New firms are the lifeblood of any growing economy, creating wealth, developing innovation and, most importantly, generating jobs in local communities.

With research showing that new businesses create the majority of employment in most countries, they make the real difference in improving prosperity across Wales every day.

The Wales Start-Up Awards were established in 2015 to recognise the achievements of those amazing individuals who have had a great idea, spotted the opportunity and taken the risks to launch a new product or service. Such entrepreneurs and their new ventures are the unsung heroes of the business community. 

They are also currently the only awards in the UK that focus specifically on celebrating the success of new businesses.

Normally, the Wales Start-Up Awards are held every year in partnership with the Depot, Cardiff's premier events venue where the start-up community can come together in an informal and relaxed atmosphere (strictly no black tie!) to celebrate the best of Welsh entrepreneurship. 

However, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we are going online at 7pm on October 1st at

See you online!

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE
Creator of the Wales Start-Up Awards

Our Judges

  • Photo of Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE

    Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE

    Dylan is Assistant Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at the University of South Wales and has been championing entrepreneurship in Wales for 25 years. As well as being the founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50 Awards, Dylan created the Wales Start-Up Awards in 2016 with the aim of recognising the achievements of those entrepreneurial individuals who have spotted the opportunity and taken the risks to launch a new business.

  • Photo of Harri Coleman

    Harri Coleman

    Harri is the founder and CEO of Fabric Support Services, an award-winning social enterprise that is making a positive difference to young people aged 16 and 17 who are either in care or leaving care. Harri was recently listed in the top 35 business women under 35 in Wales and Fabric is the previous winner of both the Swansea Bay and Social Enterprise Start-Up of the Year categories at the Wales Start-Up Awards

  • Photo of Chris Coughlan

    Chris Coughlan

    Chris leads Capital Law’s technology practice as well as the firm's Irish desk. He is admitted as a solicitor in both England & Wales and Ireland, and has a particular interest working with organisations in the technology and retail sectors. Chris has worked with a wide range of businesses from tech start-ups to multinationals, and has particular expertise in advising these clients on commercial, data protection and intellectual property issues. Chris is on the South West Group Board of the Society for Computers and Law, and he leads the Capital team supporting the University of South Wales' new business incubator, Startup Stiwdio.

  • Photo of Nick Evans

    Nick Evans

    Nick is Managing Director of EvaBuild Ltd, a construction and civil engineering business based in mid Wales that was recognised as the fastest growing Welsh firm in 2015. Formed nine years ago, EvaBuild now has an annual turnover in excess of £8 million and won the Powys Business of the Year award last year. Nick also serves as chair of the Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce and currently represents the private sector Economic Strategy Group as part of the Mid-Wales Growth Deal.

  • Photo of Rachael Flanagan

    Rachael Flanagan

    Rachael started Mrs. Buckét commercial cleaning with just £20 worth of black and white flyers at just 18. Nearly 15 years on, her business employs over 250 staff and is still growing. Rachael’s drive for success has taken her on an award winning path to create and run a multimillion pound business throughout Wales and Bristol that is now a leader in the commercial cleaning market that works with high-calibre businesses such as Audi, Circle IT and S4C. 

  • Photo of Professor Simon Gibson

    Professor Simon Gibson

    Simon is Chairman and Founder of the Alacrity Foundation and Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation. Wesley Clover is an investment Fund specialising in seeding technology companies. Before joining Wesley Clover, he was co-founder, President and CEO of Ubiquity Software Corporation. Ubiquity was named European Innovator of the year in 2001 and in 2007 Ubiquity was acquired by Avaya Inc. Simon is a Regent of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford, a Professor at the Swansea University School of Management and Patron of the Employability Academy. 

  • Photo of Kate Methuen-Ley

    Kate Methuen-Ley

    Following a sixteen year career in strategic marketing, Kate became the co-founder of Tiger Cardiff - the stylish Danish variety store with a difference - which has won several business awards including the Wales Fast Growth 50 consumer services winner 2017, winner of Retail Start Up 2016 at the Wales Start Up Awards, SME of the Year 2016 at the Cardiff Business Awards and Retailer of the Year 2015 at the Cardiff Business Awards. Kate is a champion of excellent customer service and believes passionately in putting the customer at the heart of everything a company delivers. 

  • Photo of Siwan Rees

    Siwan Rees

    Siwan is currently the Entrepreneurship Development Manager at NatWest Wales and is based at the Natwest Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub in Cardiff. She has a great passion for entrepreneurship, developing and accelerating business and has over 12 years of business development experience and has worked with a range of companies including NatWest, Cardiff and Vale College and the University of South Wales.

  • Photo of James Shapland

    James Shapland

    James Shapland is the Co-Founder of Coffee #1.  Under his tenure Coffee #1 won Best Coffee Chain in the UK over 4 consecutive years and cemented itself as a formidable presence on the British high street.  In 2011, James sold the business to Welsh brewer SA Brain for a record sum.  Coffee #1 is now visible in over 100 locations across the UK.

  • Photo of James Taylor

    James Taylor

    James Taylor is one of Wales’ most successful young entrepreneurs.  He is the founder and CEO of Bridgend-based Superstars which was started with personal savings of £1000 but now employs 100 staff and helps over 80,000 children a week across 250 primary schools. In 2014, James become the IoD UK Director of the Year, one the UK’s most prestigious annual business awards and was the chair of the Welsh Government's Entrepreneurship panel.

  • Photo of Richard Theo

    Richard Theo

    Richard is the CEO of which is democratising investing and is backed by Aviva. He is also the founder of, the UK's leading comparison site and broker of health protection insurance. Currently, he is the UK Government's Fintech Envoy for Wales and is working to develop the Welsh Fintech ecosystem.

  • Photo of Caroline Thompson

    Caroline Thompson

    Caroline is currently Head of Partnerships for the Alacrity Foundation (UK), a unique 15 month programme that provides graduates with practical business training, software skills and mentoring so that they can develop as entrepreneurs and launch their own UK based technology companies. Prior to taking up her position with the Alacrity Foundation, Caroline was CEO of Be The Spark - a movement in Wales designed to bring together innovation and entrepreneurship in a more visible, simple, connected way - and headed up the Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator hubs for NatWest in Bristol and Cardiff.