This week The Europas Startup Conference and Awards — the new type of tech event devised in partnership with TechCrunch and myself — honored The Best Tech Startups in Europe. You can check out all the pictures here and follow the coverage on Twitter.
An annual celebration of Europe’s brightest and best tech companies, The Europas Conference and Awards for European Tech Startups has been an established fixture on the European scene since 2009, when it was first held in a London bar.
More than 50 stellar speakers presented in Central London, in a day of robust panels and small breakout workshops, just ahead of the industry Awards finale, where more than 27 of Europe’s best startups and founders were honored by their peers.
Over the last few weeks, startups had been able to either apply for an award or be nominated by a third-party. A judging panel then selected a shortlist of nominees, which was then submitted to public voting. The results were combined to determine the most forward-thinking and innovative European tech companies across 27 categories. No fees were paid by entrants or winners. The winners were announced on Tuesday, June 14, following The Europas daytime conference.
It’s been an incredible year for European startups, which have continued their exponential growth over the last few years. Europe right now couldn’t be better for startups. Every year we wonder if we are in a bubble. But the truth is we are in a 4th industrial revolution, and this is transforming our industry and society at large. We have come a long way from the first event in a bar in Bermondsey in 2009, but in front of almost 800 of Europe’s top tech entrepreneurs, The Europas Awards played host to the cream of Europe’s tech startup industry.
TechCrunch is the exclusive media sponsor for The Europas, and all attendees, nominees and winners of the Europas Awards will get discounts to TechCrunch Disrupt in London later this year.
Suranga Chandratillake, General Partner at Balderton Capital said: “Once again the Europas brought together all the most interesting people in technology for an intense 24 hours of conversation, debate and the sharing of ideas. As public market multiples for software companies improve and deals like Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn happen, we appear to be on the cusp of a new dawn in the technology ecosystem and the conference’s timing coincided perfectly with this more optimistic, yet reflective time.”
Katherine Crisp, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Unicef UK said: “We are thrilled to be part of the Europas and for a second year supporting the Best Humanitarian Tech Award. It was difficult to choose from the excellent shortlist, but we’re delighted that MeshPoint was chosen as the winner. MeshPoint was created in response to the refugee crisis. The team identified that the ability to communicate and access information was a critical need for families and children as they travelled across Europe. Their open source and durable Wi-Fi hotspot is a fantastic solution and we look forward to seeing how their technology can be utilized further to help families and children around the world.”
Christian Hernandez Gallardo, Managing Partner, White Star Capital, commented: “From a small event in East London where a fledgling Swedish startup called Spotify won an award to the large event next to the Thames today, The Europas has become an iconic emblem of the acceleration of the digital ecosystem in Europe and a celebration of what we all are achieving.”
Jonathan Luff, co-founder, Epsilon Advisory Partners cautioned:
“This is a critical moment for the UK’s tech sector. There’s so much at stake, and I really hope we don’t put in jeopardy the prospects for UK tech and the fantastic startups here at The Europas with a reckless decision to leave the EU next week.”
Melissa Jun Rowley, CEO of TheToolbox.org, said: “I moved to London for its thriving tech and social impact scene, and am so happy that The Europas organized a panel on the importance of humanitarian tech. It’s a sign of what’s to come. All tech has a humanitarian angle, you just need to bring the right players together. Mike and his team know how to do exactly that.”
Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder and CMO, EVRYTHNG, added: “The Europas has created a platform for technology innovation and growth by connecting the best ideas, capital and entrepreneurs in Europe. As always, it’s fantastic to be part of it.”
Sarah Turner, founder of Angel Academe, summed it up: “No tokenism here. The most diverse tech event I’ve attended. Quality, fast-paced, useful.”
Dave Mathews, CEO NewAer, Inc. said: “I’ve been coming to The Europas for the past five years from Silicon Valley and am impressed with the caliber and European diversity of the startups who debut and the executives who share their expertise on the stage.”
Those honored consisted of an amazing group of companies and people.
The winners, selected from the nominees, were:
1 Best Media/Entertainment Startup
The Winner is: Dubsmash
The startup shows how amazing entertainment products can come out of Europe and go global. And from Berlin!
2 Best E-Commerce Startup
The Winner is: Zalando
With 18.4 million customers and growing, the German e-commerce powerhouse shows how to grow from a startup to a leading fashion e-tailer with 796 million euros in Q1 2016 alone.
3 Best Education Startup
The Winner is: Peak
Europe leads the world in education apps and Peak has proved that in spades with its successful brain-training app.
4 Best Startup Accelerator
The Winner is: Entrepreneur First
Coming almost from nowhere, Entrepreneur First proved that it can take raw talent and turn it into startups. These guys are acing the field right now.
5 Best Adtech/Marketing Startup
The Winner is: Adludio
In a market where advertising tech is very established, Adludio is proving you can innovate.
6 Best Gaming Startup
The Winner is: ustwo
ustwo emerged from a bigger group to become a powerhouse of creativity with games like Monument Valley and Lands End in VR. Apple loves these guys and so does Frank Underwood. When he’s bored, Frank loves to play it on House of Cards.
7 Best Mobile Startup
The Winner is: Fever
Coming from Spain, Fever quickly took root in Europe’s biggest cities and has become the millennials’ favorite method of organizing a night out. With $23 million in its war chest we haven’t seen the last of this app.
