Why should every startup join the Accenture Innovation Awards Program? For once: to win. But even if you don’t win, there are a lot of opportunities to learn and grow as a business during the year-round Innovation Awards Program. Bas Zeper – founder of the startup PlasmaCure and past winner of the Blue Tulip Health & Wellbeing in 2016 – talks about their biggest advantages during and after winning the Awards.
The Innovation Awards works together with large media companies that are knowledgeable in the field of innovation, like RTLZ, Bright, and Emerce. Participants get the opportunity to present their innovative solution to a wider audience. Every week, innovative concepts are brought to the attention by means of interviews. Last week, Travis the Translator was given the spotlight on Emerce.
“Because of the media attention, suddenly you are on the shortlist of known and interesting startups,” says Bas. “The impact was bigger than we thought: our concept really seemed to matter. It has a big positive outcome: we are on the radar and investors appreciate that too.”
During the year-round program, startups get involved in several activities and events where connections are established between like-minded partners, peers, and investors. A team of Innovation Scouts is specifically looking for innovative concepts that fit the mission of our clients and partners. During events like the Scale Up Academy and the Innovation Summit, participants get access to a broad network.
“The Innovation Awards opened up a lot of connections for us,” Bas explains. “For example, I spoke with Erik Gerritsen – who was in the jury that year and is the secretary general of the Ministry of Health. He gave me a great quote to promote our innovation with, which I still use. He is an expert in the field so a quote from him can mean a lot.”
Feedback from the jury
Rome was not built in a day, and neither is an innovative concept. Each innovation theme has a jury consisting of 10 to 15 C-level experts, that want to help accelerate innovation. They do this by critically assessing applications and providing feedback on pitches.
“We were positively surprised about the quality of the Innovation Awards, in particular about the expertise of the jury members. It increases the feeling your idea really matters,” according to Bas. “Through the different rounds of the Innovation Awards, you are forced to really detect the core of your innovation.”
WINNING = value
Winning does not only mean that you win an award, there is also a prize package for the winners of the Innovation Awards. Within each theme, the winner will receive the Blue Tulip as a sign of innovativeness, and approximately €25.000 worth of consultancy value from consultants and partners in critical areas like development of business plans, development of the right tools and insight into the market. The social voting campaign offers the opportunity to gain visibility and to guarantee your pitch moment at the Innovation Summit on October 27.
“We chose specifically for the support by Accenture. We wanted to see how Accenture could help us with a business case and the investor deck. We had several discussions with consultants which resulted in a great case which gave us insights about our future,” says Bas. “The most insight we retained was regarding our finances, which also helps while attracting investors. Winning turned out not to be the most important goal while joining the Accenture Innovation Awards. Even if you don’t win, there is a lot to learn. You have to take the opportunity and really take it serious.”
Are you in the phase of getting market traction, bringing in investors, or scaling up your business, REGISTER BEFORE AUGUST 4 and grab the very last chance to make your innovation a succes!