Just go for it! Winners urge businesses to enter The News Innovation Awards 2022 in Portsmouth

And who better to offer those words of wisdom than Datavault, which won the overall prize of Innovative Business of the Year at the inaugural event at the Village Hotel in Portsmouth last year.

The Hayling Island-based boutique IT consultancy works in a very specialised field, trying to help companies get more value and insights from the data they possess – and the way they store and analyse it.

With many clients being in London and abroad, the business entered in a bid to raise its profile within the local area. The thought of winning not only their category – Digital Innovation of the Year – but the top prize was ‘beyond their wildest dreams’.

Chris Fisher, Alex Higgs and Sam Cole from Datavault pick up the award of Innovative Business of the Year from Derek Ellis of sponsor GetSet Solent at The News Innovation Awards 2021 Picture: Sam Stephenson

Mark Otten, head of marketing and business development, said: ‘Winning the digital innovation award was a shock on the night, and to then hear our name again – when the overall winner was announced – was an incredible surprise, but obviously a very welcome one. We were stunned and had to message some of our colleagues who could not be there and say, ‘yes, we really have won the top award’.‘

Mark added: ‘The biggest impact of winning the award has probably been felt internally. We have a number of young, very bright, graduates – often recruited from the city’s university – and for them to win a prestigious competition like The News’ Innovation Awards, validates a lot of the work they have been doing over the last couple of years.

‘We have been on another big recruitment drive this year, and being able to market ourselves as the winner of the biggest newspaper innovation awards in the south, helps increase our attractiveness as a growing employer in a cutting-edge field of IT. And obviously it helps us when speaking to clients, certainly in the UK, to be able to point to our success.’

Since winning the award, Datavault has not been sitting on their laurels. They have produced two new versions of their award-winning dbtvault product and are regularly talking to users as far afield as Australia and the USA.

The News Innovation awards 2021 Picture: Sam Stephenson

‘Winning something like The News’ Innovation Awards has helped raise our profile and been great for our business. We would recommend anyone considering entering to go for it!’ said Mark.

Entries to this year’s awards, being staged on October 12 at the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality, close this Friday. Full details can be found at portsmouthinnovation.co.uk

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