We shortlisted up to five entries for each of the six Real Innovation Awards categories and then our judging panel decided upon the winners.

A People’s Choice vote ran in parallel during the month of September.


The If At First You Don’t Succeed Award, for an individual or organisation who tried something that didn’t work out, but provided the stepping-stone for eventual success. Dubsmash fine-tuned its lip-synching app through constant iteration. It has now been downloaded by 100m people in 78 countries.

twitter-128_32x32   Follow Dubsmash on Twitter: @dubsmash



Joint winner: The If At First You Don’t Succeed Award. By completely reinventing its operating model the meals-on-wheels company turned near-disaster into ongoing success, pulling back from the brink to become an innovative sector leader.


twitter-128_32x32   Follow Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS) on Twitter: @hertsindliving


The Masters of Reinvention Award, for Steve McGuirk who most successfully reinvented the company in the face of disruption to its business model.

McGuirk’s innovation – unpopular at first but successful – was to refocus his force away from traditional firefighting towards safety and prevention.

twitter-128_32x32   Follow Manchester Fire on Twitter: @manchesterfire


The Best Beats First Award, for an organisation that moved fast to dominate an emerging market category.


Former analyst William Shu criss-crossed London for 10 months on his scooter to launch Deliveroo with in-depth knowledge as well as an evolving routing algorithm.

twitter-128_32x32   Follow Deliveroo on Twitter: @deliveroo


The George Bernard Shaw Unreasonable Person Award, for an individual who stubbornly pursued an idea against the odds.


Embrace Innovations’ founder Jane Chen even moved to India in her quest to develop an affordable, non-electric incubator to save babies’ lives.

twitter-128_32x32   Follow Embrace Innovations on Twitter: @embraceinnov


The Alexander Fleming Serendipity Award, for a company that has capitalised on an accidental discovery.


Owner Andy Barr brilliantly spotted that his company’s high-end scallop trawling gear could be repurposed to recover nuclear sludge.

twitter-128_32x32    Follow Barnon on Twitter: @barrnon


The Harnessing the Winds of Change Award, for those who spot what’s round the corner just soon enough to take advantage of it.


One of the few European “unicorns”, BlaBlaCar’s ride-sharing platform soon became the transport platform of choice for social, cash-strapped millennials.

twitter-128_32x32   Follow BlaBlaCar on Twitter: @blablacar

Real Innovation Awards 2017

Be first to hear about next year’s awards: email us at innovation@london.edu

2564RIA Web pages V2 Peoples Choice Winners

People's Choice winners 2016

While the judges were deliberating over the Real Innovation Awards winners, we invited the public to vote online for their favourite nominee in each of the six categories.

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Real Innovation Awards 2016: the judges’ choice winners

11 Nov 2016

The suspense is over! London Business School celebrates the first ever DIIE / Management Today Real Innovation Awards. So who won – and why?

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case studies

Innovation Icons

To inspire you to think differently about innovation, we bring you the Innovation Icons series: classic examples of companies that have done things their own way.

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About the IIE

The Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) supports field-leading faculty research, entrepreneurial and extracurricular student activities. We disseminate the expertise necessary to equip the next generation of innovators and business leaders with the tools and insights they need to prosper.

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