Startup Categories

There are 10 categories open to entry in the 2024National Startup Awards.

*Special 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.

Submit your Startup for consideration

Application open until Oct 17

AI Focused Startup

AI has burst into the world and its implications for startups are huge. This category can be entered by any startup business that’s customer proposition is focused on AI OR that AI is used significantly in the delivery of a product or service
The aim of the AI Focused Startup award is to recognise businesses that the judges feel have either developed a compelling AI proposition OR used AI significantly to deliver their product or service.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

'The Pitch'

‘The Pitch’ category can be entered by any startup regardless of sector. What we are looking for here are 6 startups that will give a 5 minute live pitch at the Awards Ceremony in Dublin’s City Hall. So make your entry engaging, entertaining and to the point! The winner will be selected live by a panel of judges on the night.
We are delighted to announce a new category – THE PITCH. The Pitch is a new category for the National Startup Awards. We are looking for entrants who can stand up in a live setting and present their business to a group of judges in 5 minutes or less. In order to be considered you have to give us the flavour of your business in 400 words or less. Tell us about the idea, your key insights into the market, your team and your strategy – BUT get to the point! Six finalists will be selected to pitch live at the Startup Awards ceremony on in Dublin’s City Hall and you will have the opportunity to impress the judges and our sponsors from Enterprise Ireland, Microsoft, Sage, McCann Fitzgerald, Dogpatch Labs, Dublin City Council and StartupAccountant.ie There will be lots of great startup goodies for the winners as well!

The criteria for The Pitch are the same as the other categories – but always remember that the judges are looking for entries that will make for good, short 5-minute live presentations at the awards ceremony.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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).
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.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

eCommerce & Retail 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.
Startups are increasingly looking to identify ways of transacting business online, and this award aims to showcase instances where this has been done excellently.
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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

Emerge-Tech Startup

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.
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.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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.
The aim of the Fintech Startup 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/distributed ledger, lending platforms, etc

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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.
The Food & Drink Startup Award aims to recognise startups offering products & services related to food & beverage products in Ireland.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion

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

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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?
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.

The Startups Awards judges seek a product business that stands out and boasts excellent growth potential. Revenue growth, profitability and significant client wins will all be considered.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

Social / Sustainable Startup

Sustainability is now a key feature of the business and societal landscape. This category honors a startup that either presents a customer proposition with a direct focus on sustainability or has sustainability deeply integrated into its processes for delivering products or services.
To recognise Startups that directly drive sustainability or have sustainability embedded in their processes and structures to deliver their customer value proposition

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

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.
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.

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, market size, export potential.
Social Impact: E.g. jobs generated, diversity policy, social inclusion.

30th Nov.
2023
Dublin's
City Hall

Submit your
Startup for consideration

Key Dates:

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