The UK StartUp Awards champions and celebrates the best and brightest start-ups from across the United Kingdom. The awards recognise the achievements of inspiring individuals who have had a great idea, spotted the opportunity and taken the risk to launch a new product or service.

Both LabCyle and Aerogel Core Ltd were successful regional winners for the South West at the UK StartUP Awards and have now progressed to the UK final against unprecedented competition. In 2024 the competition had a shortlist of over 800 businesses across over 30 categories in 10 nations and regions.

LabCycle is the UK’s first pilot plant for recycling lab waste. They tackle single-use plastic waste in research and healthcare by recycling with innovative technology, promoting circular economy and sustainable research practices.

They are now UK finalists having won two prestigious awards for the Clean StartUp of the Year and Equity-Backed StartUp of the Year for the South West region:

Dr Helen Liang, Founder of LabCycle, says:

I am delighted that LabCycle has reached the finals of the UK StartUp Awards for both Cleanteach StartUp and Equity-Backed Startup of the Year. Research and Healthcare labs generates a huge amount of single-use plastic. Working at that interface of being both an entrepreneur and a researcher, I felt the responsibility and saw the opportunity to create a solution. I hope to scale-up this work further and continue working with external organisations in reducing their environmental impact.

Aerogel Core Ltd were winners for both the Innovative StartUp of the Year and the Manufacturing and Engineering StartUp of the Year categories. The company was originally created by a team of engineers from the University of Bath. They specialise in ultra-light ‘aerogels’ that can be used as soundproofing and heat-shielding materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Professor Michele Meo founded Aeorgel Core Ltd when he was based at the University of Bath. He says:

We are thrilled to be shortlisted for both the Innovative StartUp of the Year and Manufacturing and Engineering StartUp of the Year at the National StartUp Awards. This recognition reflects our unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of aerogel technology. Our innovative approach, honed during our development days at the University of Bath, has allowed us to make significant strides in the industry and contribute to sustainable solutions. These formative experiences at the University of Bath have been instrumental in shaping our approach and driving our success.

All the winners from the regional finals, along with a number of special judges’ choices, will be competing to be crowned the best in their sector nationally at the inaugural UK StartUp Awards hosted at Ideas Fest in Tring, Hertfordshire on 12 September.