BusinessCloud’s inaugural UK Business Tech Awards are set for November and will recognise the individuals and businesses who are making the most impact in the world of technology.

Each day for a fortnight we are highlighting a different category ahead of a glitzy ceremony at London’s Montcalm Marble Arch on November 20.

There will be 18 gongs up for grabs including App of the Year, with five shortlisted by our stellar line-up of judges: Airtime Rewards, iGo (by Autocab), BCRemit, Cognitive Rehabilitation in Dementia (by Connect and NHS Education for Scotland) and Padoq.

We profile each of them below. Tickets are available at the Business Tech Awards website while sponsors confirmed so far include Jumpstart and Touchscreen Rentals.

Anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities should contact Helena.furness@businesscloud.co.uk.

The judging panel included David Hardman, MBE, managing director of Innovation Birmingham; Louize Clarke, co-founder, ConnectTVT; Elizabeth Clark, CEO, Dream Agility; former director of Tech North Richard Gregory; Tom Cheesewright, founder of Applied Futurism Practice; former Vodafone exec Rob Mukherjee, director of Greater Sport; Chris Dymond, director, Sheffield Digital; and Scott Henderson, managing director of Jumpstart.

APP OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST

Airtime Rewards

Airtime Rewards is a retailer rewards programme which helps members to reduce the cost of their smartphone bills by shopping with major UK retailers. After members securely link payment cards, it seamlessly records transactions using its revolutionary card tracking technology. Its solution is beneficial both to the consumer and the retailer, breeding brand loyalty.

The firm found that millennials and young professionals – avid smartphone users with a strong desire for the latest devices – were disengaged from typical loyalty schemes and sought to create a service that works for them.

Airtime Rewards is partnered with all the major mobile network operators in the UK, meaning it is able to credit virtually any customer with a mobile phone. It raised investment from mobile operator Telefónica, which has 350 million customers globally and 23m customers in the UK.

At present, Airtime Rewards has 100,000 active and spending users and is on target to acquire a total of 250,000 users by the end of 2018. Twenty-five major UK retailers including Waitrose and Missguided have signed up with the service.

Padoq

Padoq offers a single platform for event organisers, removing the need to switch between several social media applications and reducing their stress by collecting money and chasing the inevitable stragglers.

Similar existing platforms either treat the problem as one-size-fits-all or expect an unreasonable quantity or granularity of data from the groups and users, whereas Padoq has a strong focus on data privacy.

Padoq has been created as native apps for both iOS and Android, with a web-based application to be launched later this year. All Padoq marketing collateral has been created in-house, including making our own t-shirts and clothing.

Instead of focusing on the FinTech aspect then shoehorning a community platform around it, Padoq engages users from the ground up – creating a platform that works with its users, instead of asking them to adapt to the solutions it provides.

iGo

Autocab is helping local taxi firms take the fight to Uber by providing white-label passenger apps which allow the general public to book, track and pay for journeys through them. When the owner of one of these passenger apps receives a job request from miles away which they cannot possibly fulfil, they can pass that job on to a more local firm in exchange for a set fee.

When Autocab realised that a major concern for taxi companies is their passengers downloading Uber when away on business or holiday then continuing to use it when they return home, it launched iGo in April 2017– its network of taxi companies.

Customers of local taxi firms can now book from a pool of more than 70,000 vehicles in more than 20 countries. The service covers the whole of the UK, whereas Uber only serves 20 of its towns and cities.

Autocab has onboarded about 30 per cent of its customer base onto the iGo network to date and anticipates the volume of jobs shared on its network to be four million per annum by the end of next year.

BCRemit

BCRemit is bringing money transfer and related services online for the benefit of migrants worldwide. Its main objective is to disrupt the money remittance industry by making it cheaper, more convenient and secure for migrants to transfer money.

Migrant workers are burdened by the high transfer fees charged by banks and other remittance companies. BCRemit’s proprietary technology and unique process allows it to provide transfer fees that are as much as 90 per cent lower compared to those charged by traditional players.

So far it has processed more than $14 million of transactions and is averaging more than 15 per cent monthly growth. Already cash positive, it is looking to expand to the rest of the European Union in 2019.

It also goes beyond money transfer by offering relevant value-added services such as bills payment, mobile top-up and even fast food delivery to create a ‘marketplace’ for migrant workers.

Cognitive Rehabilitation in Dementia

In 2017, NHS Education for Scotland appointed Connect to design, build and launch a dedicated mobile app to be used by frontline healthcare staff in Scotland. The ‘Cognitive Rehabilitation in Dementia’ app supports people in the early stages of dementia.

It allows staff to use cognitive strategies to meet rehabilitation goals, providing them with access to information on-the-go from any location.

The app features two distinct sections: 'Learn' and 'Rehabilitation'. The 'Learn' section provides information on cognition and cognitive impairment, and the interactive 'Rehabilitation' section guides healthcare staff through the process of cognitive rehabilitation.

It provides up-to-date information on the different types of dementia and their presenting problems; a guide detailing rehabilitation strategies and a guide detailing the stages of assessment; provides staff with the ability to set goals, upload worksheets and securely export them; offers links to relevant resources; and collects demographic data for research purposes.