Dorset-based Jelte Liebrand, founder of global marine technology company savvy navvy, has been recognised as one of the best in the business in the UK after being named as a finalist in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
Setting out to simplify boating technology, savvy navvy has gone from strength to strength since launching just five years ago, with around half a million users using the ‘Google maps for boats’ app in more than 100 countries around the world.
Jelte Liebrand, CEO & Founder of savvy navvy, is one of the shortlisted business leaders from across the nation to have been selected out of over 5,300 entrants in the 2022 Great British Entrepreneur Award.
Jelte, who is from Poole in Dorset, said: “Being shortlisted in the ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year’ category is a great boost for me and my team, as we work hard to fulfil our vision to get more people out on the water. savvy navvy really is as simple as Google Maps for boats. Over the past five years we have worked hard to constantly develop our app with unique and user-friendly features based on feedback from users. As part of our continuous growth, we now support more than boaters - giving anyone on the water, whether it’s a paddleboarder, a kayaker, jet skier or someone in a 50ft yacht access to our platform. We’re definitely scaling up, having more than doubled in the past 12 months already."
Jelte left his job as a Google Software Engineer to set up savvy navvy. He launched the all-in-one navigation app in 2018, but it was their first crowdfunding campaign going viral in 2019 which really put the Dorset-company on the map. Since then, savvy navvy has raised a total of £3m in three further campaigns, most recently in January 2022.
Jelte is one of just four finalists in the ‘Scale-Up Entrepreneur of Year’ category for the South West region in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. This year is the 10th anniversary of the national awards, held in partnership with Starling Bank. The entrepreneur awards acknowledge and champion the hard work and uplifting stories of business owners across the UK, with an emphasis on their journey and resilience over financial achievements. Founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Francesca James, said the quality of this year’s entrants exemplified the strength of entrepreneurship across the UK: “The quality of applications is consistently excellent year on year, but we have been especially blown away by the innovation, drive and determination demonstrated this year. Shortlisting from so many inspiring contenders has been more challenging than ever, with many deserving cases put forward and an ever-growing business community thriving across the country.
“From the pandemic to the ongoing cost of living crisis, business owners haven’t had it easy over the past few years, but it’s a testament to the tenacity and perseverance of these entrepreneurs that they have continued on their path and refused to give in. This year’s finalists should be so proud of what they’ve already achieved both in business and in being shortlisted for an award - we’re looking forward to seeing everyone at the Finals and unveiling the winners!”
Twelve awards will be given out per region for categories and winners will be announced at a Grand Final held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London on 21st November.