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Empact Ventures are global super connectors who co-design initiatives, scout for world-class innovation for larger organisations and funders and open the right doors at the right time for tech startups and scale-ups.

Hays is a leading global professional recruiting group, the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America.

How it Works

Step 1 – Submit Your Application 

The first step is to submit your application by 16th July 2021 deadline to be in with a chance to be one of our 42 winners & runners-up to receive recognition, exposure (e.g. PR), incredible prizes (e.g. guaranteed pilots), and super connections.

Step 2a- Our First Round Judges Assess

In August 2021, following our due diligence process, our first-round judges in each region will assess all applications received to determine which 5-10 applications should be shortlisted to be reviewed by our Regional Judges in the autumn.

Step 2b – Innovation Judging & Top 100 Showcase Event on 30th September 2021

In parallel, our 10 Innovation Partners & Judges will assess all applications submitted into each of our 10 Innovation Streams to decide which applications to shortlist as the Top 10 to be invited to pitch and exhibit live in our Top 100 Innovation Showcase on 30th September 2021.

Step 3 – Regional Judging Sessions

Our Regional Judges will assess all shortlists submitted by our First Round Judges to decide the Regional Winner in each of our 10 Regions who will be invited to pitch at our Virtual Final on 18th November 2021 to be crowned our Overall Champion.

Step 4 – Join our Virtual Final on 18th November 2021

Join our Virtual Final to find out who will be crowned our European Overall Champion and where we will announce our 10 European Innovation Stream Winners and runners-up. Hear from our judges in 5 roundtables and super connect with our 20 Regional Winners & Runners-up over video

Step 5 – Post-Event Super Connections & European Tech for Good Report 2022

All registered and checked-in attendees to our Top 100 Innovation Showcase and Virtual Final events will receive 3 free super connections facilitated by email after the event. Our Top 100 Innovation Showcase applicants will feature in our European Tech for Good Report in early 2022

Competition Timeline

Select the below image to enlarge

Rules of Applying

It is important that you review the below before applying:

Tech for Good Criteria

  • Tech for Good is a responsible approach to technology to address social, environmental and economic challenges. In this context, technology is built in a collaborative, user-led way and implemented with ethical consideration to ensure the rights of the people are respected.

  • Your company must be able to demonstrate that you have created or aiming to create a social impact and/or are enhancing people’s lives through technology in any area including but not limited to education, healthcare, local communities, public sector services, the environment or others. 


Stage of Company for Regional & Innovation Judging

If you’d like to compete to be a Regional Winner or an Innovation Stream Winner you must be able to categorise yourself in one of the following stages of maturity

  • Tech Startup (Seed Stage) with a working Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or beta version, the initial founding team with initial seed capital between £/€75,000 – £/€500,000 and ideally though not essential some traction or initial revenue

  • Tech Scale-up (Series A) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £/€2m – £/€10m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue

  • Tech Scale-up (Series B) – with a scalable product, solid team with Series A funding between £/€10m – £/€50m with a growing user base traction and solid revenue


Pre-Seed Challenge

Separate from the above, we have a dedicated Pre-Seed Challenge in partnership with Microsoft for Startups open to any pre-seed startup with a working prototype or minimum viable product.

By selecting this option you will not be entered into any regional or innovation judging and will automatically be entered into the Pre-Seed Challenge where Microsoft for Startups Europe will decide if to shortlist you in the Top 10 invited to pitch in the Top 100 Innovation Showcase on 30th September 2021

As a Pre-Seed Startups we’d expect you to have a working prototype, little to no funding, traction or exposure; initial seed capital between £/€0 -75,000


Geographically Based

Your company must be based in one of our 10 regions set out in the above table and on your application form you should select the region of your legally registered office, not where you as the applicant is based


Innovation Streams

Your company may apply to one or more of the Innovation Streams set out in the above tab otherwise you should select ‘General Tech for Good’ stream as long as you meet the criteria set out above

If you have any more questions, please email jemma@empact-ventures.com

Tech Startups and Scale-ups based in the following 10 Regions are eligible to apply to the competition here for all regions

  • BeNeLux: Luxembourg, Netherland, Belgium

  • Southern Europe: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain

  • Central and Eastern Europe: Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia

  • France

  • DACH & Nordics: Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Lichenstein, Monaco, Switzerland

Note: Applicants to the DACH & Nordics region should submit their application at this link here

All applicants must follow the below rules:

  • All applicants will strictly observe the rules and terms set out across tabs

  • Pre-seed are only eligible to apply to the Pre-seed Challenge only as long as they have a working prototype

  • Series C or D scale-ups are not eligible to apply to the competition

  • Entrants must not enter work that has been banned by any regulatory bodies in any country

  • All applications must be in English

  • If you do not complete all questions, we cannot guarantee your applications will be selected for our judging process 

  • Please answer all questions accurately as a true reflection of your business and please note that we conduct a strict due diligence process to ensure this is correct

  • You must submit applications prior to or by 6 pm BST on 16th July 2021.

