City student system creator’s top award

Teamwork: Dawood Fard of Centurus, based in Preston
Teamwork: Dawood Fard of Centurus, based in Preston
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£10,000 support package for digital firm

International student applications system creator Centurus has won a £10,000 support package at a top awards ceremony.

The Preston-based firm was named Best Digital at the Lloyds Bank Enterprise Awards in Edgbaston.

After seeing off stiff competition from the winners of the five regional heats held across England, Wales and Scotland earlier this year, international student applications system creator, Centurus, won the newly introduced Best Digital category.

It recognises a business that has demonstrated the value of digital to the business bottom line and customer experience.

The business was recognised because of the remarkable progress made in a short period of time, with its technology now being used in over 1,000 universities, colleges and agencies.

Dawood Fard, founder of Centurus, said: “It was great for our team to be announced as winner of Best Digital because we’ve put so much effort into getting to where we are today, and it’s a great achievement for the team.

“Having access to an expert digital adviser is going to be great for the future development of our system so that we can make our systems, better, faster and more secure.”

Glasgow-based software company Room Booking System was named overall winner.

The judges were impressed with the company’s use of technology to streamline the process of booking resources within schools, universities and multi-national companies. The judges also commended their commercial acumen and passion for what they do.

The company was awarded a £50,000 cash prize, a comprehensive two year mentoring package from senior Lloyds Banking Group representatives, and free legal advice from independent specialist law firm, LawNet.

This is in addition to the £5,000 that Room Booking System scooped for winning its regional heat last month.

The Best Start-up award went to dry pet food manufacturer Pure Pet Food, which was judged to be the best business in its early stages. The panel of five judges chose the firm due to its dedication to manufacturing the highest quality produce and thorough understanding of the marketplace.

Having already competed at the regional heats, each of the 15 finalists had to demonstrate their business credentials through a robust pitch process which included being questioned on their business strategy and approach by the panel of judges, which comprised:

Jen Tippin, managing director, retail business banking, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “These awards provide us with a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of this country’s students and graduates.

“Once again, the calibre of finalists was exceptionally high, and I know that the judges had a tough time settling on winners for each of the categories. However, Room Booking System, Pure Pet Food and Centurus really impressed with their professionalism, determination and success.”