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With innovation in his blood (his grandfather helped develop the jet engine), Dr. Woolmer devised the YASA design when the University of Oxford won a grant to build a motor for electric sports cars.

"We started with a completely blank sheet, since the university had never designed anything of this kind before, which was great, since we were not limited by any existing technology," says Woolmer, whose company was launched in 2009 with 1, 5 million pounds of investment and We saw £ 600,000 of sales last year.

YASA, which is backed by a large investment fund, is expanding rapidly, with 20 full-time employees and a goal of 30 by the end of this year. A new 7,000-square-foot facility is planned at Abingdon, where up to 4,000 engines can be manufactured each year.

The YASA engine also has uses beyond the automotive industry, with Woolmer currently looking for ways to increase sales in the agricultural, maritime, aerospace and construction industries, all of which need light electric motors.

"Large excavators, for example, are very inefficient because they require a huge diesel engine to move their equipment. To save fuel, manufacturers are moving to hybrids that use an electric motor. Our high efficiency light engines make a significant difference, "explains Woolmer.

In the automotive sector, YASA Motors responds to the great need for low carbon vehicles in the UK and beyond. "All car manufacturers are working on the next platform and we want to be part of that," says Woolmer.

"Electric cars will take a while to become popular, as they are still relatively expensive to buy. But by reducing the magnetic materials in the engine, we're helping to make electric cars much cheaper to produce. "

Highly recommended: DuoFertility

DuoFertility is a fertility monitoring device (shown below) that, with the backing of a team of fertility experts trained at world-class Cambridge, could help one-in-six couples struggling to conceive natural. It offers a non-invasive alternative, free of drugs and much cheaper to IVF.

The results show that the program, a 12-month package of products and services costing £ 495, is more effective than an IVF treatment cycle of £ 5,000 for 80% of couples. Such is the company's confidence in its product, that if the customer is not pregnant within 12 months of having purchased it, it will offer a full refund.

The founder of the company, Cambridge alumnus Dr Shamus Husheer, was inspired to design an effective fertility monitor after learning about his parents' battle to conceive. He raised 250,000 pounds sterling angel finance at graduation in 2007 and, with DuoFertility now selling globally, he has recovered, with an expected turnover of 2.5 million pounds in 2012/2013. The company has 20 full-time employees and, having recently obtained approval from the FDA in the United States, is recruiting more to support the US market. UU

Shorlist for the best company

• BrewDog, Scotland – craft brewery with an expanding BrewDog bar chain

• Charbrew, Northwest – A specialized tea brand

• DuoFertilityThis (see above)

• Fresh load, Midlands: eco fashion brand that produces and designs its own products through cooperatives around the world.

• Pavegen systems, London and Southeast – the producer of paving units that generate electricity from steps

• Veritas Language Solutions, Wales – Translation, interpretation, subtitling, linguistic consultancy

• YASA Motors, Southwest (see above)

• Yatterbox, Yorkshire and North East – Social network monitoring signature.

Best Start-up: KwickScreen

Two of the strongest complaints among patients in NHS hospitals are lack of privacy and fear of infection. KwickScreen, a portable and retractable divider two meters high that offers an instantaneous form of partition of open spaces, helps to cure the two evils with a simple and highly effective design.

"My starting point was to see the severe shortage of side rooms in NHS hospitals that allow patients to receive private and dignified treatment," says inventor Michael Korn, 30, of KwickScreen, whose company has just been named The Best New Company and won the first prize of £ 10,000 at the Lloyds TSB / Telegraph Enterprise Awards. The judges were unanimous in their vote, seeing both the potential and attractiveness of the product design.

"In a moment of austerity, the NHS does not have the money to devise ways to reorganize the room environment by building new rooms, so I came up with a product that provides privacy or privacy, is easy to transport and store , and decreases the spread of infections, such as norovirus or MRSA, which are very difficult to control in hospitals, "says Korn.

KwickScreen releases side rooms for patients with more severe airborne infections and reduces cross-contact rates between adjacent bed spaces, which transfers the infection. It also acts as a visual trigger for staff and visitors to encourage them to adhere to the correct approach to fighting the infection.

"It improves the appearance of the rooms, especially those of the children, which can be monotonous places, since we can customize the screens with images to add color to a sterile environment," says Korn, who came up with the design while studying at the Royal College of Art and funded its start-up with cash prizes for design contests and business plans.

"I had my own conviction that this product could work and I thought it would be brilliant in hospitals, schools, offices, hotels and homes, anywhere where people want to change the layout of open-plan spaces, but I faced some skepticism from others that I could not see what was special at first, then when they could see the real product, people started saying that they wished they had thought about the idea, "says Korn.

"As an entrepreneur, it's important to accept your conviction, but you also need to get good advice so you do not waste your life and money designing something that does not work."

Based in London, KwickScreen employs 20 people and manufactures 50 units per month from its factory in Corby, using Rolatube technology, which operates according to the principle of measuring the shrink tape, developed by a company based in Lymington, RTL Materials .

More than 40 NHS trusts have bought KwickScreens since the Korn company was launched in 2010 and private hospitals are also working.

Highly praised: CD keys CJS

Corey J Smith (pictured below), a self-taught computer programmer and teenager from Grays in Essex, does not graduate for another two years, but has already made his mark in the world of computer games with his new company that offers The Latest PC games as digital downloads.

Smith buys "authorization keys" in large quantities from the publishers of the games and resells them. It is expected to generate a turnover of 1 million pounds this year and has a valuable database of 28,000 players.

In the two years since Smith created the CJS CD keys, he has created one of the world's largest online games activation code stores and distributes 7,000 games per month to customers in 94 countries. By making security keys available, PC games can be legally downloaded without the need for a CD.

"Now customers can experiment close to self-service," says Smith.

Ready for the best start

• Bolsos2riches Joyeria, Midlands – Innovative fair trade jewelry.

• CJS CD Keys (see above)

• Loo Festival, Southwest – Event provider and composting festivals

• Graduly, Wales – Facebook application that matches students with job offers

• KwickScreen (see above)

• Little Riot, Scotland – Interaction design company whose first product, Pillow Talk, transmits the heartbeat of your loved one to your pillow.

• Smart media training solutions, Yorkshire and North East: promotes education and creativity to marginalized groups through the digital arts

• Stagetex, Northwest – Event production and AV rental company.

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