Luxury Italian car manufacturer, Maserati, and The Sunday Times have announced the third annual ‘Maserati 100’ index; the 2017 edition is a definitive list of one hundred British business disruptors, who are challenging the establishment.
The diverse list, published in yesterday’s Sunday Times, celebrates a range of vibrant success stories, start-ups and business influencers, who are using ground-breaking practices to revolutionise their respective industries.
Over 75% of the entrepreneurs named in the list are aged under 50 years old, with the average age of the disruptors being 38. Almost half of the businesses are based in London, with 25% based in major northern cities and the rest spread across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The food and drink industry is represented by 19 individuals whilst the technology industry makes up over 25% of the index.
- Gareth Williams, Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes; Skyscanner.
After experiencing frustration over the difficulty in booking flights Gareth Williams sought to set up a service that would enable him and thousands of others to coordinate trips abroad in a straightforward and efficient way. Together with Bonamy Grimes and Barry Smith, the three pooled their skills together, focussing on the technical software, with Smith heading up the marketing. Skyscanner has since grown from a simple spreadsheet to a global business with over 50 million monthly users.
- Humphrey Cobbold; PureGym& Wiggle.
Cobbold became Chief Executive of discount fitness chain, PureGym in 2015, after leaving online cycling retailer, Wiggle. During his time at Wiggle, the brand saw an increase in annual sales revenue of over £100 million. Now at PureGym, Cobbold turned the gym culture on its head by replacing annual membership contracts with short term flexible commitments. With a membership database of over 700,000, PureGym plans to operate 300 facilities across the country by 2020.
- Emily Brooke; Blaze.
Based on an idea drawn up for her final year university project, Brooke’s Blaze Laserlight product came out of a genuine concern for cyclist’s safety. The aim was to produce an accessory that would warn motorists of cyclists in their blind spot. After launching a Kickstarter page in 2012 the product took off, quickly attracting attention from Transport for London who asked to fit the light onto London’s Santander hire bikes. With more than 3,000 units sold within the first months of Blaze’s formation, Brooke started to attract funding from leading entrepreneurs.
- Sinclair Beecham and Julian Metcalfe; Pret a Manger.
Launched in 1986, during the mid-80’s consumer boom, Beecham and Metcalfe aimed to provide lunch with a difference, providing healthier alternatives to typical high-street food retailers. In 2008, Beecham and Metcalfe sold the high-street giant for £350 million and have since focussed on separate business ventures. Whilst Metcalfe stayed close to his health-food roots, establishing Japanese-inspired, Itsu, in 1997, Beecham dabbled in the hospitality industry launching Quest Hotels in 2004.
Peter Denton, Region Manager, Maserati North Europe said, “The Maserati 100 is now in its third year; originally launched to celebrate 100 successful British entrepreneurs in Maserati’s 100th year. Three years later we’re still firmly dedicated to recognising the valuable contribution Britain’s entrepreneurs are making to the economy. As our business continues to experience a remarkable period of growth we shouldn’t forget how it all began; with the entrepreneurial and disruptive spirit of Alfieri Maserati and his brothers. We are proud to be championing that same drive and tenacity today.”
Sunday Times Business Editor, Iain Dey, said: “Business disruption has allowed start-up entrepreneurs to turn the tables on big business through innovation. With this year’s Maserati 100, we are paying tribute to some of the many business disruptors in the United Kingdom – from successes like Fever-Tree to start-ups like About the Funeral.”