BLE announces License This! finalists – 8 brands of the future to watch now

Eight finalists announced for 2019 BLE License This! Competition

Eight exciting entrepreneurs have been shortlisted for this year’s Brand Licensing Europe License This! final following a record number of entries and an intense judging day last week in London.

There are five brands shortlisted in the Character & Animation category and three battling it out for the Brand & Design award. The final will take place in the License Global Theatre at BLE at 1300 on Thursday 3 October and everyone is welcome to attend.

The five Character & Animation finalists are:

  • Adorabubbles
  • Carrot and Toast
  • Slime Fury (Argentina)
  • My Little Opera
  • Noodoll

The three Brand & Design finalists are:

  • Orange and Lilly (Hungary)
  • Owlasanas
  • MINU’ Tiny Little Wonders (Italy)  

“Having been part of the judging panel for the past three years, it was really pleasing to see some new and varied proposals in the character and animation category,” said Dan Grant, licensing director at Danilo. “We had a great selection of properties to judge this year from all around the world, which shows how much exposure this event is now receiving. 

“From the long list of entries, we have been able to nominate five character and animation properties for the final that all have something different and exciting to offer. It’s now down to the finalists to convince the panel why their property should win the prize and I’m really looking forward to judging the final.”

Chair and Licensing International UK managing director Kelvyn Gardner: “Early September now brings a great new regular feature of licensing life for me: my first look at the submissions to the annual License This! competition. The contest has evolved as a filter for genuine new licensing talent not just from the UK but with a great international dimension. We have responded by now offering two categories – character & animation and brand & design – which in turn has boosted entry numbers and quality. With past winners and finalists now having launched successful licensing programmes, License This! really is the place to go if you’re looking for your start.”

This year’s License This! winners will receive a free exhibition stand at BLE 2020, one year’s Licensing International membership, PR support and advice from a panel of industry experts. Finalists will also receive legal consultation from competition sponsor Wynne-Jones. Previous entrants – both winners and finalists – have also signed lucrative agent and licensing deals off the back of the competition. Last year’s winners – Zara Picken and Sara Burman Designs – are both exhibitors at BLE 2019 and can be found in the Art, Design & Image zone.

This year’s judges have been confirmed as:

  • Kelvyn Gardner, managing director, Licensing International (chair)
  • Sarah Ward, CEO, Giftware Association
  • Victor Caddy, partner, Wynne-Jones

Character & Entertainment award                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Dan Grant, director of licensing, Danilo Promotions
  • Nikki Samuels, licensing director, Sambro                                
  • Clare Piggott, director, Larkshead Media
  • Julia Redman, head of buying, M&Co

Brand & Design award                                                                                                                                                                                           

  • Stuart Cox, founder, I Like Birds
  • Vicki Thomas, owner, Vicki Thomas Associates                                      
  • Sarah Lawrence, owner, This is Iris                                
  • Jehane Boden Spiers, founder, Jehane  
  • Will Stewart, managing director, The Point 1888

BLE 2019 takes place at ExCeL London from 1-3 October 2019. Register for free at www.brandlicensing.eu/register-now

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