A Winchester-based business has been named a finalist ahead of the South East final of the UK StartUp Awards.

The UK StartUp Awards was launched to recognise the booming start-up scene across the UK which has accelerated over the last few years with over 900,000 new businesses founded in the UK in 2023, a 12 per cent increase from the year before.

Over 900 businesses have been shortlisted for this year’s UK StartUp Awards, with the contribution of these firms being significant, having created nearly 6,000 new jobs since they were established and generating annual sales of £480 million.

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Winchester-based AI Fit is a startup that is on a mission to make buying shoes online really easy. It has an innovative tool that lets you scan your feet with your phone, and it’ll tell you exactly which shoes will fit.

Helping retailers reduce returns, increase sales, and reduce their impact on the environment. Founded by Adam Allen-Rogers in 2022, AI Fit is on track to change the footwear industry globally. The business has been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur StartUp of the Year Award.

Hampshire Chronicle: Co-founder of AI Fit, Adam Allen-RogersCo-founder of AI Fit, Adam Allen-Rogers (Image: Adam Allen-Rogers)

Co-Founder of AI Fit, Adam Allen-Rogers, said: “It’s a real privilege to be recognised by the UK StartUp Awards. I’ve met many incredible entrepreneurs who are building amazing things, and to be shortlisted for the Young Entrepreneur Award means a great deal to me.

"Being a startup founder is extremely difficult, it’s stressful, long hours, hard work, and sleepless nights. So to receive this kind of recognition for the work that we’re doing is extremely rewarding. This is only the beginning for us, we’ve got great things to come.”

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Supported nationally by ScoreApp, GS1 UK, Starling Bank, OVHcloud, GiftRound, and Airwallex, the awards will celebrate the achievements of the amazing individuals who have turned an idea into an opportunity and taken the risk to launch a new product or service.

The cohort of finalists will be considered for the regional prizes by a panel of seasoned judges with experience founding or supporting entrepreneurial ventures.

The winners from each region will then be invited to the first UK final taking place at Ideas Fest, the Glastonbury for Business festival in Tring, Hertfordshire on 12th September 2024.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, the creator of the UK StartUp Awards, said: “​​Start-up businesses are the lifeblood of any economy, being responsible for new jobs, innovation and wealth creation across the UK.

"All the finalists this year represent the best of those entrepreneurs who have spotted an opportunity and through their sheer hard work, talent and perseverance, have created amazing new businesses that are creating real impact in their sectors.

"Building on the success of previous years, we are now looking to identify the ‘best of the best’ with all the finalists who win their category in their region going on to represent their region at the first ever UK National StartUp Awards final later this year."

The UK StartUp Awards was created in collaboration with the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, one of the most successful awards programmes in the UK.

The UK StartUp Awards are running for the third year after launching in 2022. This year’s regional UK StartUp Awards finalists can be found online at startupawards.uk.