  • Should your company wish to withdraw its application, this must be done by 17th July 2021

  • All applicants to the DACH and Nordic region will be valid if and only if you fill in the consent form in the confirmation email sent following your submission

How does the competition work?

Please see the 6 steps and timeline above

How can I submit an application?

You can submit an application by filling in our application form available here indicating the region you are based in and the innovation stream(s) you’d like to be considered for.

Note: If you are based in the D-A-C-H & Nordics region you must fill in this separate form here and note that your application will only be valid if you fill in the consent form in your confirmation email

Where should my company be based to be eligible to apply for the competition?

The competition is only open to tech startups and scale-ups with a legally registered office in one of the countries listed in the above tabs.

When submitting your application you tick the region where your company is legally registered and not where you as an individual are based in the world.

My Company is based outside the UK, Ireland and Europe, can I still apply?

The competition is only open to tech startups and scale-ups with a registered office in the UK, Ireland or Europe as listed in the above tab.

However, if your company is registered outside the UK, Ireland or Europe you can only apply if you have a legally registered subsidiary in the mentioned areas registered before 1st June 2021.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

The deadline for submitting applications is 16th July 2021 at 6 pm BST. You can submit applications earlier if this is easier for you.

I have more questions about submitting an application, what should do?

Before submitting your application, we advise that you consider and review our optional Application Guidance below:

1. Example of a Successful Application: We’ve shared NeateBox’s application with their permission to illustrate how a successful application looks from a double award winner (Regional Winner for Scotland & HealthTech Winner 2020) here

2. Pitch Deck Guidance & Template: We’ve put together this document to share our guidance on what slides to include in your deck and the information that could be present on each (Note: This is an optional resource) here

3. Join our Application Support Call: If you’d like to find out more about the competition or ask any questions to the Empact Ventures team, please register for this Zoom call here

If you have any further questions upon reviewing the above, please email jemma@empact-ventures.com

Can I apply for multiple Innovation Streams?

Yes, you may apply to one or more Innovation Streams if your product falls into one of these areas

Can you only apply if you have revenue?

No, you can apply without revenue as long as you are able to show that you fit into one of the Stages of Maturity options set out in the other tab and application form.

What information is required to submit an application

  • Location and which region they are applying for

  • Innovation Stream(s) you are applying for (if applicable)

  • General Company details

  • Pitch Deck (required)

  • Demonstrate how your product can benefit society

  • Revenue (if applicable)

I have an idea, can I still apply?

You can apply for our Pre-Seed Innovation stream if and only if you have a working prototype with little to no funding, traction or exposure; initial seed capital between £/€0 -75,000)

How do Super connections work for the virtual events?

Super Connections are made by email for all winners (x7), applicants (x5) and registered attendees (x3) by one of the Empact Ventures’ team of Super Connectors before, during or after each of the events for those that opt-in on their registration / application form within 8 weeks after the virtual final.

Do I need to be available to join the Top 100 Innovation Showcase and/or Virtual Final

If you are selected as one of our Top 100 Innovation applicants, it is essential that you attend to pitch and exhibit our Top 100 Innovation Showcase on 30th September 2021.

If you are selected as one of our 1o Regional Winners, it is essential that you attend to pitch at our Virtual Final on 18th November 2021 taking place between 9am and 1 pm UK time

Regional & Innovation Categories (2021)

10 Regions Across UK Ireland and Europe and Ireland and 10 Innovation Streams

European Regions

  • BeNeLux
  • Southern Europe 
  • France 
  • Central and Eastern Europe

UK and Ireland

  • Island of Ireland 
  • Scotland & Wales
  • North of England (North West, North East, Yorkshire, Midlands)
  • South of England (South West, South West, East of England)
  • London

Innovation Streams

  • General Tech for Good
  • AI for Good
  • MedTech  
  • HealthTech
  • FinTech for Good
  • EdTech
  • Smart Cities (including IoT, Mobility, 5G)
  • CleanTech 
  • Industry Specific Challenge
  • Pre-Seed Challenge
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