News & Views

Penrose Award Winners

by Emily Hare

The Penrose Awards for pioneer entrepreneurship were presented last night in London, celebrating Blockchain-based verification company Everledger as Innovator of the Year and skincare line Gallinée as Product of the Year.

Douglas Bell, president of the London Innovators, praised the winners, which were selected from 50 nominees. ‘These are very early stage companies with extraordinary potential, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship,’ he said.

Everledger looks at the problem of verification, authenticity and provenance of products – currently value that is locked in paper. Everledgers founder, Leanne Kemp, explained how the Blockchain technology that the business is based on creates a digital record that is secure, fast, scalable and immutable. 

Currently, Everledger has registered over a million diamonds on the Blockchain in 18 months, but is looking to expand the business into fine art, wines and ivory. The company has already partnered with the likes of Mastercard, Allianz, Aviva and BBVA. 

Bell believes that the company is using a nascent technology that has the potential to disrupt fraud and blood diamonds.

Product of the Year, Gallinée, is a biotechnology firm that brings the benefits of good bacteria to skincare. The company, founded by Marie Drago, a doctor in pharmacy with 15 years experience in the beauty industry at L'Oréal and Revlon, has been up and running just six months, but the product is already on sale in Harvey Nichols and Urban Outfitters

Photography: Chan Chong