8 Best Fintech Startup
The Winner is: Funding Circle
Funding Circle is the world’s leading online marketplace for business loans, raising $272 million and has shown London’s fintech dominance right now.
9 Best Enterprise, SaaS, B2B Startup
The Winner is: MOVE Guides
MOVE Guides has literally solved the intractable problem of international relocation for today’s global executives and has quickly spread to multiple locations internationally.
10 Best Hardware Startup
The Winner is: Technology Will Save Us
Combining an innovative design approach and exciting model for 21st century education, Tech Will Save US has become the go-to hardware for kids getting into tech.
11 Best Share Economy Startup
The Winner is: Student.com
Student.com, the student accommodation marketplace, provides a better experience for both students and landlords — helping to grow it across 100 countries and take $100 million in bookings.
12 Best Health Startup
The Winner is: Clue
This Berlin digital health startup empowers women to take control of their reproductive health and collectively provides valuable insight on female reproductive health issues.
13 Best Cybersecurity Startup
The Winner is: Darktrace
With Cybersecurity becoming top priority in today’s world, this Cambridge security startup now has a billionaire, an ex-MI5 chief and an ex-CIA tech leader on its board. James Bond would be proud.
14 Best Blockchain Startup
The Winner is: Credits
Credits has taken the blockchain technology and turned it into a platform that could well power the enterprises of the future.
15 Best Travel Startup
The Winner is: Secret Escapes
This members-only travel club offering discounted rates on luxury hand-picked holidays has become a mainstay of the travel business while disrupting the world of luxury travel.
16 Best Internet of Things Startup
The Winner is: EVRYTHNG
Because of EVRYTHNG, more than 10 billion shirts and shoes will soon talk back to you via your phone. And that’s just the start. Watch out, because this startup plans to connect every consumer product to the Web.
17 Best Cleantech Startup
The Winner is: Pavegen
Pavegen converts the kinetic energy generated from footsteps into renewable electricity. It’s literally magic, and is heading out to power the world with you.
18 Best Fashion Startup
The Winner is: Chic by Choice
This one-of-a-kind hire destination allows women to access the most breathtaking designer dresses, straight from the catwalks.
19 Coolest Technology Innovation
The Winner is: Blaze Burner
Blaze had already re-invented the bicycle light, but now it’s done it again with an intelligent tail light. They now have the world’s city-owned bicycle networks eating out of their hands.
20 Best Humanitarian Tech
The Winner is: MeshPoint
MeshPoint’s open source and durable Wi-Fi hotspot will allow refugees to communicate and access information, which is a critical need for families and children as they travel across Europe.
21 Best Angel Investor of the Year
The Winner is: Jeremy Yap
One of the most prolific and smart angel investors, Jeremy can be found in one of two places: meeting startups or on a plane. This man is a machine.
22 Best VC Investor of the Year
The Winner is: Eileen Burbidge of Passion Capital
This prominent partner at Passion Capital has invested in some of London’s hottest fintech startups and has taken on a public role of championing London and European startups. Coming out of Yahoo!, Skype and Apple she brought her hands-on knowledge of startups to entrepreneurs and they sing her praises for it.
23 Best CEO of the Year
The Winner is: Sarah Wood, Unruly
Sarah Wood is co-founder and CEO of marketing technology company Unruly. She’s steered the company from high growth (second fastest in the UK) to its successful sale to News Corp. for £114 million.
24 Best Startup Founders
The Winner is: Deliveroo’s founders Will Shu and Greg Orlowski
Will Shu co-founded Deliveroo in August 2012 with Greg Orlowski and since then they have proved a rock-star team, scaling a high-growth business and introducing new thinking to the market.
25 Fastest Rising Startup of the Year
The Winner is: Deliveroo
This UK-based high-growth unicorn shows there’s a strong appetite for on-demand premium restaurant delivery. Deliveroo is now in 65 cities and expected to hit £130 million in revenues in 2016.
26 The Europas Hall of Fame
The Winner is: Jørn Lyseggen, Meltwater
Jørn Lyseggen was born in Korea, adopted in Norway and grew from his humble beginnings into a highly successful entrepreneur. His Meltwater B2B online media monitoring service started with $15,000 and now has 50 offices, 800+ employees and has evolved into a software as a service (SaaS) company. But Lyseggen has given back by establishing the nonprofit Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana, which is now educating entrepreneurs and some of Africa’s hottest startups.
27 The Europas Grand Prix
The Winner is: Deliveroo
Individual awards categories were sponsored by: Raine, Forward Partners, Orrick, Kemp Little, All Response Media, Beringea, TechHub, Metro Group Business Innovation, iHorizon, Nexmo, Index Ventures, Unicef, Multiple, JAG Shaw Baker, Level 39, 33 Seconds, TechCrunch and Twitter.
The Europas was supported by Level39, TechHub, Ticketbase, Twitter, Metro Group Business Innovation, Raine Advisors, TechCrunch, Unicef, 33 Seconds, All Response Media, Beringea, Forward Partners, iHorizon, Index Ventures, JAG Shaw Baker, Kemp Little, Multiple, Nexmo, Orrick, MMC Ventures, Realys, Smith & Williamson and Fieldhouse Associates.