The 12th annual Startups Awards – the UK’s most prestigious awards for up-and-coming companies – are now open for entry including a search for the Women in Business Award.

Sponsored by the UK’s favourite business insurance broker Simply Business and organised by, the number one website for start-ups and small businesses, the Awards recognise the success of Britain’s newest businesses which have been trading for four years or less.

This year’s event will take place on Friday 27 November at the underground vaults of Vinopolis, near to London Bridge, hosted by comedian Alun Cochrane.

It will be one of the last events at the iconic site, which is due to close its doors at the end of the year to make way for a new upmarket shopping development.

There will be 15 awards on offer with categories including Innovative Business of the Year, Service Business of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, alongside four new awards for 2015 including App of the Year, Export Business of the Year, Retail Business of the Year and Lean Start-up of the Year.

The main accolade as usual will be the Simply Business Startups Business of the Year, selected from the winners of all other categories. Additionally, the People’s Champion will be voted for by readers of Start-ups.

David Lester, founder of Start-ups, said: “We are very excited to launch Startups Awards 2015 which we hope will be the biggest ever. This year we have a new iconic venue and we are also moving the ceremony from a lunchtime to an evening start.

“It promises to be a very special night attended by some of the most exciting young companies in the UK. The deadline for entry is September 11 and I expect the standard to be the highest ever.”

The awards have built an enviable reputation as one of the most important dates in the business diary since being launched in 2003.

Previous winners have included some of the UK’s fastest rising brands, such as (sold to Google for £37.7m), The Cambridge Satchel Company, Raspberry Pi, Ella’s Kitchen, Naked Wines,, YPlan, Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn and Secret Escapes.

Last year’s event saw Edinburgh-based Beer52, a craft beer club founded by Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner James Brown, named Simply Business Startups Business of the Year.

The People’s Champion award went to LendMeYourLiteracy, an online platform in which children can have their writing critiqued by a global audience.

Headline sponsor, Simply Business, returns for a third year in 2015. Head of Marketing & Communications at Simply Business, Jasper Martens, commented:“There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Startups Awards are the most important and prestigious awards for businesses under four years old. 

“I would urge all new businesses out there to take a look and consider entering. I guarantee it will be a very special occasion at Vinopolis in November.”

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