Sussex Innovation member Crystalusion are celebrating after winning ‘Tech Innovation of the Year’ in front of more than 450 people at the Croydon Business Excellence Awards on October 5th.

“We feel humbled and honoured to have received the award,” said co-founder Ravi Daswani. “We’re extremely excited to be part of the community – both in Croydon and at Sussex Innovation – and hope to contribute to everything that is happening in the technology space here. This is the second award we’ve won this year, and it’s a great feeling to know that we’re on the right path, and that people believe in what we’re doing.”

The borough’s business community was celebrating in style at the sixth annual Croydon Business Excellence Awards, in association with Gatwick Airport, at Grand Sapphire Hotel and Banqueting.

Mario Carrozzo (of Caridon Group), was also celebrating after winning Entrepreneur of the Year, an award sponsored by Sussex Innovation Croydon. Speaking about the decision to choose Mario, judge Saffron commented “Mario’s passion for making a difference along with a sincere sense of humanity and keen ambition has led to impressive business growth of his Croydon Company, Caridon. He has created many employment opportunities locally and nationally and continues to give back – now becoming one of Croydon’s Angels through our new Investor Network developed to support our scale up companies”.

Mario was delighted to receive this award – a new category for this year – stating “it’s a great feeling to know that you’re on the right path”. He moved the audience by dedicating his award to his parents, informing everyone “it is an amazing achievement to win this award. For me the journey of an entrepreneur starts at birth so it’s a lot is to do with circumstances, the obstacles you face and the people you surround yourself with. I dedicate this to my parents who are here tonight. My Dad is 83 and he is still out and about looking for deals.”

Hosted by comedian Kevin Day, the sparkling black-tie gala was the climax of the prestigious 2017 awards. The sold-out event was a hot ticket for Croydon’s ambitious business community, who celebrated their successes and achievements at a fantastic evening of entertainment, dinner and dancing. There were speeches by Mayor of Croydon Cllr Toni Letts and Cabinet Member for Economy and Jobs, Cllr Mark Watson who spoke about the borough’s high growth.

The event also raised a staggering £10,022 on the night in aid of the Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Toni Letts’ charities, CODA (Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association) and Croydon Samaritans, as well as Croydon Commitment.

Praising the awards, Alison Addy, Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport said: “It is fantastic to be here tonight and Gatwick Airport is proud to once again support these awards.

“Gatwick is growing and now serves more than 228 destinations in 74 countries for 45 million passengers a year. We are not standing still and it is clear Croydon is not standing still either. Our growth and success is why we are supporting these awards and we want to see businesses in Croydon succeed as well.”

More than 200 firms entered the awards in 2017 – up 50 per cent on last year – and a record 85 companies were shortlisted.