James Liang of Hotcha has won the prestigious Entrepreneur Award at this year's Insider South West 42 under 42 Dinner. The evening was hosted at the Bristol Hotel and celebrated the 2013 class of 42 under 42 members – the region's most promising businesspeople under the age of 42. Hotcha styles itself as a modern, healthy alternative to the traditional Chinese takeaway and has grown impressively across the Bristol area. Neil Tague, the editor of South West Business Insider, said: "Originally this was chosen as an important age as it was ten years younger than the average age of the Rich List. We aim to pick 42 rising business stars under the age of 42 each year – simple. But the idea has matured and developed; we're not trying to pick the next Stephen Lansdown or James Dyson necessarily, but identify and celebrate a number of exciting businesses and create a club, something where membership means something."
Winner: James Madelin, Enlight Photo
Madelin is a photographer who turned himself into an inventor of photographic accessories. He founded Enlight while still living in New Zealand in 2006, when he started to develop the Orbis ring flash, which came to market in December 2008. Since then he’s developed a range of accessories. After returning to the UK in 2012, he sought out an incubator and met up with SetSquared’s Nick Sturge. The other big seller is now the ioShutter, which allows users to use their iPhone as a controller for their SLR camera, and is available in Apple stores and online. New products are continually being explored.
Sponsored by: Business Growth Fund
Winner: Jonathon Jones, Tregothnan
Could you sell tea to China? Tregothnon does. Jones is commercial director at Tregothnan, the Cornwall estate known as the home of English tea. The modern-day Tregothnan business began supplying England’s first and only tea (Camellia sinensis) in 2005, although Tregothnan is believed to be the first place to grow ornamental Camellias outdoors almost 200 years earlier. The estate's diversity has allowed Tregothnan to branch out into sustainable charcoal, honey, jam and seasonal flowers. It now harvests ten tonnes of tea a year, half of it sold abroad. Tregothnon is looking to turn over £20m by 2020.
Agent of Change Award
Winner: Charlie Allen, Shiner
An agent of change can be one or more of many things – a mentor, someone who inspires or brings about change in others through their leadership or actions, or someone who makes big decisions to take their own organisation on to the next level. Bristol-based Shiner, the importer of skateboards, roller skates, scooters and BMX bikes, is on a roll having bagged two trophies in as many months. It’s a story of change as much as anything. The family-owned business was established in Laurence Hill as a builders’ merchant by Jack Allen in 1936. In 1956 Jack’s son, Michael, started Shiner Autos – a British Leyland car dealership – on the site, and in 1976 began importing skateboards from the US. Shiner is now one of the country’s leading action sports businesses, and owns the exclusive UK selling rights to Heelys skate shoes. In 2012, Shiner moved to a modern 76,000 sq ft building at Aztec West and created 16 new jobs, bringing its workforce to 41. Shiner experienced a 10 per cent increase in turnover last year, and profits look set to double in 2013.
Sponsored by: Coutts
Winner: James Liang, Hotcha
If you work in Bristol, the chances are that you’ve stopped by at Hotcha for a quick lunch at some point. Liang now has seven branches in the South West and has plans to advance throughout the UK. What sets it apart then? Essentially, the main selling point is that its products contain absolutely no monosodium glutamate – the company says it prides itself on being the healthy alternative to the traditional Chinese takeaway. Liang adds: "These are seriously exciting times for Hotcha. We have ambitious growth plans and aim to be the number one takeaway chain in the UK in the next few years. I was confident that Bristol would be the ideal place to launch the initial stores due to its love of eclectic international dishes with a healthy twist."
Presented by: Deloitte