Fast-growing Hedgehog Lab based in Newcastle picks up two awards

Business minister says app developer is a 'brilliant example of a successful small firm' as Newcastle lab picks up two awards

Founders of Hedgehog Lab, Sarat Pediredla, left, and Mark Forster, who now hold the titles of managing director and technical director
Founders of Hedgehog Lab, Sarat Pediredla, left, and Mark Forster, who now hold the titles of managing director and technical director

Fast-growing technology consultancy hedgehog lab is in with a chance of winning £30,000 of Government support after clinching an unprecedented two awards in the GREAT Faces of British Business competition.

The company, which is based at Generator Studios in Newcastle, was named Best Exporter and Best Growth Story in the North East round of the event, which was launched last year through the Business is GREAT Britain campaign to find the most innovative and exciting UK companies.

Hedgehog lab will now go on to the national competition, from which winners will be decided through a combination of judging and a public vote.

Managing director Sarat Pediredla said: “We’re thrilled to have been selected as a regional winner in the GREAT Faces of British Business competition.

“There’s a wealth of innovative small and medium-sized businesses out there and it’s great to be recognised as one of them by the competition.

“We would love to win the national award and so please show your support by voting for us on www.greatbusiness.gov.uk/competition .”

Established in 2007, hedgehog lab began life as a software products company before branching out in 2010 to focus on developing apps for the mobile and connected device market.

During the last four years, the company has grown by nearly 700%, generating a 2014 turnover of around £750,000.

Staff numbers, meanwhile, have gone from just three to nearly 30, spread across three global offices in Newcastle, London and India,

Last year, more than 50% of the company’s revenue came from abroad and, in 2015, it will be actively seeking to grow exports in markets such as the USA.

As a regional competition winner, hedgehog lab will go on to compete in three categories on a national level - best exporter, most innovative business and best growth story.

A grand prix winner, selected by a national judging panel, will also be announced in March, the top prize including a bespoke creative advertising campaign worth £30,000, along with an iPad Air and unlimited BT Wi-Fi for 12 months, courtesy of awards sponsor BT Business.

In addition, the winner will receive a package of export support from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I’m delighted to see the GREAT Faces of British Business competition celebrating the small businesses up and down the country that form the bedrock of economic growth.

“Hedgehog lab is a brilliant example of a successful small firm run by enterprising and hardworking people. We are backing them all the way and, with the advice and support on offer, there has never been a better time to start and grow a business in the UK.”

Steve Rathborne, director of Sales at BT Business said: “As an organisation, BT Business wants to help and support small businesses to succeed. Great Britain has a pedigree of producing innovative and successful businesses and leaders, and the regional winners that have been selected are proof that Great Britain is still producing these businesses.

“That’s why we’re supporting the Business is GREAT Britain campaign in order to discover and champion the entrepreneurial talent that’s out there and to give businesses an opportunity to boost their fortunes even further through a marketing package and business support from BT Business and UKTI.”

The public vote, which closes on February 23, will count for 50% of the final competition outcome.

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