APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2021 DT50 AWARDS ARE OPEN

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Organizers
Organizers
Organizers
In partnership with


McKinsey, Freshfields, 468 Capital, Finsbury Glover Hering and TeamViewer have joined forces to organize this year’s Digital Top 50 Awards to reward and celebrate the bold and trailblazing work of tomorrow’s top entrepreneurs across Europe.


Since 2016, the Digital Top 50 Awards (DT50 Awards) have recognized Europe’s top entrepreneurial talent, endorsing the continent’s thriving tech scene. The DT50 Awards cover the full spectrum of the business and technology landscape. Startups from all over Europe (the European Union, EFTA countries, and the United Kingdom) can apply in one of the four categories:

  • Best Technology (Software, AI, Automation, IoT, Analytics)
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation (SAAS, Marketplaces, Open Source)
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation (Marketplaces, D2C- Brands, E-Commerce, Services, Software)
  • Tech for Good (Double Bottom Line: solve social and/or environmental problems)

 

Applications are evaluated by the DT50 Awards' executive jury, a hand-picked panel of experts- and veterans in venture building and growth mentoring. The jurors will choose the winners in their respective categories.
Fifty applicants will be selected as this year’s top 50 cohort, which will be publicly announced in November.

This year’s special collaboration with Bits & Pretzels means the award ceremony will be held at the Bits & Pretzels Festival in January 2022.

This collaboration also means that you can apply for the DT50 Awards and the Bits & Pretzels Pitch Award at once. Check out our "How to apply" section.

Applications for the 2021 DT50 Awards are open!

We are currently accepting applications for this year’s edition of the DT50 Awards. Apply now to join us at the Bits & Pretzels in January where we will celebrate tomorrow’s top entrepreneurs across Europe. The deadline for all applications is October 10th 2021.


What our previous winners say

Who are we celebrating?

The DT50 Awards are awarded to start-ups from within the European Union, EFTA countries and the United Kingdom that have a digital product or service as the central element of their business and have received cumulative funding of below $100m.

We are celebrating winners in four categories:

  • Best Technology (Software, AI, Automation, IoT, Analytics). Advanced technology services or products are the focus of your start-up concept. You are likely to have achieved product-market fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation (SAAS, Marketplaces, Open Source). The provision of products or services to other businesses is the focus of your start up concept. You are likely to have achieved product market-fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation (Marketplaces, D2C-Brands, E-Commerce, Services, Software) The provision of products or services to consumers is the focus of your start up concept. You are likely to have achieved product-market fit in your first markets and are focusing on the expansion of your business to new markets and on further product advancement.
  • Tech for Good (Double Bottom Line: solve social and/or environmental problems). Your business has a lasting positive impact on society and/or current environmental challenges. Your product or service helps promote a sustainable cause.


For further details on the requirements, please also check out our terms of participation.

 

Our evaluation criteria

1
Value proposition
Innovative value proposition
Do you have an innovative product/service/technology?
Defendable value proposition
Do you have an economically feasible, sustainable business model?
2
Magnitude
Growing and/or large market
Is there potential to transform whole industries/reach a high number of people globally?
Scalability and replicability
Can the business model sustain an increase of customers? Can you replicate it in other geographies?
3
Performance
Financials or impact to society
Does the model have proven revenues or robust economics? / Is there significant impact on society?
Team fit and passion
Is the team passionate and can it drive the success of the business? Is the team diverse in background and skills

Frequently asked questions

What are the DT50 Awards?

The annual DT50 Awards were co-founded in 2016 to recognize the trailblazing work of Europe’s top entrepreneurial tech and digital talent across the full spectrum of the business and technology landscape, endorsing the continent’s thriving tech scene and providing support for four winners.
McKinsey, Freshfields, 468 Capital, Finsbury Glover Hering, and TeamViewer have joined forces to build on the increasing success of the last four events, which attracted more than 2,000 applications.

Categories and entry criteria

Startups from all over Europe (the European Union, EFTA countries, and the United Kingdom) can apply in one of four categories:

  • Best Technology (Software, AI, Automation, IoT, Analytics)
  • Best Enterprise Business Model Innovation (SAAS, Marketplaces, Open Source)
  • Best Consumer Business Model Innovation (Marketplaces, D2C-Brands, E-Commerce, Services, Software)
  • Tech for Good (Double Bottom Line: solve social and/or environmental problems)

Each category will have one winner. Entrants must have a digital product or service as the central element of their business, which must be incorporated or resident in the European Union, EFTA countries, and the United Kingdom, and have a total financing to date less than $100m.

Selection process and evaluation

Winners are selected in a multi-stage evaluation process:

1. Deadline for entry (10th of October 2021)
2. Announcement of top 50 (mid-November 2021)
3. Announcement of winners at Bits & Pretzels in January 2022

The initial scoring will be based on clear evaluation criteria and is undertaken by all organizers in a joint process.

Prizes

One delegate from each shortlisted participant will be invited to join the Bits & Pretzels event on 21 and 22 January 2022. Winning the award boosts exposure and provides concrete benefits such as workshops from partners, an individual mentoring and consulting package, and various other services delivered by the organizers. This could include any of the below prizes granted to the winners of the 2021 DT50 Awards:

  • McKinsey offers a Start-up Club consulting and mentoring session and support package, including a McKinsey workshop and coaching session, an individual problem solving session for a topic of choice with the McKinsey Start-up Club, and an expert interview within the McKinsey network (eg, McKinsey consultants, alumni, or start-ups).
  • Freshfields provides a legal and compliance workshop on the preparation and what to consider when raising capital. We will tailor the workshop to the specific business needs and potential regulatory challenges of the winners (eg, IP, data, antitrust, corporate governance, structuring, finance, and mergers and acquisitions).
  • Finsbury Glover Hering will offer the winning teams a comprehensive communications strategy workshop designed to meet their individual business needs and communication challenges (eg overall positioning approaches, storylining, funding communications), providing guidance on the most important communication issues likely to be on the winners’ radar now or in the near future.
  • 468 Capital is offering a workshop tailored to the individual needs of the winners’ business to increase visibility and shape brand, a feedback session from a 468 Capital general partner on the pitch deck for further fundraising efforts, or advice on fundraising strategy and on go-to-market, growth and internalization plans.
  • TeamViewer will offer tailored sparring and mentoring opportunities with senior management to discuss strategic topics important to the winners.

Executive jury

We are very grateful for the support of our prominent executive jurors in the previous years and will announce this year's jury board shortly.

Watch now

Applications for the 2021 DT50 Awards are open!