SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

By Donna O’Toole

November 2010, software developer Dr Andrew Burnett-Thompson made a lifechanging decision.

Frustrated by basic Windows charts and graphs software. He decided to create a better, unique charting software.

Andrew had worked as a developer and a consultant for many years. He understood the capabilities and limits of his industry. But he was also aware of the incredible improvements in computer gaming graphics.

He decided to try something new.

Combining the tech behind the fastest moving, highest performing and most visually appealing games. With the analytical features chart and graph software to display data and realtime charts.

SciChart was born.

SciChart could plot millions of data-points, in realtime, clearly and effectively on mobile and PCs. By constantly evolving and developing SciChart is the market-leading graph and charting software.

Used by the Automotive, Defence, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Investment Banking, and Trading industries. Across 40 countries worldwide to interpret and display vital graphs and charts.

scichart_scientific

THE QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE ENTRY PROCESS

On a recommendation from a UK Trade & Investment representative, Andrew reached out. They believed SciChart would be worthy of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Andrew had no idea how the awards worked. He didn’t think the business was ready and he was already far too busy to even think about awards!

Nonetheless, we had a chat and explained all the ins and outs of the competition. Giving him a fair, honest, and detailed assessment of their chances of winning.

The conclusion? Yes!

From our experience and understanding of the Queen’s Awards we knew SciChart would have a great chance. We only work with businesses we think will win. After all, our clients’ success is our success.

Andrew wasn’t so sure. He struggled to believe his small business would ever have a chance at winning the world’s most prestigious award.

“Donna explained what we needed to show, and told me how she would put our story together in a way that an awards judge would fully understand and appreciate what we do. I still can’t say I truly believed we could win, but we had nothing to lose by going for it and Donna promised not to waste my time applying for an award if it wasn’t likely to be a success.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are not easy to win. And SciChart isn’t a basic product. But we love a challenge!

We had to learn;

  • how it worked,
  • why it was innovative,
  • who needed it and why
  • where it was sold,
  • how it was used
  • and so much more.

Not only that, we needed to analyse SciChart’s commercial performance. Comparing financial results and real-life impact with the rest of the market.

It was our job to deliver a strong nomination and leave no stone unturned.

CHARTING SCICHART’S SUCCESS

We took the whole process out of Andrew’s hands. He could continue to run his business while we worked away in the background.

To cover every aspect of the criteria we had to learn all about SciChart. We talked to the team, gathered evidence, analysed growth, investigated their customer experience and evaluated the market.

With every award entry we write – the business is the star of the show. We know how to show it off in the best light!

The result was mind-blowing for Andrew. It was announced (April 2019) that SciChart had won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Award in the Innovation category!

The software business he had been building at 5am every day for months, before starting his day job, had been crowned one of the most successful businesses in the UK.

“I couldn’t be happier, or more shocked, to have won a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for Innovation. Donna’s guidance was invaluable, and without her support and expertise we would have never even entered, nevermind won!”

We’re very proud to have been part of the process for SciChart and all of our Queen’s Awards winners.

COULD YOU WIN THE QUEENS AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE?

Feeling inspired? Think you could be a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winner? Then get in touch!

Like Andrew, we will consult with you and give you an honest assessment. If you’re not likely to win, we will make sure you understand why, and when to apply in the future.

UK Businesses of all sizes can win a Queen’s Award. All you need is at least 2 full-time employees and good growth.

You can check your eligibility here. And find out the benefits of winning.

The competition opens in May and deadlines in September each year. Nominations take WEEKS to prepare. So if you want to enter contact us early for your free honest assessment.

Queen's Awards for Enterprise Donna O'Toole

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Is Your Award Entry Irresistible?

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Is your award entry irresistible?

I recently attended an excellent training day led by Shine. The similarities in our industries are clear, whether bidding for high-value commercial contracts worth millions or even billions of pounds  or aiming to win high-level industry awards, the passion we put into making sure our clients win is palpable.

During the day I was inspired by a discussion around ‘the seduction of sales’. The theory being that no matter what we are selling, be that our product, our services, or even ourselves via our CV, we need to ‘seduce’ the reader/judge/panel/decision-maker into choosing our bid, or in our case, our award entry.

This struck me for two key reasons.

  1. Because I am quite bored of reading advice that your award entry should be ‘compelling’ – in this highly competitive world where everyone is striving to be the best, I wonder if ‘compelling’ is no longer enough. Your award entry needs to be irresistible.
  2. Because too often I believe businesses and people are ‘seduced’ into entering awards that just won’t work for them in delivering either success or value. There should be a strategy behind your awards initiatives if you really want to create sustainable success.

Now I’m a true advocate of putting values at the front of any pitch. And I believe that a values-led approach, backed up by undeniable data and substantial evidence, will allow you to deliver your award entry or presentation with the passion you need to truly ‘seduce’ your audience into choosing your pitch.

