TODAY we begin previewing the shortlisted companies in the Echo-backed South Coast Business Awards

We begin with Best Use Of Technology category, sponsored by Fareham-based Taylor Made Solutions.

The judges were looking for a business which used technology to create considerable competitive or operational improvement such as improved quality, customer satisfaction and revenue.

The four in contention for the 2017 award are:

Gooseberry Planet Ltd

Gooseberry Planet is an award-winning software platform designed to educate children, teachers and parents about the dangers online through ‘gamification’.

Its offers a fully interactive and engaging game platform from which children can learn to use the internet responsibly and safely.

The software is intended to be used both in schools and at home: it offers a child-centred and co-ordinated approach to safeguarding and is totally unique.

A rigorous monitoring and assessment tool supports the platform and parents are encouraged to be part of their child’s learning journey.

Gooseberry Planet offers a 12-week programme for every child in each year of their primary school education.

LeadStream

LeadStream was founded in 2014 when Matthew Milnes and Michael Hubbard successfully launched a new online platform to connect people looking for life insurance and mortgages with brokers.

LeadStream sources new customers looking for life insurance and mortgages and connects them with an effective broker or IFA, after first finding out the customer’s requirements. The broker will then secure the mortgage or life insurance at a time which is convenient for the customer, helping both parties to maximize their time.

This simple but effective strategy helped LeadStream grow from three members of staff into a 42-strong team by October 2016.

LeadStream started with life insurance as its main lead generation project, and this expanded to include mortgages in July 2016 and pensions in March.

Loadbalancer.org

Founded in 2002, Loadbalancer.org delivers high-performance load balancing solutions to customers globally.

Customers who depend on the high availability of business critical applications can take advantage of unparalleled versatility, affordable costs and immediate access to 24/7 technical support engineers.

With thousands of physical, virtual, and cloud-based appliances deployed across six continents, Loadbalancer.org ensures the uptime of e-commerce websites and mission critical applications, whilst also improving performance, security, scalability and providing a rapid return on investment.

Loadbalancer.org offers a no-nonsense approach and complete focus on load balancing.

For more information on Loadbalancer.org, visit www.loadbalancer.org

Daniamant Ltd

Daniamant, based in Portsmouth, manufactures survivor location lights for the marine, military, civil and aviation markets.

They are committed to developing high-quality, innovative products and continually expanding into new markets.

The company sells to more than 50 countries worldwide.

Our products are used if a disaster occurs at sea; when all else fails, they have to work.

Kevin Rough, CEO, said: “Being shortlisted for the South Coast Business Awards endorses Daniamant’s continued commitment to quality and innovation. It is important that the skills and quality in UK manufacturing gets the recognition it deserves and these awards help demonstrate the ambition, creativity and innovation that’s evident across all of British manufacturing.”

The winners of this and other categories will be announced at the Hilton at the Ageas Bowl on July 6.

Details of buying tickets for the awards night plus all the entry information is available at dailyecho.co.uk/scba.

See tomorrow’s business page for details of the entrants shortlisted for Southampton City Council Employer of the year award.