Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/izonedesign/blog.bathdigital.com/wp-content/themes/canvas/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

The SPARKies 2012 – The Winners

Bath’s very first tech awards – The SPARKies – culminated last night in a lively and packed party/ceremony at Komedia. Jarred Christmas did a great job at warming up the 275-strong audience and getting through the 12 awards at some pace (feedback so far is that the speed of the award ceremony was much appreciated!). We will post a load of pictures later in the week, but we wanted to get the full list of winners out for anybody who was unfortunate enough to miss the event!

Best Digital Design Agency: COMPLETE CONTROL

Sponsored by: Bowers & Wilkins

Complete control create educational and engaging content for children. The judges said:

If you can create for kids for you can create for the future – it doesn’t get any better than that.

And Complete Control’s thank you tweet was:

Being recognised as the best design agency in Bath is an amazing achievement – we are all really proud.  Thank you #theSparkies, we are truly honoured.

Best Mentor / Advisor: PETER GABRIEL

Sponsored by: Bath Ventures Innovation Centre

The judges said:

Peter is a force for good in Bath, in music and in technology.

And Peter’s thank you tweet was:

If you keep asking simple questions eventually someone will think they’re profound. Thank you.

Best Tech Founder: DR DOUG PULLEY

Sponsored by: Bath Ventures Innovation Centre

Dr Doug Pulley, CEO of Picochip, was educated in Bath and stayed to create what is arguably on of the cities biggest success stories. The judges said:

A true technology innovator – what he has done with Picochip is a remarkable achievement.

And Dr Doug’s thank you tweet was:

10 yrs ago we started Picochip in a Bath pub, now exit for $$$ & created lots of jobs. Want others to do same. More start-ups, more exits

Best Service Provider (to the Tech sector): RIPE DIGITAL

Sponsored by: Storm Consultancy

Ripe digital is a short-run print agency which has supported Bath’s many digital events with free print support. The judges said:

Fantastic creative work: fresh, original and shows technologists can and do have a sense of humour.

And Rik’s thank you tweet was:

Thanks to everyone for using us!

Biggest Success Story of 2011: PICOCHIP

Sponsored by: Bath & North East Somerset Council

Picochip celebrated its 10th birthday in 2011, and were aquired by Mindspeed in a multi-million dollar sale at the end of the year. The judges said:

From kitchen table to being bought for over $50m in ten years – enough said, really.

And Picochip’s thank you tweet was:

Great result. Picochip shows Bath can deliver world-class technology, world-class companies, success, jobs + exits #Femtocell #LTE

The One To Watch for 2012: TREEHOUSE

Sponsored by: Catalyst Venture Partners

The Treehouse mission is to teach web design and development to anyone, anywhere. The judges said:

A company that is way ahead of the curve – this has all the makings of a global success story.

And Treehouse’s thank you tweet was:

We’re honoured and excited for @treehouse to win a SPARKies award! Bath is a great place to launch tech startups.

Individual Contribution To Tech: MIKE ELLIS

Sponsored by: Real World

Mike runs BathCamp, the Big M, and has been the driving force behind Bath Digital Festival. The judges said:

Mike is Bath’s Digital Mayor – he does seem to be at the centre of everything good that’s happening to promote Bath tech.

And Mike’s thank you tweet was:

Delighted to win “Individual contribution to Technology” – but really no-one wins *anything* without the help of LOADS of other individuals!

Best App 2011: TAP! by FUTURE

Sponsored by: Handsome I.P.

Tap is a highly successful interactive magazine App. The judges said:

A new, exciting and innovative approach in moving magazine content to tablets – exactly what ebooks should, and could, be.

And the Tap team’s thank you tweet was:

The @tapmaguk team are delighted that the quality of our work, the richness of our platform and the depth of our passion has been recognised!

Best startup: BARDOWL

Sponsored by: Eden Ventures

Bardowl is a new and innovative model for the provision of audio books. The judges said:

A really innovative idea which is disrupting the audio book market, and has immediate international scope.

And Bardowl’s thank you tweet was:

@bardowl thanks all in the wonderful bath tech scene for their support and motivation over the last 2 years. We would not ship without u 🙂

The Totally Killing It (for competing globally from Bath): PICOCHIP

Sponsored by: Eden Ventures

The judges said:

Picochip put Bath on the world map for tech start-ups and superb electronics design. They are the giant upon whose shoulders we stand.

And Picochip’s thank you tweet was:

V proud. 10 yrs ago we joked Picochip goal was world-domination – we succeeded 😉 Changed shape of 3G/4G wireless from Bath #Femtocell #LTE

The ‘Good Award’ for best use of tech for doing good: LUKE WOODBURY

Sponsored by: Teach It!

Luke specialises in using technology to enrich lessons for children at Three Ways special needs school. The judges said:

This decision was a breeze. Who could compete with Luke’s work at Threeways. Luke’s creativity is a breath of fresh air for education.

And Luke’s thank you tweet was:

It’s an honour to win this award and work in a school that has the vision and resourcefulness to enable a project like the sensory studio.

The SPARKies gave out its 12th award to the winners of the University of Bath’s App Crunch competition, Virtual Loci.  Judges of the AppCrunch competition were extremely impressed with all of the entries, but felt that Alex and James’ idea had real mileage and multiple possibilities for development.

The SPARKies judges

Congratulations to the finalists and to the winners. Thanks to Jarred Christmas, the staff at Komedia, our sponsors, the judges, Sara Gibbons, Nat Al-Tahhann, Mike Ellis, Dave Kelly, Phil Castang, Trish from Bath Music Plus and a super special thank you to Lily Smith and Katrina James as without them The SPARKies would just not have happened!

I hope everyone who attended had a great time and I hope those who didn’t wished they did! See you next year.

About David Maher Roberts

Founder & Partner of Digital DNA; Founder of BathSPARK/The SPARKies; Non-Exec Director at Claritize & The Filter; Advisor to Visual DNA and GoTag; Mentor to Bath University Student Enterprise teams. Previously, David was CEO of personalisation engine, The Filter and Board & Digital Director at media company Future PLC where he founded the award-winning content agency Future Plus.


Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.


  1. Hashbang.tv: Episode 5 | Bath Digital Blog - March 28, 2012

    […] blog & podcast hosted by Bath’s very own Chris Book (founder of Bardowl and winner of TheSPARKies Best Startup award) and James Parton. The podcast is not Bath-centric, but covers interesting tech products and […]

Leave a Reply