Digital innovation lauded at Herald awards as Equator wins top accolade

Digital agency Equator was last night named the best in the business, as it won the Digital Agency Award at the 2016 Scottish Digital Business Awards in association with DigitalBoost.

The event was organised by The Herald, and supported by Business Gateway, Enigma People Solutions, Wheatley Group, s1jobs, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, s1jobs, SQA and FanDuel.

Equator won the top prize in recognition of its international reach, client wins and attention to investing in staff and young entrepreneurs.

Enigma People Solutions supported this award along with the 2016 Digital Professional of the Year, which went to Laura Blackhurst of LUX for her work with a wealth of food and drink brands and reaching 50 million social media users in 2015-2016.

More than 300 of Scotland’s finest digital agencies and business leaders were at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow to cheer the winners at the event, which was hosted by comedian and broadcaster Des Clarke.

Hugh Lightbody chief officer of Business Gateway said on behalf of DigitalBoost: “Since The Herald Digital Business Awards were launched we have seen a huge advancement in the digital technologies being utilised across the private, public and third sectors in Scotland.

“In parallel with this we have seen the number of entrants to the awards programme increase year on year with this year’s cohort once again displaying digital skills of the highest level. There were inspirational case studies across all categories and I would like to congratulate all our winners and finalists for making this year’s awards ceremony a night to remember.”

Now in their eighth year, the 2016 awards received a record number of entries with judges reserving special praise for the impact Scottish agencies are making in new international markets.

Judges said they were amazed by the depth of entries – from community groups to some of the biggest players in Scotland’s digital landscape; from new and emerging brands to household names and from those at the beginning of their digital careers to those at the height of theirs.

One theme that emerged in this year’s entries is that digital is no longer simply about solutions, technologies or even campaigns, it is the talent and dedication of the people employed in the industry.

David Mains, director, Enigma People Solutions, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and winners. The awards, as always, have allowed Scotland’s digital industry to shine, to show off its incredible talent and ability to remain at the forefront of digital technology.

“Enigma People Solutions is passionate about what digital industry has to offer and each year has seen its tremendous capabilities grow from strength to strength. We support these awards as they are an important recognition of the hard work and dedication that makes the digital industry in Scotland truly world class.”

This year the Business to Business category sponsored by Highlands and Islands Enterprise was presented to Software Advisor Service for offering a solid proposition for technology buyers throughout the UK and achieving exceptional, sustained results.

HIE’s director of regional development, Carroll Buxton, said: “There are enormous benefits to both businesses and communities in making the most of good connectivity, technology and digital platforms. Congratulations to the Business to Business award winner Software Advisory Service. It’s been a fantastic evening, and a showcase of the breadth of creative talent Scotland has to offer.”

The Charity and Social Enterprise Award sponsored by the Wheatley Group was split into Local and National campaigns due to the volume of entries. The Local award was award to Maryhill Integration Network and the National award went to Cahonas Scotland.

Evelyn McDowall, digital lead at Wheatley Group said: “We were delighted to be part of the Scottish Digital Business awards and would like to congratulate all the winners. The quality and scope of the entries was outstanding and everyone involved deserves to be a winner.

“In particular we would like to congratulate both Maryhill Integration Network and Cahonas Scotland the winners in the charity and social enterprise category which was supported by Wheatley Group.”

As well as rewarding Scotland’s established digital companies, this year the awards also recognised the next generation of talent with a student award category sponsored by FanDuel.

The winner was Jennifer McGregor who launched CrohnieClothing offering fashion advice and trends to people living with colostomy bags, burns and scars.

Eileen McLaren, vice president of Engineering at FanDuel, said: “Once again the awards evening was a big success, it was a great opportunity to hear about the latest exciting projects being undertaken by Scotland’s digital business and to celebrate those who are making an impact, nationally and internationally.”

Staying with education, and the Education & Training Award sponsored by SQA was awarded to GoodPractice and Edrington their modern approach to staff learning.

Dr Janet Brown, SQA’s chief executive said, “SQA is delighted to be sponsoring the Education and Training award. We have heard about some great work from the finalists in the category and the innovative ways they have used e-learning to enhance education and training. I’d like to congratulate all the finalists and in particular the category winner, GoodPractice and Edrington on their success.”

The E-Commerce Award, sponsored by Business Gateway, went to TEFL Org UK for its impressive revenue growth and stats that organisations should strive towards.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “E-Commerce has come into sharp focus in recent years as more and more businesses look for opportunities to expand their reach and increase sales.

“The growth in this important area has been reflected in the high quality of entrants to the E-Commerce Category at this year’s Herald Digital Business Awards and my congratulations go to both our winner and all our finalists, who showed how to embrace this technology to achieve extremely impressive results.”

For more information on this year’s award winners please visit

Huge thank you to everyone who supported the awards this year, very much appreciated.