Swansea based company DCW Insights has been recognised as the Swansea Bay Start-Up Business of the Year for their outstanding efforts to grow successfully in the turmoil of the pandemic. Their proptech software platform set to transform the process of purchasing land for property development.

The Swansea Bay and Region Start-Up of the Year category welcomed entries from the whole of South West Wales. Four successful new companies made the shortlist including DCW Insights, Kitchens by Emma Reed, Temptag and The Secret Beach Bar & Kitchen.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, founder of the awards said “New firms are important for generating economic prosperity, employment opportunities and innovation and since 2016 the Wales Start-Up awards have celebrated this amazing contribution. Even during the current Covid-19 pandemic, over 19,000 new firms were set up in Wales in 2020 and we look forward to celebrating their achievements as they make a real difference to every community”.

Jonathan Burnes, Portfolio Director of the Swansea Bay City Deal and part of the judging panel for the award adds “As part of the regeneration we are undertaking through the nine projects in the City Deal, start-up businesses hold a key role. Many of our projects are designed to attract new and grow existing businesses and bring job opportunities to the area, and we are looking for a good mix of start-up companies as well as SME’s and larger companies to fulfil our ambition.” 

DCW Insights were named as the winners, and Dean Ward, founder and CEO of the DCW Group shared some thoughts on how his company has become so successful over the last 12 months.

“I’ve been working in the housing development sector for over 18 years, and fully understand that elements of the process can be very manual and time consuming. We have developed a Software As A Service (SAAS) platform which speeds up the due diligence process of buying land and property and we have discovered that our platform is unique and innovative”.

Dean continues “The tool is designed to speed up the process of buying land and property by 6-12 months and enabling cost savings of up to 30%. We are projected to turnover around £350 million and will soon have around 44,000 licence holders, which range from banks to local authorities, developers and private investors.”

On winning the award he added “We are delighted to be recognised as the Swansea Bay and Region start-up of the year as it shows that our business is going from strength to strength”.

Jonathan Burnes, part of the judging panel added “Despite tough competition, DCW Insights were picked as the overall winners as we felt that they had the biggest opportunity to grow in our region. The company’s ambitions support similar objectives to that of the Swansea Bay City Deal such as growing the local economy, job creation and they will also help with wider issues such as land development and the housing crisis”.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader and Chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region’s Joint Committee, said: “It’s been an immensely challenging time for all businesses throughout the City

Region and beyond since the onset of the pandemic, so DCW Insights and all the shortlisted companies deserve huge credit for the innovation they’ve shown in the face of adversity.


“The City Deal investment – in combination with other major schemes – means that our region is well-placed to quickly recover from the economic impact of Covid-19 though, with a number of projects set to provide high-quality spaces for innovative businesses. This is important because it will support the region’s entrepreneurial talent, while creating more jobs and opportunities for local people in growing regional sectors like digital, tech, life sciences and the creative industries.”

When asked about support available to start-up businesses, Dean Ward, CEO at the DCW Group said “As part of our journey to success we have taken advantage of many resources available to start-up companies in Wales and I would encourage other businesses to do so. The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme and the NatWest Accelerator Programme have helped us a lot.”

And what does the future hold for DCW Insights, Dean shared “We set ourselves some ambitious, yet realistic targets for the coming year. As well as hoping to employ up to 200 staff within the group, we are committed to helping Swansea and helping Wales grow as a centre of excellence for business. We also hope to set up a property led foundation which will help other start-up businesses and in turn present more opportunities and growth for the area.”