Suffolk Business Awards 2021: meet the Start-Up Business of the Year finalists

Vantage Building Control home

Vantage Building Control appraises construction plans and inspects building projects - Credit: Vantage Building Control

The Start-Up Business of the Year award, sponsored by Beckett Investment Management Group, recognises businesses that are less than three years old and have shown clear financial activity that translates into inward investment and/or increased turnover and/or acceleration to profit stage. 

Vantage Building Control 

Founded in 2018 by Tony Harvey-Soanes and Russell Beaumont, Vantage Building Control is a licensed Approved Inspector that employs eight team members across the south-east of England. With a head office in Earl Soham, Suffolk, it also has two additional offices in Moorgate, London and Whitstable, Kent. 

The company appraises construction plans and inspects building projects, from domestic home extensions to large-scale commercial projects, to assess for compliance with building regulations. 

Even with the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision to start the business has proved to be “perfect timing”, according to the judges. They praised Tony’s ability to adapt the service proposition and focus on delivering a professional service in difficult circumstances, which has enabled the business to prosper. 

Recruitment of additional team members has been essential to accommodate the growth in demand. The judges highlighted "the open and trusting environment created by the company”, which will allow the business to continue on its journey, safe in the knowledge it has a best-in-class team. 

AccuGrit plough on road

Founded in 2019, AccuGrit offers a range of commercial winter maintenance services - Credit: AccuGrit

AccuGrit   

Founded in 2019, AccuGrit offers a range of commercial winter maintenance services, including multi-surface winter gritting, snow removal and weather forecasting. By focusing solely on winter maintenance the company has been able to innovate within the sector, using high-tech machinery to keep business premises safe and accessible throughout winter.  

Before launching the business, AccuGrit’s leadership team spent time in the USA where the winters are more consistent. This gave them an opportunity to research and meet with industry peers, equipping them with the knowledge to disrupt the winter maintenance industry in the UK.  

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According to the judges, AccuGrit’s co-founder and managing director Dean Harvey “used his considerable experience in the sector to identify a clear business opportunity”, with customer care and attention to detail seen as the company’s real strengths. 

The judges added: “The achievement of gaining three ISO accreditations is testament to the commitment the team have for growing a sustainable business, dedicated to meeting the needs of its ever-growing customer base.” 

GLO – Generate Leads Online is a Suffolk-based digital marketing agency

GLO – Generate Leads Online is a Suffolk-based digital marketing agency - Credit: GLO – Generate Leads Online

GLO – Generate Leads Online 

GLO – Generate Leads Online is a Suffolk-based digital marketing agency that employs a number of industry specialists, graduates and trainees. Since being founded by John Parnell in 2019, the agency has created results-driven strategies and solutions for more than 100 businesses across the UK. 

The company offers digital marketing services including Google Ads management, social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing automation and SEO web design. The latter is described by the judges as a “proposition that was able to disrupt the marketplace” and “affordable for SMEs that would not previously be able to afford such a service”. 

The judges also praised GLO's “flexible approach to recruitment and working hours”, which has allowed the business to grow at an impressive rate despite Covid-19. The recruitment of degree apprentices and use of the government’s Kickstarter scheme were of particular note.  

Restitute CIC is a non-profit organisation that supports third-party victims of crime

Restitute CIC is a non-profit organisation that supports third-party victims of crime - Credit: Restitute

Restitute 

Restitute CIC is a non-profit organisation that supports third-party victims of crime – the parents, carers, partners and families who step in when the unimaginable happens to their loved ones.  

The organisation provides training and commissioning across Suffolk and Norfolk to ensure families are able to recover from significant trauma. Unprecedented demand has seen Restitute’s caseload triple, but its work continues to change lives.  

Restitute was founded by Cath Pickles, herself a third-party victim of crime. According to the judges, Cath’s passion for supporting third-party victims “is clear for all to see”, and combined with her business acumen, it has enabled her to set up a “unique company”.  

The judges added that Restitute has “identified a clear shortfall in provision” and caught the attention of the NHS and other professional agencies. They see the company becoming a national provider of this important support in the future. 

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