These Are the Most Innovative U.K. Startups to Watch in 2016

Judges combed the British startup scene for the inaugural Bloomberg Business Innovators list.

Bloomberg has published its Business Innovators 2016 guide -- a list of just over 50 British companies, all of which illustrate the strength and breadth of the U.K. startup community.

The unranked list features companies from a wide variety of sectors, ranging from biotech (Open Bionics), energy (Heat Genius) and marketing (Boldmind), to cybersecurity (Darktrace), finance (Funding Circle) and edge sciences (Cambridge Quantum Computing).

A panel of external judges joined Nate Lanxon, Bloomberg's Head of European Technology News, and Caroline Hyde, of Bloomberg Television, to select the final list of businesses. Companies were chosen based on their proven inventiveness, their ability to challenge the way the U.K. conducts business, and for evidence of strong local or global demand for their ideas.


Among the key debates was discussion about the importance of a startup remaining locally-focussed, or whether it is a good plan to entertain global ambition from day one.

"There's a real school of thought of globalization and taking everything big as quickly as possible," said Lisa Smorsarski, one of the judges and the founder and editor of Stylist magazine. "But there are smaller trends as well about localization and serving communities in an exceptional way."

"It is possible for businesses to thrive and succeed in the U.K. because it's such a big addressable market," said Eric van der Kleij, managing director of innovation lab ENTIQ. "It's why a lot of companies around the world come here to launch their business before going into Europe."

"We're probably seeing as strong a pipeline as we've ever seen in terms of U.K. businesses," said Sam Smith, founder & CEO, finnCap Ltd. There's great funding for early-stage and great funding for scale-ups at the moment.

The full list of external judges:

Giles Andrews, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Zopa

Claire Braithwaite, Former Head, Tech North

Gi Fernando, Founder, Freeformers

Eric van der Kleij, Managing Director, ENTIQ

Saul Klein, Founding Partner, Localglobe

Manish Madhvani, Co-founder and Managing Partner, GP Bullhound

Rohan Silva, Founder, Second Home

Sam Smith, Founder and CEO, finnCap

Lisa Smosarski, Founder and Editor, Stylist

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

The full 2016 list of Bloomberg Business Innovators can be found at

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.