There are 13 categories open to entry in the 2019 National Startup Awards.

The Grand Prix Winner - Startup of the Year will be chosen from the winners of the individual categories and the Startup Hero will be chosen by a separate panel of judges.

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01. Early Stage Startup

The Early Stage Startup award is designed to recognise Startups that display great potential for future growth. Early Stage Startups can come from any sector but must be under 2 years old (From date of incorporation).
Aim:
The aim of the Early Stage Startup award is to recognise businesses that the judges feel have outstanding potential but may not be at the same level in terms of traction as more established startups.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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02. Emerge-Tech Startup - (AI, Bio Tech etc.)

Emerging technologies are technologies that are perceived as capable of changing the status quo. EmergeTech industries include AI, information technology, wireless data communication, man-machine communication, on-demand printing, bio-technologies, and advanced robotics.
Aim:
The aim of the Emerge Tech Startup Award is to recognise startups offering disruptive solutions as new applications, processes, products or business models in cutting edge industries.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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03. Fintech Startup

The rise of fintech has changed the way companies do business. This has opened up a world of possibilities. Businesses can offer more services than ever and for a fraction of the price of what it would have cost before.
Aim:
The aim of the Fintech Startop Award is to recognise startups offering disruptive solutions as new applications, processes, products or business models in the financial services or insurance industry.  E.g. payments, blockchain/distribution ledger, lending platforms, etc.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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04. Agritech Startup

Agritech is the sector description defining the new opportunities for technology and products that will assist in the feeding of a projected 10 billion global inhabitants by 2050 in areas from the paddock to the plate, in a way that will improve yield, efficiency and profitability.

Aim
The specific primary production areas covered in the definition of agritech include:
• Agriculture
• Horticulture
• Apiculture
• Forestry
• Pipfruit
• Viticulture
• Aquaculture

The most common technology areas that are being utilised to create quantum improvements and therefore large scale business opportunities are:
• The use of sensors and ‘internet of things’ or precision agricultural
• Robotics and automation
• Biotechnology
• Software
• UAVs, their supporting software, hardware and sensing technology
• Big data
• Supply chain and logistics software

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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05. Travel and Tourism Startup

Tourism is a major economic activity in Ireland with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, and social development.
Innovative startups can contribute to maintaining and growing Ireland’s standing as a leading tourist destination while maximising the industry’s contribution to growth and employment.
Aim:
The aim of the  Travel & Tourism Startp Award is to recognise startups offering products, services or methodologies addressing: tourism, mobility, hotels, sustainable tourism, applications for tourism, location of establishments, etc.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

06. Food and Drink Startup

The Food & Drink industries play a major role in economic activity in Ireland with wide-ranging impact on economic growth, employment, and local development. In recent years we have seen fantastic innovation across all sectors in Food & Drink.
Aim:
The Food & Drink Startup Award aims to recognise startups offering products & services related to food & beverage products in Ireland.
What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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07. Social / Sustainable Startup Award

Social innovation can be defined as the development and implementation of new ideas (products,services and models) to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. It represents new responses to pressing social demands, which affect the process of social interactions.
 The Social / sustainable Startup Award will recognise the work of startups working in these areas who are trying to improve society & the environment.
Aim:
The Social / Sustainable Startup Award aims at recognising startups offering products, services or methodologies addressing (For example): education, quality childcare, Environmental Issues, healthcare, training, job-search assistance and rehabilitation. They are innovations that are not only good for society but also enhance individuals’ capacity to act.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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08. Product and Manufacturing Startup

The Irish start-up scene may appear to be increasingly dominated by tech and service-focused companies but there’s still a huge market for product businesses.  We are looking for the best Product & Manufacturing Startups in Ireland. Have you created a great product?

Aim:
With the Product & Manufacturing Startup of the Year category, we look to celebrate the country’s creative minds and budding innovators who have successfully produced an exciting and tangible product, and identify the product start-up set to become the ‘next big thing’.
Your business doesn’t necessarily have to manufacture the product – it’s the idea that counts -and we’re looking to gather entries from a range of industries.

What the Judges Are Looking For:
The Startups Awards judges are looking for a product business that stands out from the crowd and boasts excellent growth potential. Revenue growth, profitability and major client wins will all be taken into consideration.

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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09. eCommerce Startup

eCommerce is the term describing the conducting of business through online channels, encompassing the outward-facing processes that touch suppliers, partners and customers, and including not just marketing communications but also sales, order taking, delivery, fulfillment and customer service.
Aim:
Startups are increasingly looking to identify ways of transacting business online, and this award aims to showcase instances where this has been done excellently.

What the Judges Are Looking For:

The judges will wish to hear about the strategic approach to eCommerce, how the business process, technology and regulatory challenges were handled, and what results were achieved.

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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10. Retail and Fashion Startup

The Irish retail & fashion industries have recovered strongly after the recent recession. Consumer spending is on the rise, and innovative retail initiatives are launching on a regular basis. While the market for online retail is vast, there is still a huge market for retail businesses in the offline world however it is now more important than ever to be innovative and to connect with the consumer.
Aim:
This awards will recognise this growth and evolution of Irish retail & fashion and celebrate the ambitious retail entrepreneurs looking to become the next big retailers of tomorrow.
Whether you run an online retail business, a bricks and mortar shop or both, if you sell items to customers then we want to hear from you. From fashion to homeware, food to alcohol, this award is for the small independent retail entrepreneurs helping to drive growth in the Irish economy.

What the Judges Are Looking For:

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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11. Tech Startup

We are looking to recognise the Ireland’s booming tech start-up community and celebrate and reward the nation’s best tech businesses.

Aim:

If you are a fast-growing digital company disrupting the tech industry in some way – we want to hear from you. It’s not all about figures, although we’re definitely looking for ambitious companies, but we want to see innovation, impressive founders and huge market potential.

What the Judges Are Looking For:

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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12. Medtech Startup

Medtech is already diagnosing, monitoring and treating virtually every disease or condition that affects the human race.  From sticking plasters to body scanners there are ever more technologies coming on stream to improve the lives of patients.

Aim:

The aim of the Medtech Startop Award is to recognise startups offering disruptive solutions as new applications, processes, products or business models in the Medical Technology industries.

What the Judges Are Looking For:

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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13. Research Spinout / 3rd Level

SPIN-OUT COMPANIES, which are formed in the academic world and transition to the business world, are a hot topic at the moment. If you are involved in a research project in a Higher Education Institute and there is potential for commercial exploitation via a spin-out company we want to hear from you.

Aim:

With this award we are looking to recognise the most exciting and innovative research spin outs/ 3rd level startups in Ireland.

What the Judges Are Looking For:

Innovation: E.g. grade of innovation, disruption and originality
Business model: E.g. Organisational structure, sales strategy, strength of team, vision & strategic plan.
Customer Value Proposition: Why should a customer buy or use your product or service?
Scalability and Market Reach: E.g. pathway to growth, size of market, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g.  jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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Startup Hero*

The Startup Hero is awarded annually to an individual / organisation that has displayed an outstanding commitment to the Irish Startup Eco System and / or individual’s / organisation’s who champion important causes related to entrepreneurship in Ireland.
This category is not open for general entry but rather is chosen by a panel of advisors to the Startup community.

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Grand Prix – Startup Business of the Year**

This category is chosen by the judges as the best of all our other winners; you can’t apply for it directly.

Previous winners includeNova Leah,  SwiftComply, Surf Accounts, Allogen BioTech, Agile Networks & The Handmade Soap Company.

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