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The UK's best start-up of the year

We've had some amazing good news stories in our first year, but this pretty much caps it all. We've been judged to be the UK's Best Start-up of the Year in the 2011 Nectar Business Awards. Apparently there were hundreds of entries, but somehow we filtered our way to the top and the judges (including the formidable Karren Brady from The Apprentice) felt that Neon Play topped the lot. Quite remarkable.

Here's the official press release

Neon Play, a mobile games studio based in Cirencester, which creates iPad and iPhone games for The Apple Store has been named as Start-Up Business of the Year 2011 in the Nectar Business Small Business Awards by a panel of business experts, including businesswoman and star of BBC1’s The Apprentice, Karren Brady.

The Neon Play team with the Nectar Small Business Award for Start-up of the Year

Run by Nectar Business, a loyalty programme designed to help small businesses by offering them the ability to earn rewards on everyday business expenditure, the Nectar Business Small Business Awards were started in 2009 to recognise the cream of Britain’s small business talent. Neon Play will receive £2,000, 50,000 Nectar points and a trophy for its achievement.

Oli Christie, the founder of Neon Play, started the business in June 2010 following a successful career designing games for over 200 global brands. In less than a year the business has grown to employ 13 people, with over 21 million downloads of its apps. Oli has ambitious plans for further growth within the booming mobile games market, including producing games and apps for Android platforms and a new publishing division.

Neon Play's Mark Allen and Oli Christie

Karren Brady speaks

Commenting on why Neon Play was chosen for the Award, Karren Brady said: “Neon Play was the outstanding candidate in the Start-Up of the Year category. With excellent growth in its first year, and a clear strategy for development over the forthcoming years, the future looks bright for the firm”.

Nectar Small Business Awards judges

James Frost, Marketing Director at Nectar says: “Start-Up Business of the Year is a new category for the 2011 Nectar Business Small Business Awards and recognises businesses less than a year old who have shown real potential in their first 12 months of trading. The panel were all very impressed with the achievements of Neon Play, and we wish Oli and his team a very exciting and profitable future”.

Head honcho is chuffed

Commenting on the award win, Oli Christie, CEO of Neon Play commented, “I’m thrilled that Neon Play has won the Nectar Business Small Business Award for Start-Up Business of the Year. It’s fantastic to be recognised for the hard work we have put into the business”.

Oli continues, “This is a great award and a huge pat on the back not only for the team, but also for the UK’s growing app economy. This is a new, exciting market that is moving fast and we are competing with some large and well-funded global games developers. Hopefully making mobile apps will be recognised as an important export industry both in terms of getting tax breaks and increasing app developer skills. There is still a long way to go, but for a mobile games studio to win a prestigious award from Nectar is a huge boost and we are absolutely thrilled with the prize money, Nectar points and recognition.”

For full information on the awards please visit www.nectar-business.com/sba2011


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