Mainframe Awards 2021 Winners Words

By Charlene Sharp & Hana York - The Mainframe Team
Preview-Mainframe-Awards-2021-11We asked this year's Mainframe Awards 2021 winners how they felt about being winners and here's what they said.

Best Local Network

Winner: KuKu Connect - Stephen Goddard & Philip Brooks-Stephenson

“We were totally surprised to be nominated and even more thrilled to win the first ever award for the Derby Mainframe Awards ‘Best Local Network’ category. KuKu Connect has devoted the last 15 months to freely supporting any organisation in Derbyshire, helping to keep businesses connecting, supporting venues and charity appeals with some fantastic results that have helped businesses to carry on connecting and to do business, not only in Derby, but all over the UK. It means a great deal to us both to be recognised at local level in our own home patch. Well done to all the fantastic finalists and thank you Mainframe Derby!”


Make & Trade

Winner: CRZyBestClaire Zwozny-Bestwick

"Taking part in the Mainframe Awards has been a marvellous experience, learning about the variety of creative and digital businesses doing so well in Derbyshire has been inspiring! It was incredible to hear my CRZyBest Shedquarters mentioned in the Mainframe Awards and it was only then, I realised that it was me being spoken about. How amazing to win when I had been shortlisted alongside such wonderfully creative people, Sophie and Sarah run great businesses. Knowing that the judge had taken the time to look around my website and read my values was fantastic, how brilliant to get such positive feedback! To be recognised for my CRZyBest achievements, especially after such a challenging year was awesome. Although I’m a sole trader, I definitely couldn’t have got this far alone and would love to make sure that I thank all the people that helped make this happen whether knowingly or unknowingly, through being a customer, collaborating on a project or offering business support."


Digital Disruptor

Winner: ChanodilChathura Sudharshan

"It was a great pleasure to be announced the winner of the digital disruptor category — Mainframe Awards 2021. Our team is working non-stop to develop the technology, which we truly believe will uplift the global fashion supply chain, one which will allow the supply chain to become more sustainable with seamless digital integration. We’re extremely happy to have been recognised for the work Chanodil is doing, and we cannot wait to share our projects with the world."


Mainframe Unsung Hero

Winner: Luke Smith

“A massive thank you to the guys at Treetops Hospice Care for nominating me for this award, just being able to support an amazing event and help out was reward enough, so to be awarded a mainframe award on top of that is crazy so thank you very much to everyone.”


Best Digital/Creative Start Up

Winner: think3

"We are delighted to have been awarded the Best Digital/Creative Start up for 2021. The creative and digital sector is vast across Derby and Derbyshire and over the last year we have seen lots of new entrants to the market. To be recognised as the best of start ups, across the region, is a real achievement and testament to the hard work and commitment we have put in to developing a new Creative Agency in the heart of the City. The award is for the business as a whole and is shared with the team that we have built over the last two years that are working with some of the regions greatest brands and cements our position as we continue to grow this year."


Emerging Digital/Creative Star (Under 25)

Winner: think3 - Gaz Jones

"We are proud to see that Gaz Jones has also been recognised as the Digital/Creative Star (under 25) for this year. As one of the co-founders of think3, his talents, entrepreneurship and commitment to not only the work that we are producing, but also the wider impact that he has had on the development of Swap Shop in the last year truly puts him amongst some of the best Digital and Creative talents that the region has to offer."

Gaz Jones-1

Best Digital/Creative Upscaler

Winner: Bulkhead Interactive

"Thank you so much to the Mainframe Awards for the opportunity, we're excited to get the award back into the office! Bulkhead Interactive has grown exponentially over the last few years and we're not stopping anytime soon. No matter where our industry takes us, Derbyshire will always be the heart of our company. To be able to work alongside other local businesses and local education to help grow not only our own industry but help others is a privilege within itself. We're excited to see where the future takes us and you can expect to see us at more Mainframe events in the future!"


Creativity For Good

Winner: Derby Day's Out - Sarah Bulmer

"It's always exciting to take party in the Mainframe Awards. It's great see the creativity and work of everybody who takes part and I'm really proud to win the award for the category Creativity for Good. It's a lovely honour and recognition for all the hard work that goes into Derby Days Out. All the Mainframe winners and short listers are such positive role models in so many ways, which makes this award extra special!"


Putting Derby & Derbyshire On The Map

Winner: Katapult

"It was great to be able to bring some of the project team together in the studio to 'virtually' attend the awards night and recognise the achievements after what has been a bonkers year. The creative community really has demonstrated innovation and collaboration during this time. So it was super to have the work we did creating Derby Market Place, Alfresco Dining Experience recognised for putting Derby/Derbyshire on the Map. 

The award goes to all involved who pulled together in a super speedy time to make it happen, supporting the hospitality and cultural sector when they needed it most."


Digital/Creative Ambassador of the Year 2021

Winner: Essential Print Services - Yvonne Gorman

“The Mainframe awards are a fantastic way of uniting the local creative community so I’m over the moon to have won this, particularly as it was voted for by the public. It’s been such a tough year for everyone and small businesses have faced so many challenges - I’m honoured to be representing them.”

Yvonne Gorman-1

Mainframe Awards 2021

See what they said live on the night.


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Preview-Mainframe-Awards-2021-12Mainframe is an initiative that aims to bring together a community of digital and creative business across Derby and Derbyshire, enabling real business growth and jobs. Mainframe is part of The Big House project, a collaboration providing sector specific support across the D2N2 area. The Big House aims to make it easier for digital creative business to understand and access the free help available in the region.

For more details about the free business support available to creative and digital businesses in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire through The Big House project, visit

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014 - 2022