Entries and nominations encouraged ahead of Tech Awards deadline

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

Three winners at last year’s Tees Tech Awards have spoken of the importance of taking the time to enter your company in this year’s awards – or nominate a deserving individual – ahead of this Thursday’s deadline.

The much-anticipated celebration of all things digital, which takes place on July 1, is being organised by Tees Business in association with Middlesbrough Digital and DigitalCity.

As guest Lou Tonner of Middlesbrough-based Wander Films said: “You can’t win it if you’re not in it!”

Lou was speaking on the Tees Business Leaders Online Q&A alongside Jimmy Lees, head of client sales at Salesfire, and Chris Tyerman, specialist software developer at Calm Digital – both firms also winners in the inaugural awards last year.

“The Tees Tech Awards are a massive celebration of all that the local digital sector has to offer,” said Jimmy.

“It’s a really big thing for companies to win an award. In the early stages of a business, you want people to be invested in your success – and what better way of raising your profile than with an accolade like this?”

Jimmy was working at Mabo last year when they were winners of the Company of the Year category. He’s now at fellow Middlesbrough firm Salesfire, who picked up both the Best Newcomer and Innovation gongs.

“My friend Owen was at Salesfire so I was invested in their success,” he recalled. “As for Mabo to be named Company of the Year, it was absolutely mint!

“We had positioned Mabo to fly the flag for Middlesbrough with regards to the fast-growing digital sector, so wining was massive for us, especially when you looked at who we were up against.

“We knew we must have done something really good to win that award. It was a huge buzz.”

Lou and the team at Wander Films were finalists in two categories while creative director Chloe Clover won the Rising Star gong.

“We were super pumped for the event,” she smiled. “It was awesome to be shortlisted among so many amazing people and companies.

“To us, it was a really positive event, not just for our team, of whom we are so proud, but for the tech sector as a whole.

“It’s amazing what Clover’s award did for the morale of the team and that’s why it’s so important to enter. You can’t win it if you’re not in it, and even getting shortlisted really lifts your spirits.”

Last year’s awards attracted a fantastic 85 entries, and with the April 29 deadline for this year’s event fast approaching, organisers are looking forward to hear from companies under the radar who may want to use this opportunity to raise their profile.

“Winning creates a real buzz for everyone, and there’s the advantage of being able to call yourself an award-wining company,” said Chris.

“Calm Digital won the Tech Partnership award last year, so we have been able to say we are an award-winning platform which has allowed us to expand further.

“The strides we have made may have been possible without winning the award, but it would have been more difficult. Even if you don’t win but are shortlisted, that’s still a real achievement which could help you win business going forward.”

This year the Tees Tech Awards have added a new category, Unsung Hero, which encourages us all to nominate those behind the scenes who, while not the face of a company, are vital to its success.

Chris added: “So many people do their job and go home without realising just how much of an impact they are having for their company and the industry in general. To be nominated for an award is a way of showing just how appreciated they are.”

Lou agreed: “I think there’s at least one unsung hero in every company and having the spotlight on them for a change would be great!”

Jimmy believes that nominating someone for a Tech Award is an hour well spent.

“It’s a way of potentially making a huge difference in someone’s life. A lot of people on Teesside are too humble. There are so many people doing such good stuff but who don’t feel it’s their duty to have a pat on the back.

“It’s down to us to make sure they get their moment in the spotlight.”

To enter the Tech Awards or find out more, visit Tees Tech Awards – Tees Business

• Tees Business Leaders is hosted by Tees Business in association with our partners PD Ports, statutory harbour authority for the River Tees, and owner of Teesport, one of the fastest growing UK ports. PD Ports is also one of the largest employers in the Tees Valley and is now celebrating 20 years of supporting young people in the region through its apprenticeship programme.