Guernsey celebrates entrepreneurial success at The Véyaon Awards 2023
This November, our annual awards evening returned to bring Guernsey's business community together to celebrate!
Organised in partnership with venture builders Blenheim Chalcot, we were excited to bring back the Véyaon Awards, bigger and better than before - with innovative new award categories and a venue twice the size, the stage was set to highlight entrepreneurs and innovators from across Guernsey’s Business Ecosystem.
Whether you have as an individual or business taken a small or large step forward, this is the time of year to reflect on your experiences and achievements. Here at the Digital Greenhouse, this year alone we have seen a great number of founders contact our business support team for advice and participate in our programmes such as the Startup Academy and attend our founder-focused events across the year. We firmly believe that it is important to take a moment to look back and see how far you've come. So, we created the Véyaon Awards in 2022 to do just that.
This year welcomed new award categories, the Excellence in Resilience award that celebrates businesses and entrepreneurs that have demonstrated adaptability and leadership in the face of adversity and the Innovation in Customer Services award that cheered on those who are using technology-driven innovation to connect with and support their customers.
The evening of Thursday 16th November arrived, and 300 people gathered at the Véyaon Awards at Beau Sejour in anticipation of the night ahead. Adorned in black tie attire and connecting with innovative thinkers from all sectors, our guests settled for an exciting evening led by our compere John Fernandez.
A foreword from a special guest
As everyone took to their seats the evening began with an inspiring speech from the Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey, Lieutenant General Richard Cripwell CB, CBE, who eloquently emphasised the work of the Digital Greenhouse and the significance of fostering entrepreneurship and community spirit on the island. He shared, that in the face of adversity, it is those who take a chance to change things for the better that are revered, appreciated and remembered.
After the Lieutenant Governor closed his speech, our Director, Lucy Ann Kirby took to the stage with her welcome message and thanked the evening's sponsors, Blenheim Chalcot, TPA, Sure Business, C5 Alliance, Islands Trust & Corporate, Armstrong Resilience, Cherry Godfrey, PwC, JT and Resolution IT. After dinner was finished we moved into the exciting portion of the evening, the awards ceremony!
Keep scrolling to find out the winners
"As we embrace new perspectives, seize opportunities, and foster continuous growth in this exciting time for innovation, the people of Guernsey continue to shape a transformative path for their organisations and the entire Bailiwick.
By recognizing the trailblazers, we ignite inspiration in others, and The Véyaon Awards remain a dynamic platform to achieve just that."
Charles Mindenhall, Co-founder Blenheim Chalcot, Headline Sponsors of the Véyaon Awards 2023
"We met again in 2023 to celebrate the best in up-and-coming ventures, tech products, services and entrepreneurs to watch from the Island. A snapshot of the wealth of innovation and venture building happening on Guernsey right now.
Congratulations to all those who were shortlisted and won, whose hard work has been recognised. We hope that this home-grown showcase inspires you all, as this is a truly exciting time to be part of Guernsey’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem."
Lucy Kirby, Director of the Digital Greenhouse
The 2023 Véyaon Awards Winners:
Creative Entrepreneur Award - Sponsored by TPA
For entrepreneurs in the creative sector who are making waves in their industry. Celebrating entrepreneurs in the creative sector whose business demonstrates economic and/or social impact through creative output.
The judges selected Tiffany as the Creative Entrepreneur of the Year because in addition to the creativity in her art itself, she has taken a creative approach in productizing the painting tutorials on her website. This means that her art and teaching can impact more people on Guernsey and beyond. Perhaps more importantly, it gives her the opportunity to scale her business without adding the significant marginal cost of live teaching or creating another painting to sell.
The winner is: Tiffany Anna, Founder of Tiffany Anna Art
Digital Leader of the Year Award- Sponsored by Sure Business
An award to recognise exemplary leadership within an organisation where evolving technology is embraced. Celebrating individuals who can demonstrate driving positive digital transformation through exceptional leadership.
The judges said that Howard Barnes has demonstrated a first-mover advantage within digital education, meeting the needs of students, teachers and stakeholders. As well as having a large impact on the wider community and future generations.
In addition to his main job role, his commitment to working with organisations like Microsoft, has opened up exciting opportunities for students in Guernsey, including hosting events with international speakers and organising trips off island.
The winner is: Howard Barnes, The Ladies’ College
Disrupter of the Year Award - Sponsored by C5 Alliance
An award that advocates those willing to take on risks in order to bring about radical change. Celebrating pioneers for change, and those demonstrating innovation in their business or industry sector, having a measurable impact and positively disrupting the status quo.
The winner of Disrupter of the Year is challenging the status quo with their incredibly innovative and disruptive product. The judges were impressed with their entry which recognised the potential positive impact across the environment, culture and community. And the fact that they are market agnostic, so that impact could be felt globally.
The judges said: “This product is not only disrupting the market it’s in, with huge potential to scale internationally, but it’s also a real enabler for other businesses and can accelerate entrepreneurs and their businesses to do greater things, faster.”
