Thames Valley Tech Awards 2019 Winners
The second annual Thames Valley Tech Awards honoured the region’s top technology businesses in a dozen categories.
Around 370 finalists and guests attended the awards held in the Royal Berkshire Conference Centre at Reading’s Madejski Stadium.
Reading-based ESP Global Services was a finalist in three categories, including winning the prestigious title of Thames Valley Tech Company for 2019. Another Reading company, CloudFactory, scooped two awards.
Finalists ranged across the technology sector from start-ups to well established ‘veterans’.
They included software developers, telecoms providers, hardware suppliers and manufacturers, cloud solutions companies, science-based businesses, people working in artificial intelligence and others working in the field of space technology.
The awards sponsors and supporters were Austin Fraser, Barclays, BDO, Blake Morgan, Boyes Turner, Centerprise, Goringe Accountants, Grant Thornton, Howbery Business Park, iO associates, Jargon PR, Lambert Smith Hampton, LDC, Onecom and Penningtons Manches Cooper.
Peter Laurie, head of client relations at awards organiser The Business Magazine and chair of the judging panel, said: “For our second year, we had many, many excellent entries.”
He added: “I’d like to thank the judges, who visited a number of the shortlisted companies and diligently assessed the strengths and potential of the contenders.”
The judges found the quality of finalists was higher than ever. Laurie said: “We have been truly impressed with the companies who have entered this year’s awards.”
He added: “The finalists are shining examples of the diversity of technology in the Thames Valley and the brilliant businesses that have started up here and grown, many to become global leaders.”
Laurie emphasised the importance of the Thames Valley as a technology hub that attracts leading players like Microsoft, Oracle and Vodafone.
The awards were hosted by Kate Bellingham, well known from BBC’s Tomorrow’s World, as well as for her passion for encouraging women to take up careers in STEM roles.
She introduced the evening’s guest speaker, the technologist, broadcaster and journalist David McLelland, who spoke about his technology and media career.
He also offered his personal view on disruptive new technologies that will be changing our lives. These included using AR and VR to treat aphantasia, where people can’t visualise imagery, and a sleep robot to treat insomnia.
“I’m the most positive person about the power of technology to improve the human spirit – technology for good,” he said.
Over £2,200 was raised on the evening for Launchpad, a charity that prevents homelessness, provides information and support for individuals, couples and families who don’t have a stable place to live or are at risk of losing their home.