The Startups team set about finding what we considered to be the 100 best business start-ups in the UK. Nothing more, nothing less – and our methodology is unashamedly unscientific.
That certainly didn't mean any old business could make our list, though. Far from it!
The search began in earnest back in late 2009 with the only solid criteria being that we'd define 'start-up' as trading post-January 2007 (we had to draw the line somewhere).
Other than that, anything went. Well, we say anything. What we meant was any new company that, first of all, excited us, then we wanted to see:
- Innovation, in concept or delivery
- Ability to disrupt existing market places
- Demonstratable growth potential
- Strong management, bright thinkers
- Evidence of existing or future revenues
We put out feelers; we asked other entrepreneurs; we networked until business card consumption became unethical; we looked at awards schemes – starting with our own, of course – we searched areas such as social enterprise and disabled entrepreneurs' organisations and green business initiatives to ensure we'd covered every base represented in today's start-up community.