There are 13 categories open to entry in the 2020 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.

01.Early Stage Startup

Sponsored by Microfinance Ireland

  • 2019 Gold Winner – DCT Group​
  • 2019 Silver Winner – DCT Group​
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – DCT Group​

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.

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

Sponsored by McCann FitzGerald

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Sales Optimize
  • 2019 Gold Winner – Unitek.ai
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – AudioSourceRE DAC

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.

03. Fintech Startup

Sponsored by McCann FitzGerald

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Cambrist
  • 2019 Silver Winner – Change Donations
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – Unitek.AI

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.

04. Food and Drink Startup

Sponsored by Microfinance Ireland

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Dr Coy’s Health Foods
  • 2019 Silver Winner – Ballykilcavan Brewing Company
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – Artic Stone

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

05. Social / Sustainable Startup Award

Sponsored by StartUp Accountant

  • 2019 Gold Winner – thriftify
  • 2019 Silver Winner – Millbee Studio
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – SureSitter

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.

06. Product and Manufacturing Startup

Sponsored by Big Red Cloud

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Glavloc Building Technology
  • 2019 Silver Winner – Balsta Street Kitchen
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – Soothing Solutions

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.

07. eCommerce Startup

Sponsored by Big Red Cloud

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Gym Plus Coffee
  • 2019 Silver Winner – The Paddy Box
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – Applaud Technologies

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.

8. Tech Startup

Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland

  • 2019 Gold Winner – ApisProtect
  • 2019 Silver Winner – FlipDish
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – CitySwift

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.

9. Medtech Startup

Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland

  • 2019 Gold Winner – Glow DX
  • 2019 Silver Winner – MEG Support Tools
  • 2019 Bronze Winner – GastroLife

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.

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

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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