We are delighted to announce the winners of the EISA Awards 2023. Every category had truly fantastic submissions and, with more than 100 entries this year, it was extremely competitive across the board.
The high quality of the entries is testament to the fantastic work being done by EISA members and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to enter this year’s awards. We are all driven by the common goal of supporting entrepreneurs across the UK to drive innovation and economic growth.
Thank you so much to everyone for all the hard work that went into the submissions. Many thanks to our excellent judges and our congratulations to the winners and finalists!
EISA Impact Award
Sponsored by Shoosmiths
Judging this year’s award has highlighted the significant impact the EIS and SEIS are having on the business landscape in the UK. This was one of the most competitive categories, and it’s great to see the focus managers are placing on the impact of their investments. There is some extremely important and impressive work being done in this area, but two finalists, in particular, stood out to judges.
Highly Commended: Foresight Group
Winner: SFC Capital
Sponsored by Kin Fund Services
Innovation in the industry is wonderful to see – and the shortlist here shows that it comes in many forms. This category included some very interesting and highly innovative new entrants to the industry, all of which are making a positive impact. With such high quality of finalists, it was clear to the judges that the industry as a whole is the real winner and we very much look forward to following their growth In the future.
Highly Commended: planD
Winner: Waterspring Ventures
Sponsored by PwC
To see businesses cultivating real change in promoting investment into diverse businesses is paramount. An essential category, it is a joy to see the EIS sector-leading innovation in this space; with the calibre of nominees so high, it was a tough decision to select a winner, and the competition this year was incredibly close, so congratulations are in order for all nominees.
Highly Commended: Par Equity
Winner: Parkwalk Advisors
Best Legal or Regulatory Advisor
Sponsored by Mainspring Fund Services
This was a really tough category to judge as all the nominees had clearly gone above and beyond to support the community. It’s great to see such a collaborative industry and how the advisers support the funds and investees – there are clearly a good number with a specific focus on the EIS industry. Whilst not all could receive the award, all deserve recognition for their contribution to startups.
Highley Commended: Michelmores
Winner: RW Blears
Best Financial Planner
Sponsored by Calculus Capital
A smaller selection of nominees in this category but some great examples of joined up advice that dovetailed with existing assets to provide alternative income streams rather than outright sales to generate the necessary returns and tax savings. The winner recognised that introducing options that worked with existing investments was the best way forward. Some excellent examples of comprehensive advice and fully understanding their client’s needs to solve their problem.
Highley Commended: Stephen Jones, Clear Solutions Wealth & Tax Management
Winner: Adam Young, Jarrovian Wealth
Best Tax Advisor
Sponsored by Nova Growth Capital
A tougher category to judge considering just 3 nominees but some great examples of commitment and initiatives to support female entrepreneurs amongst the finalists. Within this category, the depth of knowledge and commitment to supporting the wider policy ecosystem was very impressive. It was extremely close between the winner and runner up, with just a fraction of a point between them.
Highley Commended: Shoosmiths
Winner: Philip Hare & Associates
Sponsored by Charles Russell Speechlys
The communication and distribution of the work S/EIS accomplishes is vital in sharing the incredible people and businesses included in this year’s awards to the masses, which is why the Best Journalist or Advocate category is paramount. This was a very strong category and all entrants demonstrated commitment to creating awareness of both EIS and SEIS, engaging various audiences in different ways. It was clear from the entries that there was lots of focus to bring awareness of EIS / SEIS to diverse audiences that may not have had any prior knowledge. Each finalist endeavoured to use the power of communication to endorse and celebrate the S/EIS, making judging this category a joy but simultaneously extremely difficult
Highley James D’Mello and Katie Hopkin
Winner: Francesca Smith
Best SEIS Investee Company
Sponsored by SFC Capital
With 24 entries, this was a fiercely competitive category which highlights the importance of the schemes in supporting start ups in the UK. Seeing so many nominations for this award puts in to focus the importance SEIS has on the early-stage ecosystem. The breadth of innovation and the positive impact these businesses will have, was very encouraging but made it ever harder to judge this important category. There were some really exciting businesses here, some of which have the potential to have a significant impact on our day- to-day lives. This made it an extremely difficult category to judge but was also a fantastic sign of the health of the UK start up ecosystem.
Highly Commended: PlantSea
Winner: SAGES London
Best EIS Investee Company
Sponsored by Guinness Ventures
The standard of businesses in this category was of an extremely high level; every finalist company, in their way, are drivers of leading innovation that will shape the future of their respective fields. The talent represented in this category made the judging decision challenging in the sense that the quality of each company was so high that we had to approach the decision with a fine-tooth comb. In that respect, each shortlisted business deserves celebration. The winner was very strong across all criteria and really impressed the judges – a very exciting company with huge potential!
Highley Commended: Integrated Graphene
Winner: GenoME Diagnostics
Best SEIS Investment Manager
Sponsored by Exact Libris
The work undertaken by the entrants of the Best SEIS Investment Manager underscores the importance of supporting early stage businesses at the outset and the compound effects this can have. SEIS deals are the hardest to source and success relies on diversification, so kudos to the few funds that have established themselves as SEIS powerhouses. This category was extremely competitive and any of these finalists could have been deserving winners of this award.
Highley Commended: Deepbridge Capital
Winner: SFC Capital
Best EIS Investment Manager
Sponsored by Thompson Taraz
This was an incredibly packed field, with many funds having success in various forms over the past year. There were definitely a good handful that deserved this award! The winner’s success was not all down to fund growth and performance. They were also selected due to their commitment to the EIS and their emphasis on inclusivity.
Highley Commended: Guinness Ventures
Winner: Foresight Group
Entrepreneur of the year
Sponsored by Octopus Investments
The judges for this category had a clear winner but deciding the runner up took several rounds of discussion. Some extremely impressive entries and some fantastic work being done.
Highly Commended: Josephine Liang, Mark Perera
Winner: Sabrina Del Prete