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Reaching for the Starlings: 15 disruptive entrepreneurs to watch in 2021

Disruptors drive innovation in their field with ideas and actions that bring fundamental changes to the way entire industries think and operate. They focus their efforts on making lives easier, faster and better connected.

Along with our partners Starling Bank, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards prides itself on supporting exciting entrepreneurs making waves in the UK. Here are our 15 most exciting disruptive entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.

Sheana Yu, Aergo

Sheana Yu - Aergo

Sheana Yu is the founder of Aergo, the world’s first automated postural management seating system centred on providing tailored support for those with disabilities. Designed to empower everyone to live to their fullest potential, Aergo is co-created with wheelchair users to be fully adaptive to a range of sitting requirements and body shape, offering postural adjustment at the touch of a button.

James Blackham and Callum Rimmer, By Miles

James Blackham and Callum Rimmer - By Miles

James Blackham and Callum Rimmer are the founders of By Miles, a car insurance provider that calculates premiums by mileage. It is designed to provide fairer, cheaper insurance for low-mileage drivers. Users pay a fixed price to cover the vehicle while it’s parked, and attach a mileage tracker or connect their car’s odometer directly to the By Miles system to add a charge per mile.

Pia Varma, Just A Splash

Pia Varma - Just A Splash

Pia Varma is the founder of Just A Splash, an award-winning range of cooking alcohol pouches. The range of five flavours - brandy, port, rum, sherry and marsala - allow customers to transform their dishes without having to buy large, expensive bottles. Pia created the business after growing frustrated with the number of bottles building up in her cupboard when she only needed ‘just a splash’ each time she cooked.

Cinitia Kimura, KG Protech

Cintia Kimura - KG Protech

Cintia Kimura is the founder of KG Protech, a remote practical training service for automotive technicians. The KG Box and mobile app instantly turn a passenger car, light or commercial vehicle, truck, agricultural vehicle or construction vehicle into a training centre that uses its own systems to simulate electrical faults. It means training providers no longer need to spend money on expensive rigs, break test cars or demonstration materials. It also allows instructors to train multiple technicians quickly, and with its built-in video conferencing software they can train from anywhere in the world.

Lemon Fuller - Lemonade Dolls

Lemon Fuller is the founder of Lemonade Dolls, the UK’s first underwear subscription brand. Customers choose their plan, choose their size and receive a pair of underwear each month as well 40% off the rest of the range. Built on the ethos of female empowerment, Lemonade Dolls also runs a series of interviews and ‘Tit Talks’ with inspiring women to spread the message of positivity and self-love.

Mariam Jimoh - OJA

Mariam Jimoh is the founder of OJA, an online grocery service for ethnic, cultural and specialist foods. With thousands of products, next day delivery across the UK and same-day delivery in London, OJA brings the same speed and convenience you expect from supermarket home deliveries to the ethnic and cultural food space.

Pamela Djima - Our Kids Trove

Pamela Djima is the founder of Our Kids Trove, an online marketplace for culturally diverse toys made by Black-owned businesses. The store features a selection of carefully curated toys, books, puzzles, flash cards and craft sets designed to educate, empower and represent children from minority backgrounds.

Kane-Halsey, Pickr.

Kane Halsey - Pickr.

Kane Halsey is the founder of Pickr., an innovative operating system for field contracting services in the engineering, construction and infrastructure industries. The Pickr platform provides real-time analytics to help businesses handle millions of industry critical tasks every year, replacing traditional contracting processes and structures.

Victor Dewulf and Peter Hedley, Recycleye

Victor Dewulf & Peter Hedley - Recycleye

Victor Dewulf and Peter Hadley are the founders of Recycleye, a robotics waste management and recycling company that uses artificial intelligence and automation to identify and remove recyclable products on waste conveyor belts, even down to the type of item and the brand.

Chris Edson and Mike Gibbs, Second Nature

Chris Edson & Mike Gibbs - Second Nature

Chris Edson and Mike Gibbs are the founders of Second Nature, a digital weight management programme backed by the NHS. Combining tech, recipes, scientific evidence, support and advice, Second Nature helps 95% of its users to lose weight in a healthy and sustained way by focusing on changing long-term behaviour patterns.

Rebecca Thomson & Rachita Saraogi - Sisterhood

Rebecca Thomson and Rachita Saraogi are the founders of Sisterhood, a 100% female-led creative design programme for girls aged 13-17 to help unleash their creative confidence and make positive social change. The school teaches girls to use creativity as a vehicle to positively impact their own lives and the lives of girls around the world.

Ben Chatfield and Ollie Povey, Tempo

Ben Chatfield & Ollie Povey - Tempo

Ben Chatfield and Ollie Povey are the founders of Tempo, an all-in-one recruitment platform for start-ups. It utilises tech to instantly match businesses with customer success, sales, marketing, operations and admin jobseekers based on their experience, skills, preferences and more. The platform also allows employers to connect, interview and hire candidates in one place.

Peter Davies - Verv

Peter Davies is the founder of Verv, a smart fault detection technology for home appliances. By adding a microchip to next-generation smart appliances, Verv detects anomalies and inconsistencies in performance to signal a fault at component level before the appliance breaks down. It also delivers diagnostics to the manufacturer, while informing engineers and end-users.

Sarah Larby, Water Club

Sarah Larby - Water Club

Sarah Larby is the founder of Water Club, a sustainable water brand that provides personalised mineral water at refill stations. It utilises existing water infrastructure and removes microplastics and other impurities through a nano purification system and adds structured crystalline minerals based on customers’ diets to restore their bodies’ natural acid/alkaline balance.

Nigel Phan, Whirli

Nigel Phan - Whirli

Nigel Phan is the founder of Whirli, an award-winning toy swap subscription service. Designed as a more affordable and sustainable alternative to buying and discarding toys, Whirli allows customers to choose from thousands of toys and keep them as long as they’re loved at home before returning them and swapping for something else.

To find out more about our partners Starling Bank.

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