This Award honours a business that was established over two years ago (before 1 Oct 2017), started by an individual linked with the armed forces who still retains a minimum of 51% interest in the venture.

The Award is generously sponsored by The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).  The Group is a global financial markets infrastructure business. Its diversified global business focuses on Information Services, Risk and Balance Sheet Management and Capital Formation. The Group supports global financial stability and sustainable economic growth by enabling businesses and economies to fund innovation, manage risk and create jobs. The Group can trace its history back to 1698.

“The London Stock Exchange Group, for the second year running, sponsors the Business Scale Up Award.  Without the generosity of our sponsors we would not be able to shine a light on the tremendous achievements of our amazing Finalists in the Armed Forces Community”.

Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham CH – Patron, X-Forces Enterprise



The Finalists for the Business Scale Up Award are:

Geollect Ltd

When Geollect was formed in 2017, ex-Royal Navy officer Richard Gwilliam aimed to build a leading Geospatial Intelligence company – and he has succeeded in creating a phenomenal brand within his target sector.

Following 28 years of service, Richard looked at how he could transfer his skills into the commercial sector.  He focused on the Geospatial Intelligence sector as there was a huge gap in the market for Location Intelligence services, plus he had a vast network of potential employees from the Veterans community.

In this information age, decision makers have access to a wealth of data from a multitude of sources. The challenge is prioritising this information, balancing strategy and tactics to help de-risk and increase the speed of decision making. Geollect’s revolutionary “intelligence fusion platforms” combine information from these multiple sources to provide clients with clear courses of action.

“Richard aimed to build a company around the same ethos and team focus he had been accustomed to in the military.”

Utilising the skills of academics and Veterans, the company has won major contracts, including with The Royal Navy. It has also expanded into the commercial world to look at efficiency and operational management tools in order to understand the effects of Brexit, with clients including the largest cruise company in the world, reinsurance clubs, PWC, Wincanton and Cheveron.

Geollect has saved its customers over a $Billion! Employing a workforce of 25 people, the company’s estimated value at the end of 2019 was £10 Million. Its growth has been sustained by providing outstanding customer service and real value-added products.

“Geollect provides revolutionary intelligence fusion platforms that combine strategic and tactical intelligence from multiple sources to provide the decision maker with clear courses of action.”



IED Training Solutions Ltd

IED Training Solutions was set up in 2015 by two former Royal Marines SNCOs, Ian Clark and Paul Barrett. Both were serving in 2009 when Paul suffered ‘the ultimate workplace injury’ – stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), causing catastrophic life changing injuries. Ian was responsible for calling in the helicopter that saved Paul’s life.

Using their experience of risk management in hostile environments, the company offers a wide range of accredited training and consultancy services with the primary focus placed on Health & Safety, mental health and trauma management.

“The IED team utilise their uniformed services background to provide credible and authentic training solutions.

IED is regularly commissioned to develop sector/client specific courses, workshops and wellbeing strategies, and the team has returned to Afghanistan, becoming the first UK training consultancy to deliver Institution of Health and Safety (IOSH) approved safety training there.  Here in the UK, its customer base is increasing and includes transport, shipping and local authority clients. Ian and Paul’s military background was key when The Gamekeeper Welfare Trust (GWT) approached them after two young keepers had committed suicide. In collaboration with GWT, IED developed the STAG program (Set Goals, Take Action, Awareness, Get Talking) and this wellbeing workshop has now been delivered to 20 major sporting estates throughout the UK.

IED has grown steadily and now employs 11 staff, including several Veterans. The company revenue has increased by up to 65% each year without any loan assistance or external investment.

“The company name – IED – stands for Inspire, Educate, Develop. A determination existed to ensure the company name embodied the spirit and resilience that had been a feature of their military careers.”


ThorpyFx Ltd

When Major Adrian Thorpe MBE left the Army after 16 years’ service as an Ammunition Technical Officer, his passion for electric guitars led to him developing a specially engineered, handmade effects pedal for his guitar.

His inquisitive nature caused Adrian to investigate the engineering behind how his favourite effects pedals work. This hobby grew into an obsession and, in 2014, he decided to launch a professional company and sell his range.  The products are hailed as being “bomb proof” as he applied knowledge acquired in the Army to the engineering of the guitar effects.

“We have received a number of magazine awards for our products and been recognised as an industry specialist with a column in one of the world’s biggest guitar magazines.”

ThorpyFx’s products are fantastic for musicians who want to sound as massive and unique as they can be. The pedals are used by musicians worldwide, including at festivals such as Glastonbury, and by bands including Radiohead and Blur. They appeal to a wide-ranging customer base of musicians from these professional artists through to beginners and hobbyists.

The company turned over £90k in its first year and has steadily increased its growth. ThorpyFx has attended global trade shows, marketed across the world and utilised the phenomena of social media influencers to increase its brand recognition in the eyes of guitarists worldwide. Its workforce is growing and includes retirees working flexible hours.

 “We achieve success through focusing on the tiniest details, working hard to make the product as good as it can be and then following up with customer service that treats everyone as if they are the most important individual around.”

If you’re currently at home on lock-down, it’s a perfect opportunity to share the good news and positive stories of all our fantastic Finalists!

Don’t forget to tag us on social media – we’ll happily share and retweet you, giving you and your organisation, if relevant, extra exposure.

You can see our full list of Finalists in each category here.


Awards Night

Please click here for an update on how we’ll be celebrating this year’s winners in light of the restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.


To find out about the Soldiering On Awards Independent Judging Panel who had the tough task of selecting this year’s Finalists, click here.


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