Two of the winners at last year’s Digital Entrepreneur Awards say their success has been the kick-start for 12 months of growth and contract wins.

Manchester-based PushON and Liverpool digital agency Mando Group walked away with two of the biggest prizes at the 2015 DEAs, which champion the country’s finest digital entrepreneurs and businesses.

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Now in their 12th year the 2016 awards ceremony takes place on November 9 at Manchester’s Palace Hotel and time is running out to enter.

PushON was established in 2005 and was named Stand Out Agency of the Year in the 2015 DEAs. 

Managing director Simon Warton said it was the credibility of the awards that encouraged the agency to enter. “We only bother entering awards that we believe are credible,” he said. “There’s a lot of awards around at the moment with more of a focus on celebrating the people who put on the awards as opposed to the work that’s being showcased.” 

Following the DEA success, PushON secured some significant contracts and plan to enter the awards again this year. 

“We’ve won some utterly huge new contracts – a household name brand that you wouldn’t expect an agency of our size to win,” says Warton. “It’s been good.” 

Founded 20 years ago, Mando Group focuses on helping businesses become more successful through digital, and counts household names such as Bentley, Warburton’s, Transport for London and Vodafone among their clients. 

The business, which employs 48 staff, was awarded a DEA for their tool The Mando Timesheet Fridge which helps to ensure 100 per cent timesheet completion each week by providing an incentive for staff to submit theirs – free beer. 

A Windows app, the tool controls a magnetic lock on a fridge which will open to provide a free drink for employees as long as everyone has submitted their timesheet by 4pm on a Friday. The app also shows a list of staff who haven’t yet submitted theirs which encourages other teammates to remind them to do so. 

“We’re committed to solving complex problems in a simple way for our clients and this is a perfect example of how we’ve done the same for our Mando team,” explains marketing manager Tracey Greer. “This is testament to our team’s creativity and innovation, taking established technology and incentivising the solution to a business problem, with a lot of fun.

” Since winning the Most Creative Use of Technology award, the team has taken on five additional staff and opened a London office. 

“We also find that with the additional publicity, our clients and prospective clients seem to enjoy timing their office visits around 4pm on a Friday,” joked Greer.

A number of new judges have been confirmed for 2016. They include: Steve Purdham, chairman and founder, 3Rings Care; Claire Braithwaite, tech advisor at Manchester Growth Company; Richard Law, chief executive, GB Group; and Paul Bason, Director Digital Innovation, MMU. Other confirmed judges include Lawrence Jones, CEO and co-founder of UKFast; Jonathan Wall, controller, Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra; and Tom Bloxham, chairman and co-founder, Urban Splash.

For more details go to https://www.digital-entrepreneur.co.uk/  

Cloud computing firm UKFast is the DEA’s long-term main sponsor and BusinessCloud is the media partner.