So I was delighted to find that my takeaways for the day met with my own intuitions on how best to approach a winning pitch. And I came away proud of the passion that we put into every brand story we tell, every awards journey we make, and every positive awards result we are behind.
If you’re thinking about whether your brand story could be picked by a panel of judges ask yourself this; if I was the judge of this award, would I find this entry truly irresistible?

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Sussex Chamber of Commerce – Business Leaders Conference

Sussex Chamber of Commerce – Business Leaders Conference

Sussex Chamber of Commerce – Business Leaders Conference

Personal Branding

By Donna O’Toole

 

On the 28th November, our CEO Donna O’Toole was humbled and honoured to speak at the Sussex Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leaders Conference 2017. Set in The Grand Hotel Brighton, the sheer impressiveness of the venue was matched by the inspirational entrepreneurs and business leaders in attendance.

The Event

Following lunch and a chance to network with other attendees, Donna took to the stage as the first speaker of the afternoon to inspire, motivate and encourage the room. Telling them the power of winning industry awards and how they too could become more profitable than their competitors through the awards they win.

Throughout her talk Donna let the crowd in on some of her trade secrets. Such as how to win prestigious local, national and international awards such as the Chamber Awards and The Queen’s Award for Enterprise. With her audience’s interest piqued, an array of questions were asked, including one from David Sheppard Chairman of Sussex Chamber who discussed the need to provide evidence within an award entry, before a well-deserved round of applause broke out around the opulent hall. 

Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders Conference, Donna O'Toole, August, Awards Expert, Entrepreneur

Ben Towers – Bedroom to Boardroom

Next we heard from the highly successful, young entrepreneur Ben Towers. At only 19 years old he has successfully created, run and completed a multi-million pound merger of his own company.

Ben took us through the story of his business life. From building websites at only 11 years old as a freelance web designer and using Youtube ‘How to’ videos as a tool for learning new skills, to having his bedroom set up as an office and his school reprimanding him for having a business whilst studying for his GCSEs. Ben even had to hire himself as an apprentice to prove he was continuing his education!

After divulging his life story, Ben began to talk about the struggles of gaining media attention and the internet trolls that come with it. However, this challenge has led him to become an ambassador of the organisation ‘bullies out’ – which we think is a true testament of his character.

The whole room was enthralled by Ben’s speech and we would like to say thank you to Ben for sharing his story and wish him the very best of luck in all his future endeavours.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders Conference, Ben Towers, Entrepreneur

Professor Chris Roebuck – Delivering Success Through I CARE Leadership

The final speaker of the afternoon was Professor Chris Roebuck, visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership from Cass Business School. Founded on 35 years of experience working for huge Global brands such as UBS and Aston Martin as well as SMEs, Chris developed the innovative ‘I CARE’ Leadership approach.

Chris opened our eyes to how poor leadership, delegation and time management leads to unhappy employees, profit loss and high employee turnover. He explained how his ‘I CARE’ leadership approach could easily rectify this issue without spending a single penny and would in fact bring in more money.

This valuable message resonated with the room full of many SME business leaders and entrepreneurs. They could take it away and start implementing it within their own businesses straight away. It was great to hear from such an experienced leadership expert and gain so much knowledge. We would like to thank Chris for opening our eyes and can’t wait to see how his ‘I CARE’ Leadership continues to transform the business world.

Sussex Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders Conference, Professor Chris Roebuck, Leadership

Final thoughts

We’d like to thank Ana Christie, David Sheppard and everyone at the Sussex Chamber of Commerce for organising such an empowering event and setting the stage for an inspirational afternoon. We can not thank you enough for the support you give August and we look forward to supporting many more businesses in the Chamber to grow and succeed by raising their profile.

If you want to learn more about the Chamber and how they can help you click here – Do you know about the Chamber’s awards? Find out about their awards here.

If you would like a free awards discovery consultation simply click here to book.

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Meet SwimTrek one of our Queen’s Awards Winners

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Donna O'Toole, Queen's Awards for Enterprise winner SwimTrek

Meet SwimTrek one of our Queen’s Awards Winners

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By Donna O’Toole

SwimTrek – The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners swimming their way to success!

Back in 2000, Simon Murie (pictured above) had a dream; to recreate Lord Byron’s infamous swim across the Hellespont – a stretch of open water dividing Europe and Asia which was made famous in Greek Mythology by Leander’s nightly swims to see his lover Hero.

So off he went to Turkey to attempt the swim himself, unaware of all the complications and permissions that would be required to undertake such a swim. After spending a week organising the event between the coastguard, the army, the council, and a local pilot who would take him across the water, he completed the swim in just under an hour!

Simon quickly saw the gap in the market to help swimmers realise their dreams, without having to worry about all the hard work behind organising the event. And so SwimTrek was born. A business that has since helped thousands of people to achieve their open-water swimming dreams, safely and securely in over 40 magical locations worldwide.

