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2024 Startups 100 | Distinctive Founder Award

2024 Startups 100 | Distinctive Founder Award 

From drawing up your concept on the again of a serviette, to celebrating the 1,000th sale, it’s essential to recognise the human effort that goes into each startup success story. In spite of everything, behind each enterprise making headlines is the one who first dreamt it into fruition.

We’ve chosen to highlight the extraordinary entrepreneur abilities from this yr’s Startups 100 Index with our Distinctive Founder award, in celebration of these go-getters who’ve turned their very own private triumphs right into a win for the broader enterprise world.

Our returning visitor decide, Ian Wallis, Head of Startups at FieldHouse Associates, helped us to determine on the general winner. Learn on to search out out extra in regards to the unimaginable journeys of our 5 nominees, and who Wallis topped as his distinctive founder for 2024.

Introducing Startups 100 visitor decide, Ian Wallis!

Presently Head of Startups at FieldHouse Associates, Wallis is a former enterprise journalist and co-founder of Ventures Membership, an entrepreneurs’ community. He has spent greater than 20 years writing about enterprise house owners for numerous shops together with, the place he helped launch the unique Startups 100 in 2008!

Generally known as the RightMove for care properties, Lottie is the UK’s first listing to showcase a vetted provide of care properties. It goals to make it simpler for households to put their family members in a trusted house, for the fairest value.

Sparked by the struggles to search out appropriate look after their very own members of the family, founders Chris and Will wished to problem the business’s cussed established order. Closely impacted by the pandemic, they noticed firsthand the affect {that a} answer like Lottie might have on care seekers, and so set about combining Chris’ experience in expertise and Will’s expertise within the social care sector, to remodel aged care.

Having beforehand ranked eighth in final yr’s Startups 100, Lottie’s outstanding development previously yr – together with elevating an extra £25m in funding – demonstrates how its disruptive mannequin is serving to handle the UK’s social care disaster.

What did Ian Wallis need to say?

Wallis expresses his pleasure at how Chris and Will are bringing higher transparency to UK care seekers. “I’m not shocked individuals are keen to make use of Lottie”, he exclaims. “Discovering a care house is commonly fraught with fear and financially difficult beforehand and regarding later round ranges of care offered. It’s been a recognized drawback lengthy earlier than COVID, however Lottie seems to be fixing it.”



IMPOSSIBREW is a challenger no-low drinks model that provides drinkers the boozy expertise sans the hangover. When founder Mark Wong was a scholar, he was informed that due to well being issues he needed to stop ingesting. Relatively than resort to a tragic Sprite throughout nights out or skipping them altogether, he started working shaking up the alcohol-free beer market with a product he’d be joyful to drink alongside any pal with a pint in hand. Launching the model from Wong’s Durham College bed room, IMPOSSIBREW was born.

Made with a proprietary mix of plant substances, it’s cleverly designed to imitate the enjoyable results of alcohol with none of the unfavorable well being penalties – together with hangovers. Regardless of not securing any funding on his look in Dragons’ Den, IMPOSSIBREW is probably the most adopted beer model on TikTok. It has additionally collected numerous spectacular accolades, together with the GB Meals and Drink Startup of the Yr 2023.

What did Ian Wallis need to say?

With youthful generations ingesting much less and higher well being consciousness, it seems like IMPOSSIBREW will probably be serving to to resolve some anti-social and long-term well being points. Its reputation on TikTok means it may need a higher affect than most,” Wallis says.

SHORTLISTED – Vicky Wilson (Settld)

SettldSettld helps bereaved households to cope with the forms of demise, slicing days or hours of course of into minutes. Co-founder Vicky Wilson was impressed to launch the startup after her grandmother handed away in 2019. She discovered herself spending hours contacting the banks, pension suppliers, insurers, and utilities to shut and switch her grandmother’s accounts.

In lower than two months, over 93,000 individuals signed her petition asking service suppliers to make it simpler to shut the accounts of a beloved one who dies. Striving to assist others keep away from the identical traumatic expertise she’d been by way of, Wilson stop her job at Amazon to launch Settld. Since then, she has grown the platform to combine 950 suppliers together with social media accounts, electronic mail suppliers, and broadband.

