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Real Innovation Awards 2018: People's choice winner

05 Oct 2018


Who did you find the most innovative of 2018?

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Voting has closed and votes have been counted. The winners of the 2018 Real Innovation Awards People’s Choice can now be made public.
This year’s winners were selected from no fewer than 28 nominees across six categories. Chosen by the public following weeks of online polling, the winners are:

If At First You Don’t Succeed Award – celebrating first attempts that lay the groundwork for future success – goes to Chen and Zvi Nachum of Livia. Some 25 years or so in the making, Livia is today a ground-breaking device that harnesses nervous system gate control theory to deliver relief to women with menstrual cramps in dozens of countries. Livia picked up the Gold for Women's Wellbeing at the prestigious Edison Awards in 2018.

Masters of Reinvention Award – for the company that has most successfully ridden the tides of disruption – goes to Enel. The world-leading integrated electricity and gas operator, works in 34 countries across five continents, generating energy with a managed capacity of more than 88 GW. Almost half that energy is produced with zero carbon dioxide emission through its renewables arm, Enel Green Power. It was also the world’s first company to replace traditional meters with smart meters, an innovation critical to the development of intelligent grids, smart cities and electric transport.

Best Beats First Award – recognising the company that successfully dominated an emerging market category – is awarded to EcoCash. Zimbabwe’s EcoCash harnesses mobile technology to empower the country’s financially marginalised to send money and make payments. With two and a half times the number of customers as banks, EcoCash is at the very forefront of efforts to make Zimbabwe a cashless society.

George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award – celebrating an individual whose tenacity (and stubbornness) has won against the odds – goes to Mohammed Aldhalaan of Noon Academy. While there is nothing unreasonable about Mohammed himself, it does take a very determined entrepreneur to launch a tutoring platform with just two tutors and less than 30 students, and spend years (more than 5 years) growing it into a social learning platform with more than one million users.

Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award – celebrating success that has come from an accidental discovery – is awarded to Tarek Al Emam of Freezmate. Freezmate makes pads filled with gel that can be cooled or heated to meet user needs. So effective is the product it has been used to help refugees from Syria, in mattresses that keep people warm or cool. And the idea? It came to Tarek from dipping his towel in the sea one day at the beach. How cool is that?

Harnessing the Winds of Change Award – for those visionaries who spot what’s just around the corner before the rest of us – goes to Tracy Young of PlanGrid. Back in 2010 Tracy was fast to see the potential of the iPad and cloud technology in eliminating costly and error-prone paper-based communications. Today PlanGrid is servicing 1m+ construction projects in more than 100 countries.

In addition to the People’s Choice Awards, our own judging panel of London Business School (LBS) experts has chosen its category winners from the shortlist and their names will be revealed at the RIA ceremony at LBS in November.

The Real Innovation Awards were founded in 2016 by the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at LBS to celebrate the risk-takers, the stubborn, the persistent, the visionaries and the sometimes unreasonable men and women who are willing to do what it takes to find new and better ways to do things. We know that innovation is critical to long-term success in business. And we know that it can come quickly or slowly, that it takes guts and an appetite for adventure – and for failure.

In this spirit, we would like to congratulate all the exceptional winners and all 28 nominees for the 2018 Real Innovations Awards People’s Choice. And we encourage you to check back with us in November to see if our judges agree with your choices.

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2018 Shortlist

Find out more about the 2018 Shortlist

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