Press Release 30/11/2021

North East-based business founder Mike Davies of Haystack has been named as Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year for the North East winner at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

In partnership with Starling Bank, the ceremony was held at Grosvenor House in London on 22 November and saw 159 entrepreneurs across the UK recognised for their entrepreneurial stories and achievements over the last year.

Haystack is putting the power back into the techie’s hands. Driven by an award-winning SaaS platform, Haystack matches and connects developers, designers and data scientists with innovative tech employers using their values, culture fit and tech stack.

With Haystack, hiring managers can tap directly into the source, with on-demand hiring powered by the Haystack matching algorithm and passive talent pool building, removing hiring bottlenecks and ensuring their employer brand is always front and center, even when they aren’t advertising active roles.

Since officially launching back in January 2021, Haystack has raised just over £1 million in seed investment and partnered with a number of high profile customers, including Lloyds Banking Group, Sage and Autotrader along with various high growth startups such as Cinch, Goodlord and

The judging panel said that Mike was a worthy winner: “This was a strong application clearly showcasing the entrepreneurial mentality of the founder, their ability, scale and intelligent solution to an increasing problem. The business is innovative and essential UK wide.”

Mike Davies, COO said

“A huge well done to the team back at Haystack HQ, whose consistent hard work and dedication has turned an idea into a reality. And congratulations to the other finalists and winners, it’s been great to see so many brilliant businesses represented from across the country. We started the new year with a theory that the tech community wanted a better, fairer, hassle-free way to discover opportunities. Fast forward 11 months – and a new tech opportunity is discovered every 60 seconds on Haystack. We’ve built a tool that puts the power back into the techie’s hands, giving our community the ability to explore the tech landscape on their terms. And we’re just getting started. Bring on 2022.”

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards launched in 2012 to celebrate the best of British enterprise, inviting founders from across the UK to apply with their entrepreneurial success stories.

This year, after having to hold the awards virtually in 2020, the organisers brought together all eight of their regional shortlists for the first time, with a guest list of 1,200 entrepreneurs, judges, mentors, investors and partners invited to the London celebration.

Over the last decade, the Awards has celebrated some household names including Julie Deane OBE of Cambridge Satchel Co, Alan and Juliet Barratt of Grenade and Shaun Pulfrey of Tangle Teezer. Its most recent headline-grabbing success story is its previous winner, and speaker at this year’s event, Steven Bartlett, who in May was announced as the youngest ever Dragon on BBC’s Dragons Den.

The awards were judged by a panel of industry experts and leaders of influential UK businesses, including some of the prize winners from previous years.

Guests also heard the story of Phones4U founder, John Caudwell, as he announced a new award category and partnership between the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and his charity, Caudwell Children. John said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate businesses and entrepreneurs that are flourishing and making a success of themselves.

“The Great British Entrepreneur Awards has developed a growing community of like-minded businesses and entrepreneurs, which was the perfect platform for me to launch my Blaze Your Own Trail award. I’m incredibly excited about the partnership we have established, both for the new award and my charity.”    

About Haystack

Haystack is an award-winning careers and insights marketplace, uncovering, highlighting and curating the most interesting tech opportunities – built by a team that knows techies are the ones with the power, not employers. We’re ditching dull job boards and scrapping recruitment middlemen – allowing techies to filter out the noise and top tech employers to apply directly to candidates.

Headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, Haystack serves more than 11,000 techies on the app and has 15 full-time employees.

Want to keep reading?

Want to see more?