The winner is: NionNet Limited (now named Koadx)
Entrepreneur for Good Award - Sponsored by Islands Trust & Corporate
An award to celebrate social entrepreneurship and positive action in mission-based businesses.
Celebrating entrepreneurs whose business contributes to public good, including founders of organisations with a mission to create and sustain social value, with a measurable impact for good.
The Judges commented, “C-Section UK, are not only providing an amazing set of services across the Guernsey community but also building their own community across the UK, for an experience that is one of the most amazing and possibly scariest time in a women’s (and their family) life, to provide education and support by a combination of digital and personal experiences, truly justifies the deserved winner of the Entrepreneur for good award”.
The winner is: Victoria Holyoak, C-Section UK
Excellence in Resilience Award - Sponsored by Armstrong Resilience
An award to recognise a business that has shown resilience. Celebrating businesses and entrepreneurs that have demonstrated adaptability and leadership in the face of adversity.
The judges considered this decision particularly challenging given the high quality of those shortlisted for this category. The winner has displayed significant leadership, understanding and desire to embed business-wide resilience, especially focused on critical customer needs.
They have continued to demonstrate a recognition to embed this culture throughout the organisation, whilst working hard to improve their flexibility, adaptability, and response in a complex operating environment where customer needs are often unpredictable.
The winner is: Guernsey Electricity Limited
Innovation in Customer Service Award - Sponsored by Cherry Godfrey
An award to recognise organisations that are providing first-class customer service experience through the use of technology-driven innovation.
The Judges were impressed by the way Nichole catered for a range of customer needs and levels of technical understanding, providing a high level of support on their journey of digital adoption.
Her structured approach to enabling her customers to embrace technology within their own businesses is clearly making a positive impact, particularly for those new to the use of digital tools to market their products.
The winner is: Nichole Bromley, Copper
Innovation in Technology Award - Sponsored by PwC
An award to promote organisations that are leading by example in technology-driven innovation projects. Recognising a product or service that demonstrates the use of technology to deliver a creative business solution.
The judge's comments included: “The Portfolio Analytics tool from UN1TY positions them as an innovative leader in technology, transforming environmental risk into financial opportunity in the pursuit of a more resilient and sustainable future. UN1TY's innovative approach stood out as it transforms traditional, labour-intensive processes into efficient, technology-driven solutions.”
The winner is: UN1TY Ltd
Learner of the Year Award - Sponsored by JT
An award to champion learning, underpinned by the importance of upskilling for the future of work. Celebrating individuals of any age who are extending their knowledge for the future of work.
The judges said that Kieran has demonstrated a thirst for learning, and has applied it in many additional activities to progress his learning. He has demonstrated a passion for helping others in the community & continued support at the College whilst progressing in his technical career.
The winner is: Kieran Philips
Scale Up Business of the Year Award - Sponsored by Resolution IT
An award to recognise growing business success. Celebrating entrepreneurs with established businesses that have demonstrated success through strong and sustainable growth.
The judge's comments included: “Un1ty identified a gap in the market to bring trusted c-suite level expertise into businesses with a focus on sustainability. Growth has been rapid since its formation in 2021. They have made a strong focus on sustainable growth, building on the core expertise of the founding partners to extend their reach across industries in Guernsey and further afield.”
The winner is: UN1TY Ltd
Other awards also presented on the night included:
Guernsey Venture Challenge 2023
For entrepreneurs in the creative sector who are making waves in their industry!
Taking place for the second time this year and run by the Digital Greenhouse in partnership with Blenheim Chalcot, the Guernsey Venture Challenge is the island’s first funded business accelerator. It is for new businesses based in Guernsey who are looking to scale. It gives the opportunity to attain early-stage funding to accelerate their development and to help them get established.
In July, 8 businesses were shortlisted for an intensive 6-week accelerator programme where they worked with mentors from Blenheim Chalcot to develop their pitches. With 3 cash prizes up for grabs, the pitch night final was a hotly contested competition with some tough questioning from the panel of judges. This year the competition was so tight that the judges decided to split the first and second prizes across two businesses.
Joint First Prize winner is: Petlearnia
Joint First Prize winner is: C-Section UK
Second Prize winners are: Stage Portal
YBG Bill Green Award
Presented annually by the YBG, the Bill Green Award aims to showcase the skills of local innovators.
This year YBG encouraged applications from businesses of any age, delivered by an individual or team who could demonstrate how their product, service, initiative or sense of entrepreneurial spirit is thriving amidst ongoing global uncertainty.
The shortlisted entries this year were Redwood Co Sec Limited, The Writer's Block and The Silvester Group. The judges were thoroughly impressed by each of the entrants. Feedback from the judges is that they all showed a passion for their businesses and for making Guernsey a better place. An innovative approach, an appetite for doing things differently in order to make their ventures stand out and a real energy for overcoming challenges faced through an entrepreneurial problem-solving approach.
The winner is: The Silvester Group