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Leeds Digital Festival Awards winners announced

To mark the end of 2022’s Leeds Digital Festival, the winners of the Leeds Digital Festival Awards were announced last week at an event at the Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds City Centre.

The awards, hosted in partnership by Amsource, a specialist recruitment consultancy focused on the tech sector, and Ward Hadaway, a top 100 UK law firm with offices in Leeds, are held each year to celebrate the innovation, creativity and excellence of tech businesses born and bred in the region.

The Leeds Digital Festival Awards is one of the region’s most prestigious technology awards which calls for Yorkshire’s finest, most innovative digital businesses and individuals to enter. Running for the fifth consecutive year, they celebrate the talent, creativity and sheer brilliance of the region’s tech start-ups, SMEs and large businesses. They recognise innovation spanning a number of categories including export success, entrepreneurship, sustainability and more.

This year’s glittering awards ceremony saw companies from across Yorkshire pick up hard-earned trophies, topping off a festival back to its best after Covid-induced curtailment.

Tred, an eco fin-tech company which has developed an innovative debit card that uses a person’s spending to track, reduce and offset their environmental impact, picked up the Start Up of the Year award. The firm is successfully tapping into the consumer shift away from high street banking and a conscious move towards more sustainable purchasing.

Entrepreneur of the Year was awarded to Bobby Thandi, founder and CEO of game development studio XR Games, home to hit games including Angry Birds Under pressure and Zombieland. The fast-paced company now has a 100 strong headcount, and works with gaming giants including PlayStation.

IT consultancy Burendo was awarded Growth Company of the Year for their continued progression and strong revenue growth. In other categories, Natalie Innes won the One to Watch 2022 gong for the work she’s doing in the digital space and Risk Intelligence firm Crisp won the Best Tech Place to Work category as the business continues to invest strongly in its team.

Other award categories included a Sustainability Award, which made its debut this year, and Tech4Good which rewards businesses that are delivering positive change for individuals, communities, or charitable work. There was also an International Award, which recognises achievement in global markets, a Diversity and Inclusion Award for those tech companies who have worked hard to develop a people-focused culture that values diversity and equality and Facilitator of the Year which recognises tech hubs, incubators, individuals or other organisations that support the digital ecosystem in Leeds and the wider city region.

Bill Goodwin, Head of IT/IP at Ward Hadaway, a sponsor of the awards, said: “It’s been an incredible two weeks in Leeds and the wider city region where businesses have come together to collaborate and connect. We’ve seen their expertise, drive and passion as they’ve shown the level of innovation, positivity and capability that demonstrates the calibre of tech talent we have right here in Yorkshire.

“It’s an honour to work in partnership with Amsource to host the Leeds Digital Festival Awards, celebrating the region’s cream of the crop tech businesses that are growing extremely fast and bringing investment, jobs and prosperity to the region. We work with a wide range of tech firms across Yorkshire, providing the legal support and infrastructure they need as they grow rapidly, and it’s great to see them thriving. Well done to all the finalists this year and, of course, the winners and the work they continue to do that makes the region the energetic and progressive digital hub it is.”

Andrew Maeer, founder and CEO, Amsource, said: “The digital talent in the region is amazing and it’s a talent that we must nurture, encourage and support so that tech businesses across Yorkshire can fulfil their potential. Leeds and the wider city region are bursting with tech creativity, innovation and skill which the annual festival and awards recognise and reward. We need to ensure that we keep this going, continue to foster and develop strong links between tech businesses and universities and offer the right opportunities to graduates entering the digital sector and support them as they embark on their tech career.

“We must ensure startups and entrepreneurs are getting the backing they need to progress. We will do all we can to cultivate the businesses that are accelerating their growth and making a real impact in what they’re doing, whether that’s in a service they’re providing or a product they’re making. Congratulations to all of the companies and individuals who made the shortlist, you’re a credit to our region.”

For more information about the Leeds Digital Festival and how to enter next year’s awards, visit the Leeds Digital Festival Awards webpage

The full list of winners are:

  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Bobby Thandi
  • Start up of the Year: TRED
  • Growth Company of the Year: Burendo
  • Sustainability Award: INTERACT
  • Tech4Good Award (Product): Lhasa Ltd
  • Tech4Good Award (Services): Aire Logic
  • Best Tech Place to Work: Crisp
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award: Ahead Partnership
  • International Award: Glean
  • Faciltator of the Year: Sarah Tulip

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