London businesses ruling the waves

Philip Salter
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THE winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise have just been announced and London has plenty of worthy entrepreneurs among winners. Dating back to 1966, the awards particularly celebrate those exporting their products and services to the rest of the world.

London’s winners include several companies where the entrepreneur still holds a major stake: Acturis; FilmLight; Hyperion Insurance; InferMed; Jomati Consultants; Primal Pictures; Ren; Sun Mark; Shazam; Techna Display and Tangle Teezer.

Acturis won an Innovation Award for developing a cloud computing system for the insurance industry – a centrally-hosted computer system supporting the distribution, administration, underwriting and servicing of personal and commercial insurance. The digital cinema technology company FilmLight – which turns over £13m – received the Innovation Award for three new products.

The international business-to-business insurance intermediary Hyperion Insurance was recognised for its international trade – turnover has increased, with export sales accounting for 82 per cent and contributing to overseas earnings growth of 268 per cent. Others recognised for international trade include the international legal consultancy Jomati Consultants, the skincare producer Ren (which has seen 730 per cent overseas earnings growth over six years), Sun Mark the supplier and exporter of food stuffs and Techna Display, which has recorded annual growth of 92 per cent over the past three years.

InferMed won an Innovation Award for designing and developing decision support systems for healthcare professionals, while Primal Pictures was recognised for developing a range of medical software products. Shazam won an Innovation Award for its product that lets consumers quickly identify music and video details. And Tangle Teezer wins for its ingenious hairbrush.

We have a long way to go before we compete with Silicon Valley (see right), but our entrepreneurs should be celebrated every single step of the way.