Voting is now closed. The winner will be announced at the Mainframe Awards 2019 main event on Wednesday 11th April at QUAD.
The Digital Ambassador of the Year award is awarded to an individual, company or organisation that is leading the way in digital application and development and helping inspire others in the community. The winner will be focused on making the region a great place for start-ups to work and tirelessly promote it to external organisations. They will play a key role in making the digital economy successful. This year, the vote is in your hands!
Below are the 3 entries this year for our "Digital Ambassador of the Year" award. Find out more about each entry below and cast your vote!
Please note - only 1 vote per email address will be counted.
Company: For Your Innovation
Entry: Our co-founder Tim has worked with many startups over the past year, of course as clients but mainly through his work as a StartUp Mentor and with entrepreneurial students from local Universities.
Tim first found his passion for working with startups after being asked to mentor at the University of Nottingham's Ingeunity17 competition. From that point, Tim has gone on to secure StartUp Mentor positions with Faster Capital, The Big House and Virgin StartUp where he has recently been awarded Mentor Star of The Year for 2018 as nominated and voted for by his nominees.
Tim regularly gives guest lectures at local Universities and has a role as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Nottingham to help students who have or are looking to start there own business Tim regularly provides talks and workshops to local business support /enterprise organisations to help startups and new, small businesses move forward.
Looking in the near future and into 2019 Tim is looking to help launch and be an active part of an accelerator program for pre-start to SeriesA companies which will be backed by 1 of 3 international VC firms.
“Tim was a brilliant support to me while I was in the early stages of my coaching business. Running 2 businesses at the same time was very tough but Tim really supported my every step. He provided some very valuable advice and support throughout the year he was mentoring me through Virgin Start Up programme. Having my regular slots with him kept me on track as well as provided courage at the very tough buys times. Thank you Tim” - Sarah Hickling
“Tim has been a mentor for me with my new company, FloorFindr. The mentorship was set up through the Virgin Start-Up programme. Working alongside Tim has been a fantastic experience. There isn't a lot that he doesn't know when it comes to marketing as it's clear how much effort he puts into his work. Tim is both passionate and focussed on all aspects of marketing for business. In terms of communication, I couldn't ask for someone who is more available and willing to help than he has been. With so many aspects of the business to try and understand as a young entrepreneur, Tim really has been a massive help to me. For anyone who is looking for help with marketing, look no further than Tim.” - Daniel Hadden
Company: Frogspark Ltd
Entry: I started my creative agency, Frogspark a little over 5 years ago. 2 of those years were spent studying at University whilst the last 3 have been full time building the business. During those 3 years we’ve gone from myself and business partner Liam, to a team of 12 full time members of staff (developers, designers & digital marketers).
We’re now approaching a 7 figure turnover and I believe that is firstly down to the team's hard work, but also down to our constant promotion of ourselves and especially the creative/digital sector within Derby. We regularly collaborate with other creative agencies and we’re always proud to tell prospects that we are born and bred in Derby. I like to think I do my bit to be an ambassador for the creative sector.
I’m extremely passionate about all things digital, especially when it comes to education. I’ve spoken to students at Derby University upon invite and I’m currently running digital workshops with QUAD to schools around Derbyshire under a scheme called ‘This Is Derby’ to children as young as 10 and children with special needs. It makes me proud to say that I’m fulfilling something I’ve always said, that ‘when I get the chance, I’ll make sure I take my experiences and share them as much as possible’. I speak regularly at events around Derby (Mainframe etc) and also run my own monthly events under Frogspark where we aim to educate the local businesses of Derby (Grow Through Digital Events: https://frogspark.co.uk/events/).
I also run my own weekly podcast (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/what-its-really-like-with-rob-twells/id1448494290?mt=2) where I share my experience running a digital business and commonly touch on working within Derby and the surrounding areas.
Overall, I’d love the opportunity to be the digital ambassador, I entered the creative sector and started my business at 21, despite the competition and risk involved and believe myself & Frogspark have gone from strength to strength ever since. I’m active within the community, vocal about the industry and more importantly, extremely passionate about ensuring Frogspark & Derby leave a stamp in the years to come.
Company: Future Proof Films
Entry: We’re nominating ourselves, Future Proof Films, for the Digital Ambassador of the Year award because we’re leading the way in video marketing and video production in Derbyshire as proven by our portfolio, client list and constant prioritisation and focus on making the best visual content for each project. We’ve brought huge names to Derby, created a mass of content for our Derbyshire clients, and 2018 saw us start our yearly aim of creating free video content for a local charity.
We also nurture local talent, offering an apprenticeship, work experience and regularly working with local freelancers, as well as frequently collaborating with Derbyshire agencies to create the best content our county has to offer. 2018 saw us bring Microsoft, Sainsbury’s and Centrica to Derby, enabling us to promote what the creative and digital talent in our city has to offer.
The Microsoft videos, for instance, used five great Derbyshire locations. This allowed us to involve local creative talent, using freelance camera-operators, photographers, make-up artists, actors and many other local creatives. We also put the project out to the University, giving students the chance of gaining key experience on large corporate shoots. The Microsoft series then premiered in Las Vegas and have been watched and translated worldwide.
We also champion Derby businesses, organisations and charities of all sizes, such as the D2N2 Growth Hub. In 2018 we created fourteen videos for D2N2, including twelve case study videos on the incredible companies throughout Derbyshire, of which many make up the digital and creative landscape. So it was an extremely inspiring project that increased our drive to push Derbyshire as a creative and digital force.
When we heard what local charity Derby City Mission was doing to tackle homelessness in Derby, we offered our services, free of charge, to create videos that helped raise awareness, attract investment, and celebrate their success. The videos were highly effective and DCM now plan to expand their operation and services, benefitting more people throughout our city.
We’re also tremendous advocates of the wonderful creative talent we have here in Derby. We do this by; collaborating with local agencies; utilising local freelancers; and nurturing creative talent from schools, colleges and the University. In 2018, we had four work experience students join us, each of them gaining valuable industry experience. One school student hadn’t long been in the UK after his family fled from Syria. Starting the week quiet and withdrawn, he ended the Friday editing videos by himself and talking of aspirations to study our craft at university. We all finished that week feeling inspired to keep nurturing creative talent in Derby which is why we already have multiple students booked in to join us in 2019.
Lastly, we entrench ourselves in the local creative communities, delivering talks, filming events, raising awareness through social media, and by attending networking events. To us, this is a vital part of our business and it opens up those opportunities to help others and collaborate on larger creative projects.