Start Up Business of the Year Finalists


Mid Wales Holiday Lets is a micro business based in Rhayader, Powys. We welcomed our first guests in April 2016 to our luxury self catering apartments in the centre of the town. We recently won the Powys Business of the year start-up award. We have renovated an old property into 3 luxury apartments, created the Mid Wales Holiday Lets brand and our bespoke website We are not just a company offering accommodation, we have built close links with activity providers and eateries in the area and offer bespoke packages to our customers from half board options, bike hire, fungi forays or fishing holidays. We also rent another property in the town where we have a contract with a water company to offer accommodation to their staff. Our projected income in year 1 from our business plan was £25,412 based on an occupancy of 34%. We are now in month 7 and we have already generated £33,103 and we still have 6 months of trading.


We at Phytoponics manufacture and sell agriculture equipment for commercial agriculture, specifically growing equipment for greenhouse or polytunnel agriculture. We have invented new hydroponic systems (growing plants in water) that could disrupt agriculture through making intensive growing lower cost and more accessible. Our team is 5 strong, with Adam, James, Luke, Richard and Matteo based in Cardiff, and a manufacturing workshop in Caerphilly. Abroad we have an office in Rome, where we are on a business accelerator program – Startupbootcamp Foodtech.


TOTM offer a premium range of feminine hygiene products made from 100% certified organic cotton. Our tampons, pads and liners are made from non-GM cotton, grown without the need for chemical fertilisers and pesticides and are also free from chlorine, rayon, cellulose wood pulp, perfumes and dyes. They’re pH-neutral, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. They’re better for women and better for the environment. Informed, health-conscious consumers are increasingly questioning the harmful effects of the materials and finishing agents found in mainstream tampons, helping to drive sales of organic personal care products at twice the rate of the broader market.


Universal Resource Trading operates a completely new-to-market and award-winning asset resale service for the university sector, called UniGreenScheme. We collect, store and sell surplus equipment for UK universities. A large proportion of what we sell is laboratory equipment, and we currently export our products around the world. After resale, we return a share of the profits to the university and keep the remainder. We began planning our launch in September 2014, but it wasn’t until March 2016 when we secured our first university contract (University of Birmingham) and began trading equipment. In just eight months we have sold over 1,000 scientific instruments generating over £100k in sales revenue. We have grown the team from two part time staff, through to ten full-time staff and have expanded from a 900 sq ft self-storage unit where we started the business, to our current 15,000 sq ft warehouse on the Mamhilad Industrial Estate near Pontypool. In March 2016, our turnover was just £1,000, but by August 2016, we were already turning over £25k/month and we expect this to reach £50k/month by March 2017.

20 January 2017

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