Simon Hill shortlisted for The TechXLR8 2020 Tech Leader of the Year Award
Wazoku is a tech company with a big mission – To Change the World, One idea at a time. The brainchild of Simon Hill, Wazoku’s platform operates as a company’s global home for ideas.
With innovation such a high priority for organisations, Wazoku is the company which helps businesses to unlock the nascent innovation potential of their employees, partners, customers or the whole world! Through its core product, Idea Spotlight, the business embraces the principles of design thinking and challenge lead innovation, to help its clients crowdsource ideas from anywhere. It makes it easy to capture, refine and realise ideas and innovation for these businesses. Wazoku’s co-founder and CEO Simon Hill has placed the company at the forefront of workplace innovation, working with organisations such as Waitrose, HSBC and Barclays to inspire workplace talent, drive innovation and to help redefine the future of work.
In the last 12 months alone, Simon has: closed a £2.5M funding round, which will be used for global expansion and to further refine and improve Wazoku’s technology; announced a range of new customers, including the Ministry of Defence which is using Idea Spotlight to keep pace with developments around the world and drive digital innovation across the Royal Navy, British Army, the Royal Air Force, Joint Forces Command and Defence Infrastructure Organisation; was one of 30 companies selected for the prestigious Technation Upscale 4.0 programme, and agreed a major new partnership with US Open Innovation firm InnoCentive.
In the spirit of innovation, “it is important for us to keep pushing the boundaries of what we can offer to drive value and new solutions for our global clients” said Simon. InnoCentive has a network of more than 400,000 problem solvers (comprising CEOs, entrepreneurs, PhD students and more) and has a track record of addressing thousands of innovation challenges, such as helping NASA astronauts to exercise in zero gravity.
This capability and network will be integrated with Wazoku’s technology to create the world’s most comprehensive and powerful innovation platform and community, allowing the crowdsourcing of solutions to the most pressing of challenges. Furthermore, the partnership gives Wazoku an additional springboard in the US market, and delivers a true one-stop shop for innovation to the marketplace.
Founded in 2011, Simon intends for Wazoku to become the world’s most prominent innovation firm, having grown the business over 50% (in terms of both revenue and headcount) each year since inception. Wazoku employs approximately 60 people, across its London HQ and other offices in Bristol and Copenhagen. In 2014 Simon was recognised by the Guardian as the Small Business Leader of the Year. Wazoku has won a number of awards since its founding including the Smarta 100, Everline Future 50 and other prestigious awards. Wazoku’s customers have also been recognised over the years, frequently winning awards. In 2019/20 many customers including Waitrose & Partners, The West Midlands Academic Health Science Network, The NCFE and others all won awards for their work with and around the Wazoku platform.
When thinking about leadership, Simon likes to develop talent from within and gives a lot of autonomy to his teams. He believes that leadership is all about creating the structures, space and opportunities for people to excel. The Wazoku culture is very entrepreneurial and (of course) ideas are welcome from anywhere and everywhere. We thrive on ideas and behind every idea is a creative person who came up with it. We try to encourage ideas and experimentation wherever we can.
To be innovative has never been as highly prized in business than it is now, while collaboration has never been so important to the future of work. Wazoku’s technology is central to all of this, driving innovation and collaboration for its customers. That’s why Simon Hill would be a worthy ‘Tech Leader of the Year’.
TechXLR8, the flagship event of London Tech Week, holds the annual awards to recognise “individual executives, whose outstanding leadership has resulted in the implementation and success of technology in their businesses and beyond”.
Further details of the 2020 finalists and opportunity to vote can be found here.
Voting will close on Friday 28 August 2020 and the winner announced on Wednesday 2 September 2020.