Well, the startups have entered, the judges have judged and the shortlist has been drawn up. The Europas – Europe’s annual awards for tech startups – now has the the shortlist of nominees for this year’s awards available here. Over 1,000 nominated companies have gone through a rigorous judging process in over 30 categories. Judges for the awards included partners with Kleiner Perkins, Accel, Index, Google Ventures, Crunchfund, as well as Europe’s leading entrepreneurs. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Berlin on January 22, so come along. Plus, almost 150,000 votes have been cast in the People’s Choice category, voting in which ends on Friday. With 1,000 attendees, the event will bring together Europe’s startup community for a celebration of the best in tech.
This year The Europas has also expanded to include a number of regional categories. These awards will focus on the best startup in a particular region or country including: the best startup in the UK, Ireland, Nordics, Germany, Russia, MENA and others.
Entrepreneurs like Jawed Karim (founder of Youtube and Youniversity Ventures), Errol Damelin (founder of Wonga), Michael Birch (founder of Bebo, Monkey Inferno), Matthew Prince (founder of Cloudflare) as well as Lady Gaga manager and angel investor Troy Carter also judged the awards. In addition, Journalists from across Europe, from TechCrunch, The Next Web, Venturebeat, Reuters and some of the leading country-based blogs across Europe participated in judging.
I have to say, that looking at the entries, you realise that Europe has never seen so much tech startup activity. There’s been a huge surge in the quality and quantity of startups across Europe, spurred by both the fantastic new platforms available allowing even a teenager to create a startup from their bedroom. Even as Europe goes through tough economic times, we’re seeing a cultural shift towards entrepreneurship amongst the new generation. We’re also seeing more companies like SoundCloud, Hailo, Supercell and others follow in the footsteps of Skype and, lately, Wooga and Spotify as European startups with global ambitions. Many have have paved the way for the new companies we’ll be recognising at The Europas later this month – and there’ll be many more to come.
Paddy Cosgrave, founder of the Web Summit series of events which is running the awards agrees: “Europe is kicking ass, we’re seeing some really exciting startups from Israel, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and Ireland. There’ll be names you recognize on the shortlist but also plenty of incredible startups that are just breaking through now”.
I look forward to seeing you there, it’ll be a great evening!