Awards entries up by 25%

Written by Julian Blake, Editor, DigitalAgenda

DigitalAgenda’s 2019 Impact Awards closed for entries just before Christmas – and we were delighted to see a 25% increase in submissions for the second year running, with entries in from across the UK. Now the judging begins.

All we can say is, wow! For the second year running, the number of entries to our Impact Awards is up by 25%. When the 21 December deadline hit, we had received just under 300 submissions across our 12 awards categories.

The quality of the entries is up once again too, with impressive applications from across business, non-profits and government bodies alike.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter.

We were delighted also to have received applications from right across the UK. Half of all entries came from outside of London, reflecting the make-up of the tech economy identified by Tech Nation reports.

In what is encouraging news for the growth of the UK-wide impact economy, we have seen particularly strong showings from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle, Belfast, Cambridge and Oxford – but also from lesser-known tech hotspots including Caerphilly and Bournemouth, as well as entries from smaller towns UK-wide.

So what happens next? Judging takes place this month, in a two-stage process designed to bring as much expert thinking and scrutiny into the process as possible. The judges will assess entries against five criteria: idea, product/service, team, scalability and impact. 

A series of three thematic judging committees – looking at entries in people, society and business themes – narrows down our entries to a long list in each category. Then, on 24 January, our grand jury meets in London to decide our finalists in each of 12 categories. We will announce our 36 finalists on Monday 28 January.

All 36 finalists will be entered into our people’s choice award, open for public voting online during February. 

Our group of awards judges includes expert representatives from: B Lab, Beep, Bethnal Green Ventures, Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness, ClearlySo, Freeformers, Microsoft, Nominet, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Public Digital, RocketSpace, Seedtribe, Serious Impact Social Tech Trust, techUK, UCL, Unicef UK and US Ai.

The Impact Awards, now in their third year, have become the UK’s leading celebration of tech-for-good innovation. They are sponsored in 2019 by NominetAwards category sponsorship opportunities are still available.

All the winners will be unveiled at our 2019 Impact Awards event happens on Thursday March 7 at Oval Space in London. An afternoon awards ceremony is followed by an evening reception. Watch out for more information on the awards event shortly, via our Impact Awards website. Finalists receive a complimentary ticket for the event.

Award winners receive a hand-crafted trophy, as well as access to our network of innovators and investors, and editorial coverage.

Finally, if you missed the 21 December deadline, we’re sorry that, in the interests of fairness, we were not able to extend the closing date. Hope you can enter in good time for 2020!

Impact Awards 2019 – categories

The Impact Awards are grouped under three overall headings: people, society and business.

People theme

Diversity (sponsored by BCS) – initiatives and digital products that support and promote inclusion, and that boost under-represented groups in the technology sector.
Education – technologies that are transforming both teaching and learning, in schools, universities or online.
Employment & skills (sponsored by Barclays) – changing ways into work, and work itself, and initiatives that increase people’s skills and access to talent.
Health – technology that enhances healthcare knowledge and treatment, as well as people’s abilities to lead healthier lives.

Society theme

Connected cities (sponsored by Here East) – digital initiatives that enhance urban places and spaces, and enable people to connect more easily.
Safety – projects that promote online safety and security, including protecting vulnerable groups and children from online harm.
Social transformation – outward-facing products and services that make a positive social or environmental impact on society.
Sustainable living – technologies that help people and organisations to manage and understand environmental change, or to live more sustainably.

Business theme

Business transformation – products and projects that help business, government and non-profit organisations become more effective and happier, healthier places to work.
Financial inclusion (sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group) – technologies that make it easier for people to save and spend, and enhance access to and the quality of financial services.
Sharing economy – helping people and organisations share resources more easily, for a social or environmental benefit.
Investment (sponsored by ClearlySo) – the best in impact funding provided by investors and backers of all kinds, across all platforms and funding routes.

Special awards

People’s choice (sponsored by Charity Digital News)  – the winner of our public vote, drawn from the 36 finalists across 12 categories.
Individual impact – outstanding contribution by an individual in helping to grow technology for good, through personal giving of time or money.

The Impact Awards are also supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Impact Awards 2018 – winners

Business transformation: Citizens Advice
Cities: Go Jauntly
Climate: Switchee
Education: Digital Theatre+
Employment and skills: Koru Kids
Financial inclusion: LOQBOX
Health: SH:24
Investment: Bethnal Green Ventures
Sharing & communities: OLIO
Smart: Alcove
Social and economic transformation: what3words
Sustainable living: SafetyNet Technologies
People’s choice award: TalkLife
Individual impact award: Tom Steinberg, mySociety

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