Little did Simon know that 17 Years later, his childhood dream would see his business becoming the proud recipient of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

So how did he do it and how can you turn your dream into recognition from Her Majesty The Queen in the most prestigious awards competition in the world?

Simon and I met by chance at Acumen business conference in 2016. At that time SwimTrek had been growing rapidly, and like many business owners, Simon had put all his focus into his customers and his team, and not had the time to consider whether they could be ready to win some awards.

We discussed SwimTrek’s growth, what they did, how they did it, and all the benefits this brought to their customers, teams, and locals worldwide. I identified their potential ‘win theme’ and suggested to Simon that actually now was the time for him to get some well-deserved recognition for the business and take a plunge into some new unknown waters – business awards. But not just any old business awards, I recommended that SwimTrek entered the most prestigious awards programme in the world – The Queen’s Awards!

Simon Murie, SwimTrek, Donna O'Toole, Queen's Award for Enterprise, 2017

With a busy summer ahead for SwimTrek, and trips planned all over the world, Simon and his team were happy to put the process into our hands and keep their minds on their customers and their business – exactly where they should be.

So with our guidance and support, the right evidence was gathered, the commercial progress was analysed, the benefits to employees, customers, partners, and the environment was assessed, and all the rigorous and comprehensive criteria was met.

Step by step, every box was ticked and every word mattered – and the outstanding work SwimTrek is doing in the adventure holidays industry shone like a beacon from the (many) award entry pages.

When Simon found out they had won, his words said it all: “Winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation means so much to me, and to the whole team at SwimTrek. It is recognition of the ongoing effort we have made to ensure we operate at the highest possible standards, and it gives us great pride to represent the UK Tourism Industry as a unique, innovative and exceptional provider of adventure swimming holidays. We can’t wait to share the news with our customers and partners across the world, and to use this as a platform to deliver even more exciting swimming adventures in the future.”  

SwimTrek Queen's awards for Enterprise, Donna O'Toole, August Recognition

And of our help and support in putting the entry together, Simon has kindly put it in his own words: “Donna helped us to understand all the different elements of the Queen’s Award application process, including what the judges were looking for and how we could line up our business processes with the criteria. The application itself looked hugely complex and time-consuming, which is an added stress when you are busy running a business. Donna took that stress away and helped us to see how what we considered business as usual was in fact incredibly important to our application.”

Could you be a future Queen’s Award winner?

Queen's Awards for Enterprise Donna O'Toole

Your company can be from as small as just two people right up to a global brand!

The competition is as exciting and rigorous as ever. Winners will attend a celebration at Buckingham Palace and will be visited by the Lord Lieutenant of the county to present their award. Winners can also use the Queen’s Award emblem on all marketing materials for 5 years – priceless PR that has been proven to grow business results.

Contact me for a totally free and honest assessment of your chances of winning.

And if you fancy a unique adventure holiday like no other – you really can’t beat SwimTrek.

 

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How To Win The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

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How To Win The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

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By Donna O’Toole

How to get your name on the The Queen’s Awards winning list

In 2016 a staggering 254 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were won by businesses across the following categories:

  • International Trade — 150
  • Innovation — 92
  • Sustainable Development -7
  • Enterprise Promotion (the Queen’s Awards for individuals supporting others in enterprise) — 5

Why so many awards? And how did I achieve such a high success rate?

Well the Queen’s Awards run a rigorous competition, with strict criteria for entry and only the few categories mentioned above, but they don’t cap the amount of winners — so if you have the right profile, the right story and the right evidence, you could win an award!

Winning a Queen’s Award can be a game-changing experience for you. It supports you to grow your business profile, raises your business and all your employees to the dizzy heights of being recognised by Royalty, and positions you as the best in the UK. And what customer, partner or investor would choose a company without a Queen’s Award over a company with a Queen’s Award?

A popular question I am asked is ‘can I win more than one award?’. The answer is most certainly ‘yes’! In 2016 there were many double-winners like Inciner8 who won across two categories, and even one winner, JCB, who won 3 awards across their group — INCREDIBLE!

The Queen’s Awards are open for entry from May until early September — which is a shorter entry period than previously. On average (and ideally) it takes at least a month to prepare your entry to a winning standard — and that’s when you know what you are doing!

So don’t delay, give me a call today and I can help you find out whether you really have the key indicators for success and help you tell your winning story.

I direct and write winning award entries all year long, but I must confess, I really do like my clients to win a big competition, and The Queen’s Awards have become my favourite awards in the world to win with my clients because of the positive impact they create.

To find out if you have the potential to win a Queen’s Award for Innovation, International Trade or Sustainable Development contact me and I’ll tell you the winning formula.

I know how much winning the Queen’s Awards can do for your business, and I like to keep my success rates high, so you know that if we work together it is because I genuinely think you could win.

Give me a try and I will give you the best value and the best service in the UK. Fact.

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