands to display and promote their products to 600 photography enthusiasts.
Winner: Go Glass
Having celebrated 40 years in business, Go Glass is a well-established member of Cambridge’s independent business community. Family-owned and run, the glass design company counts Westminster Abbey and The Shard amongst its clients but still retains a small glass replacement service for Cambridge customers. The team have a passion for sharing their extensive skills and knowledge about using glass to increase light, space and well-being, partnering with local interior designers to run workshops for designers and architects.
BioMed Realty Award for Social Entrepreneurship
Winner: Cambridge Curiosity & Imagination
Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) is an arts and well-being charity working to build creatively healthy communities that are connected to the worlds on their doorsteps. Working locally, nationally and internationally, young children and their primary schools are at the heart of the charity’s work. CCI explores how their ideas and questions can lead the way in creative explorations, with skilled artist facilitators working alongside to support the process.
Hewitsons Award for Innovation in Business
Mogrify has developed a proprietary direct cellular conversion technology. It allows the transformation of any human cell type into any other without having to go through other stem cells or states. The systematic big-data approach uses next-generation sequencing, gene regulatory and epigenetic network data to control the transcriptomic network. This technology opens up the opportunity to develop and scale up any autologous and allogeneic cell therapies, as well as create a new class of therapies: in vivo reprograming.
InYourArea Award for Small Business of the Year
Winner: The Beauty Academy
The Beauty Academy provides opportunities for young people via the provision of beauty, nail and make-up courses. The business has grown every year since it started, with 37% growth and 32% net profit in 2019. The Beauty Academy has never borrowed money or been overdrawn, funding its own growth. In the space of a year, 11,000 students were trained to be able to work and earn money in any situation where previously academic challenges may have made this difficult for them.
Stock PPE Award for Medium Business of the Year
Winner: CPS Building Services
CPS is a building services contractor with a head office based in Over, Cambridgeshire, and has two other satellite offices based on RAF Lakenheath. CPS grew from just over £4m to £15m in four years and increased its profit substantially, making sure to sharing the success with the employees made the growth happen.
Barclays Award for Large Business of the Year
Sepura design, develop and supply digital radio solutions, primarily to public safety organisations around the world. The business is the leading provider of radio terminals to the two largest public safety markets in the UK and Germany, whilst also developing a leading presence in other global markets. Sepura has a customer-focused approach to providing solutions, including close collaboration on radio design to ensure constant engagement in product development. Sepura Increased revenue by 22% between 2018 and 2019, and profit increased by 814%.
CambridgeshireLive Award for Business Person of the Year
Winner: Liam Connelly from CPS Building Services
David Bartlett said: “The winner of the 2020 Business Person of the Year impressed judges with their drive to propel their business to be the best it can be. This person has transformed the business model of their company into areas with higher margins and steady cash flows. Employees are looked after and trained to help the business excel, showing that innovation is possible in building services, with a keen eye on profitability.”
AstraZeneca Award for Outstanding Contribution
Winner: Raspberry Pi
Penny James, COO Biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, said: “Cambridge is known around the world for its contribution to science and technology.
“The recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Contribution Award is making a splash all over the world. “This company has pioneered affordable, small-board computer technology that has been used in a variety of applications. It has grown from annual sales of 1m units in 2012 to more than 6m in 2019, with a total of 32m units shipped to date.
“This growth has been achieved whilst at the same time accelerating its impact for good via its charitable foundation.”
Price Bailey Award for Business of the Year – Sponsored by Price Bailey
Martin Clapson, managing director at Price Bailey, said: “The judges were impressed by all the category winners, and during the judging process we realised how lucky we are to work in Cambridgeshire where there are so many great businesses and leaders.
“The winner is a business which has a potential to change science – the world, even – in transforming cell therapy and oncology. In 2019 the company had two successful funding rounds and the company has continued to grow and innovate in 2020. The judges are excited to see where the company ends up.”