The finalists for the EADT Business Awards 2024 have been announced. 

Here we meet the finalists in the Start Up of the Year category. 

The winner of this category will be a business that is less than three years old. It will show clear financial activity that has translated into inward investment, increased turnover and/or acceleration towards the profit stage. 

Lanman Solar 

Located just outside of Ipswich, Lanman Solar is a fully accredited solar energy installation specialist. 

It offers a range of solar services, from solar panel installation and battery storage systems to solar servicing, repair and maintenance – as well as EV charging points. 

It has completed a range of projects from small domestic installations to complex commercial projects, such as the nearly 700 panels installed at The Earlham Institute. 

All of its solar panels are responsibly recycled, and Lanman also plants a tree for each day of operation. 

Recognising the “long list of five-star reviews” that Lanman has accrued, the judges said that the business “puts customer service at the core” and has achieved “impressive financial turnover in the short period of time it has been established”. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Curious Retreats near Woodbridge curates premium, tailored holiday experiences in SuffolkCurious Retreats near Woodbridge curates premium, tailored holiday experiences in Suffolk (Image: Claudia Gannon)

Curious Retreats  

Launched in 2023, Curious Retreats near Woodbridge aims to curate premium, tailored holiday experiences that capture the true spirit of Suffolk. 

The business is made up of local people with local values doing local good, and is a product of founders Tim Ripman and Tim Cook’s lifelong friendship as well as their passion for the tourism and hospitality sector and the beautiful surroundings of Suffolk.  

The agency works to put the property owners and guests first, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.  

The judges described Curious Retreats as “a company being truly innovative in the holiday let sector”. They praised its focus on “outstanding service” and the passion of the owners, “who have their finger firmly on the pulse”. 

  East Anglian Daily Times: East Anglian Financial Planning in Langham offers independent financial planningEast Anglian Financial Planning in Langham offers independent financial planning (Image: Warren Page and Marie Rush)

East Anglian Financial Planning  

East Anglian Financial Planning (EAFP) in Langham, near Colchester, provides bespoke holistic independent financial planning to individuals, trusts and businesses across East Anglia. 

Its team of experienced chartered independent financial advisers (IFAs) aims to help clients preserve and build their wealth through innovative investment solutions and bespoke financial planning. They provide advice in a wide range of areas, including pensions, investments, retirement planning and financial planning in divorce. 

Calling EAFP “a start up that has grown exponentially and profitably in a short space of time”, the judges recognised the firm’s “loyal customer base” and “exacting service”, which is “at the core of everything it does”. 

They also noted the “impressive set of accreditations for customer reassurance” that the business has achieved. 

  East Anglian Daily Times: Satsuma Group in Wherstead is a full-service creative agencySatsuma Group in Wherstead is a full-service creative agency (Image: Paul Nixon)

Satsuma Group  

Headquartered in Wherstead, near Ipswich, Satsuma Group is a full-service creative agency with staff working remotely and flexibly across the UK. 

The company was founded by single parent Ellen Widdup, who had struggled to find a position that worked for her and created Satsuma to utilise the talented workforce that do not fit the typical nine to five. 

The business has a range of sustainable practices in place. Last year, it balanced 367kg of carbon dioxide through the World Land Trust, supporting it to protect 70m2 of critically threatened tropical rainforest. 

The judges said that Satsuma has grown into “a thriving business that has empowered other woman in similar positions, not just in the county but around the country, to get back into work, doing what they love”. 

The winners of the EADT Business Awards 2024 will be announced at an award ceremony at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, Ipswich on Thursday, July 4. For more information, please visit

To find out more about all finalists, please click here.