Get winning advice on entering from some of our past iAwards winners!
Time is precious for young companies and we always have to carefully focus on things that move the needle forward. My advice would be to think about the stage of your company/technology, the market, and the potential benefits that winning a serious tech award can create. If the benefits outweigh the time spent applying, then go for it! For us, it was definitely worthwhile. My only other advice would be to engage with the iAwards team as much as possible and let them work their magic to get even more promotion out of the experience.
Our advice for those entering the iAwards is to keep entries short, succinct and to the point. Include any statistics or evidence you can and keep your focus on the problem you’re solving. Remember, the judges reading the entries are human too, so ensure it is well-written and engaging. And of course, allow them to see the passion you undoubtedly have for your technology!
If you are a startup like CancerAid, make sure to start your application well in time, start adding as much of the general information at the start and revisit the details of your innovation at the very end. The core of your innovation may have changed slightly or been improved to meet your market demand since you first decided to submit your application. This was the case for us when we were making sure that our final submission was reflective of our most recent work and updates.
Once you are at that decision point, challenge yourself on pinpoint clarity. Think about the tightness of an elevator pitch across all elements of your business. Invite a trusted mentor, outsider or past winner to critically evaluate what you have done. Listen and hone.
Take stock of what’s really novel about your work, and approach it from a “why should anyone care?” perspective. The judges are evaluating a number of projects, and so while your project might be interesting for you, ask yourself: why should they vote for your project over the next? What’s its impact?
Just do it… What is there to lose? Consider it a marketing expense and a team building exercise at the very minimum, and you can’t go wrong.
If Team HappyNess could give one piece of advice to young innovators, it would be to just follow your dreams and if you believe you can win, you will win. But there are a few things that you need to have: confidence and resilience. If you are considering entering the iAwards, you need to be ready for the challenges you’ll face, like difficulties programming, difficulties presentations and reaching consensus in your group. But when you’re finally finished, it gives the most rewarding feeling.
Probably the most important advice I could give is that if you have an idea, go for it! You don’t need to know how to code or build hardware when you start, you can start planning and learn what you need to along the way. As for the National iAwards competition, the best advice I could offer is don’t stress too much about the pitch. We were both incredibly nervous beforehand, and the grandeur of the KPMG tower was initially menacing – but when we got up there, nervousness mostly gave way to excitement and we were (mostly) pitch perfect!
Don’t be afraid to enjoy the process. Looking back over the past year, I can’t help but smile when I think of all the experiences I have had and all the people I have met. Being involved in the startup world is encompassed by long hours and very hard work, so it can be easy to forget to enjoy the process. Take time to think, reflect and enjoy too.