Leeds firms triumph in new business awards

Two Leeds businesses have struck gold in a major new awards scheme.

A firm set up by three Leeds students and a social network for professional women have both been honoured in the first Virtual Business of the Year Awards 2010.

Digital agency pixelbuilders.com, based in Horsforth, is one of five joint winners along with maiden-voyage.

As well as the prestigious title, the businesses will also gain a share of 20,000 in prize money.

The two companies beat off between 300-400 rivals to get into the final 60 when a public vote was set in motion to get the final eight.

The judges for the competition included Bebo co-founder Paul Birch and managing director of online accountants Crunch, Darren Fell.

The awards are aimed at rewarding young firms that use the web and technology to progress their business.

Martin Oates, pixelbuilders.com digital account manager, said he was delighted at the firm's success. He told the YEP: "It's brilliant as we are quite a young company.

"In terms of the business it is recognising the work we have put in."

He said that winning the award has already caught the interest of potential clients. Mr Oates said the firm has hopes to expand its team this year.

Andrew Ackroyd, creative designer of pixelbuilders.com, said: "This is a great way to end a fantastic year for us. We've grown our team, expanded our client list and have been recognised as top-level partners

to a world-renowned CMS (content management system) developer.

"To have our efforts and results awarded in this way is the icing on the cake and a great Christmas present for the team."

Fellow Leeds-based company maiden-voyage is a global social network for professional women who frequently travel on business.

Carolyn Pearson, maiden-voyage founder, said: "To be recognised as one of the UK's most forward-thinking and innovative companies is hugely satisfying. Technology is enabling companies to thrive regardless of their geography. It feels fantastic to be at the forefront of this revolution."

Update: Five arrests after Bradford to Leeds police chase crash