Roc Technologies Investment

Please provide a short bio of your business

Roc was founded in 2013 and is one The UKs leading  IT transformation services business with industry leading growth and profitability with over 500 staff and turnover in excess of £60m.

What made you enter the Thames Valley Tech Awards last year?

We were keen to recognise the great work and outcome achieved by our team and strategic partners

What kind of recognition have you received since winning the award?

Positive interest from employees, suppliers and customers

How has winning the award benefited your company?

Improved employee morale and brand exposure

What progress have you made as a company since your success?

We have doubled our revenues and employee headcount and have won our two largest contracts worth over £40m

Is there any advice you would give to businesses wanting to enter the awards this year?

Take time to focus on your application and how you will maximise the positive impact winning could bring

Will you be applying for this year’s award ceremony?

Yes

Open Cosmos

Please provide a short bio of your business

Open Cosmos provides simple and affordable space missions to help solve the world’s biggest challenges. Open Cosmos enables companies across a wide range of industries to use space applications and technologies as a tool by removing three main space access barriers: time-consuming paperwork, expensive technology, and overall costs.

By rethinking the way a satellite is being developed, procured, manufactured and operated, Open Cosmos allows its customers to benefit from significant cost and time reduction while ensuring reliability across all mission elements. This is driven by a mass-customisation methodology which covers all aspects of nanosatellite space missions, from spacecraft design to testing, from procurement to launch, and from mission definition to operations and orbital data delivery. Additionally, Open Cosmos provides services and enabling tools for rapid payload development, allowing businesses, research institutions and organizations from across industries to develop their technologies.

Founded in July 2015 by Rafael Jordà-Siquier, Open Cosmos employs 45+ people of over 10 nationalities and is based at Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire.

What made you enter the Thames Valley Tech Awards last year?

We are a new tech startup and have grown quite rapidly from the beginning, partially thanks to the support we have received in the Thames Valley region. We think our story may be an inspiration to other aspiring tech entrepreneurs in the area, so we are always looking for ways to share our story, inspire others and be recognised for our success at the same time.

What kind of recognition have you received since winning the award?

We have received many offers to speak at conferences and events, both in the startup/scaleup scene and in our industry, the aerospace sector. We were also selected to be one of 30 leading UK tech companies in the Tech Nation Scaleup programme, that we are part of this year.

How has winning the award benefited your company?

See 3.

What progress have you made as a company since your success?

We have continued to grow at the high pace we experienced before winning the award, basically doubling our employee numbers every six months. Of course this would not have been possible without bringing in new customers, so we have been happy to announce new deals to build, launch and operate exciting new satellite missions. We are staying true to our business objectives, while learning a lot in the process.

Is there any advice you would give to businesses wanting to enter the awards this year?

Yes, just do it. Applying for awards like these offers you a great opportunity to showcase your place in the Thames Valley tech sector. Don’t be shy to highlight your successes, no matter how small they may look in comparison to ‘the big players’. Just remain true to your value proposition and corporate culture and faithful in the way forward. All companies have started small and have gone through success, change and challenges. We believe it is good to celebrate small and big successes, while continuing to work hard to overcome our business challenges, often requiring change to our plans. Applying for awards provides a nice opportunity to think about your success and of course it helps you build a support network of other tech entrepreneurs in the region where you are based.

Will you be applying for this year’s award ceremony?

Yes, definitely! There are award categories for different stages of growth and different elements of the tech business. We have gone through considerable growth and some exciting change after winning the ‘Emerging Tech Company’ award last year, and I am sure we may qualify for other categories this year.

Volume

Please provide a short bio of your business

Volume is a leading developer of ‘Experiential AI’ solutions that cover AI-powered conversational platforms, aka chatbots, humanoid robots and immersive technologies such as Augmented, Mixed & Virtual Reality. The company employs approximately 100 people across four sites – Wokingham (HQ), Plymouth, Colombo, Sri Lanka and San Jose, California.

What made you enter the Thames Valley Tech Awards last year?

Over the past two years, Volume has been developing AI products that help to break down the barriers to AI adoption and bring pre-built AI SaaS solutions to market. The TVT Awards is a great platform to showcase this work. In an emerging but fast growing market, it is important Volume is seen as a key player. Gaining an award helps recognition.

What kind of recognition have you received since winning the award?

Other award entry requests, increased press interest and more business, as customers gain more understanding and interest in AI. We have also received a high number of CVs from professionals looking for a career in AI and our other ‘new skills’. Volume is now an Intel Partner and a Microsoft Partner. Both companies approached Volume and encouraged us to register as official partners. We also get invitations to prestigious business and industry events, as well as speaking opportunities.

How has winning the award benefited your company?

Awards are a great testament and endorsement of your vision and hard work. The immediate benefit is the fact that the business is being recognised and rewarded for its output. Not only does this support good PR and increased exposure, it also encourages employees, as ultimately it is their efforts that are being called out.

What progress have you made as a company since your success?

The biggest progress is realising over £1M worth of revenue from our ‘new skills’ and a healthy pipeline of new projects and opportunities for great brands and businesses that we previously would have been unlikely to engage with. Traditionally, Volume has supported B2B Technology giants but is now working with a major UK broadcaster, global automotive manufacturer, global commercial bank, a national rail network and one of the world’s largest professional services firms. We are also working with small businesses that recognise the potential from adopting AI-based solutions.

Is there any advice you would give to businesses wanting to enter the awards this year?

Focus on the application and outcomes of the technology – what the business and end user benefits are. Also, what the growth expectations are and revenue generation. The technology itself is secondary to the use case.

Will you be applying for this year’s award ceremony?

Probably!

Ultima Business Solutions

Please provide a short bio of your business

Ultima is an Intelligent IT and Automation Services provider with a turnover of over £120million. Our aim is to become a long-term trusted technology partner to our clients by providing robust and flexible technology solutions to bring them real business benefits and outcomes. The company was founded in 1990, has grown organically & we employ over 400 staff in our London and Reading offices.

What made you enter the Thames Valley Tech Awards last year?

We wanted to demonstrate how we had grown and the huge investment we had made in our technology, staff and offices to help make Reading a hub for technology excellence.

What kind of recognition have you received since winning the award?

Many of our customers have congratulated us on the wins having seen the awards. These awards have helped open up dialogues with many new prospects and helped us win new business in a large locally based customer. We’ve also won some other prestigious industry awards in the last year.

How has winning the award benefited your company?

Not only have customers and new prospects commented on the wins, but our staff have been excited to know they are part of an award-winning company and that all their hard work is being recognised. The recognition has helped build a sense of excitement about the future for Ultima for our customers and staff.

What progress have you made as a company since your success?

We’ve had another fast-moving, transformative year. We’ve invested further in our intelligent automation and AI technology for customers. We’ve been creating flexible solutions that will help them move along their digital transformation journeys; so they can improve their efficiency and productivity while helping drive their own innovation and business growth.

Is there any advice you would give to businesses wanting to enter the awards this year?

Go for it! Looking back over the year and writing down your successes gives you real motivation for addressing the challenges ahead and working out what you want to achieve as a business next.

Will you be applying for this year’s award ceremony?

Yes. We want to shout about our latest innovations and how we are helping businesses transform themselves. Being a part of the continued success of the Thames Valley is important to me personally and to our staff.  Showcasing what we love to do with technology, and what our customers and staff can achieve with the latest technology, is key to attracting the best talent to help us continue our growth into the future.