The UK’s Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs: Kelly Allison



Kelly Allison, Founder and Managing Director of award-winning agency KVA, has over 15 years’ experience within the digital communications landscape. Setting up KVA in 2013 with zero investment, she has created an ambitious and kind team of people who truly care about the work they carry out, meaning a positive working environment for all. Having tripled her team from 11 to 33 in the past year, Kelly is firmly committed to pushing digital boundaries and driving innovation for the agency’s clients.


From the outset, Kelly has prioritised combining attention-grabbing creative with a strategic approach and high-quality technical delivery, something she saw was lacking amongst other agencies. Since launching the business, KVA has worked with a diverse client base including HiPP Organic, Amgen, VW and the REC, developing AR experiences, e-learning tools, apps and campaign websites. With strong digital connections, she’s also been able to access first-to-market technology, particularly within the mixed reality space.


Kelly and the team’s years of hard work saw them win Buckinghamshire’s Small Business of the Year award in 2017, something they are all incredibly proud of. Focusing on growth for the future of the company, Kelly will continue to source local talent and build a team of skilled specialists in their field to produce work both KVA and its clients are proud of.


Nominees three achievements


Achievement No.1


  1. Ability to mentor and inspire

Determined to fight against a ‘them and us’ culture so prevalent in SMEs between directors and employees, Kelly has worked hard to break down workplace barriers to grow a unified team and flat hierarchy for KVA employees. Understanding that without the strong foundations of a skilled and motivated team behind her the agency would not be where it is today, she came up with an inspirational thank you gift. Celebrating a successful first five years in business in 2018, she rewarded her staff with a team trip to St Lucia – a five days all-expenses paid holiday on a Caribbean island.


“Being in a position to employ people comes with a huge a responsibility for many reasons, but most importantly it’s having the opportunity to provide a positive working environment and atmosphere to enhance someone’s daily well-being. Celebrating KVA’s fifth anniversary this year made me stop and think about how this incredible team have been behind me every step of the way.”


The trip was also a chance for the team to discuss topics such as new business and development in a different environment. “Everyone came back with a fresh outlook on things, and it made a massive difference in terms of productivity.”


Achievement No.2


  1. Bringing value to customer’s lives or businesses

Integral to KVA’s core ethos is a passion for cutting-edge innovation, with a particular focus on the mixed reality (MR) space. The merging of the on and offline world into every day landscape is a challenge that KVA is facing head on, encouraging clients that MR is the future, guiding the way in terms of innovation and passion for it. To this end KVA has invested in an R&D lab, and the agency’s developers have hours built into their week to research new technology, something Kelly feels particularly strongly about.


“It’s an investment in terms of understanding how we can apply any new technology for our clients. We always invest in the latest hardware that comes to market, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and another MR device Magic Leap, as we’re aware we have to understand what hardware is available and how that can be applied.” KVA’s aim is to work with experimental forward-thinking brands who want to be true innovators, aligning the agency’s own vision with their strategy.



Achievement No.3


  1. Problem solving and solutions-focused mindset

Digital sales aids (DSA) within the pharma healthcare sector have traditionally been presented as interactive PDFs.


Developing an IOS app, the technology uses data from the system to keep reps up to date with customer’s preferences (using information based on previous conversations and fed into the Sales Force CRM). It uses augmented reality to create an intuitive and engaging menu display for customers to select the various topics relevant to them. The app then pulls bespoke personalised information from this based on their selections. It can also be used to create graphs and figures to give customer’s comparative costs (again using data from previous interactions, including questions about competitor labs).


The sales rep can also choose three key areas on the app that their customer is particularly engaging with, and it automatically bookmarks these, and sends an email with those key slides. The new DSA app has created a personalised and engaging way for reps to communicate with customers, and revolutionised the way DSAs are operated.



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