What did Ian Wallis need to say?

“At maybe probably the most emotional time for a lot of, coping with a beloved one’s accounts solely provides to the ache, so Settld seems a sublime answer and Vicky had a compelling motive to begin,” Wallis appraises. “The truth that it’s free for bereaved individuals places the person first. I hope the mannequin is ready to scale by way of further companies that mirror the identical ranges of compassion.”

SHORTLISTED – Ariana Alexander-Sefre (SPOKE World)


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Specializing in a demographic that may really feel left behind by the mindfulness development, SPOKE makes taking care of your thoughts as simple as listening to your favorite music. Co-founder Alexander-Sefre began the corporate after her youthful brother’s finest pal took his life in 2017. She noticed early-stage preventative psychological wellness instruments that did not really feel culturally related or accessible to her brother and his pals – younger males who wanted psychological well being assist however lacked a relatable platform for locating it.

By its listening app, SPOKE is concentrating on younger individuals – particularly Gen Z males and people from extra numerous backgrounds – who want a spot of respite and leisure. Her entrepreneurial journey has earned her the East London Innovator award in 2020. With over 500 five-star critiques on its app retailer listings, it’s clear that Alexander-Sefre’s concept is putting a chord with a demographic who would possibly dangerously really feel ignored of the broader actions in direction of wellness and mindfulness.

What did Ian Wallis need to say?

“Ariana is deeply inspiring and SPOKE is undoubtedly concentrating on one thing that has wanted to be addressed,” Wallis commends. “SPOKE is without doubt one of the smaller finalists right here however with a strong intention of saving lives – which not one of the others can declare.”

SHORTLISTED – Tim Chong, Theso Jivajirajah, and Harry Jell (Yonder)


Yonder is a bank card with a distinction – it’s particularly designed for younger professionals who could not have a UK credit score rating, however are tech-savvy, like to discover, and anticipate the very best degree of service. Yonder was impressed by Chong, Jivajirajahand Jell’s personal struggles accessing credit score after they first emigrated to the UK. However they turned that problem into alternative.

Chong and Jivajirajah had labored within the credit score sector in Australia and different international locations, in addition to at Clearscore with co-founder Jell. After embarking on a mission to construct a bank card for a demographic underserved by different suppliers, the founders have established in depth relationships with its Expertise companions, together with Le Bab, Lina Shops and BAO.

What did Ian Wallis need to say?

“Monetary inclusion – or in Yonder’s case exclusion – takes many varieties. Regardless of listening to anecdotally of credit score rating points for individuals transferring to the UK, the dimensions of the issue shocked me. As a power for good when it comes to credit score scores – and delight – Yonder is exclusive,” outlines Wallis.

We’ve highlighted founders which can be making waves within the startups business, by remodeling their very own private wrestle right into a enterprise that multiplies development and optimistic social affect. So what learnings can aspiring entrepreneurs derive from this yr’s shortlist?

Based on Wallis, budding enterprise house owners ought to really feel optimism, not intimidation, on the sight of our nominees. “The Distinctive Founder finalists reveal that the nicely of ingenuity just isn’t at risk of operating dry any time quickly,” he notes.

“I could as soon as have believed {that a} level would arrive the place it will be pointless for others trying to enhance on what exists – and whereas it could be tougher, there are clearly all the time untapped niches and alternatives.”

Nonetheless, Wallis does warning that an distinctive founder can’t pull all the burden alone and depends on having an distinctive crew round them. The problem? Recognizing the suitable individuals.

“We’ve seen firms initially feted for his or her crew development and meteoric valuations, solely to see allegations of poisonous office cultures,” notes Wallis. “I feel the basics of treating individuals nicely, matching their goal, and creating optimistic experiences alongside them, will carry long-term worth.”

Regardless of the challenges startups confronted this yr, it’s encouraging to see that the lightning strike of entrepreneurial genius can hit greater than as soon as – 5 occasions, the truth is. Congratulations to our Chris, Will, and all of our Distinctive Founder nominees!

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