FAQ

The Digital Top 50 Awards have been designed by Google, McKinsey and Rocket Internet to recognise and reward bold talent, cutting-edge innovation and sharp business acumen.

All applications must be received by April 1st 2018.

Prizes and Benefits

What are the benefits for the shortlisted Top50 participants?

Each Shortlist Participant will be invited to TOA Berlin Festival on 20-21 June for the Awards ceremony. This will include reimbursement of travel expenses up to a maximum amount of EUR 500. Such travel expenses must be claimed in accordance with the instructions of the Organizers.

What are the prizes for the five category Winners?

Each Winner will receive:

  • a McKinsey 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, e.g., McKinsey consultants, alumni, clients and start-ups;
  • a Rocket Internet workshop tailored to the individual needs of the Winners’ business to increase visibility and shape the brand; and
  • six hours of skill-based mentoring and access to an exclusive lectures series from Google.

The Winners of the B2C Start-up and B2B Start-up categories will also receive:

  • an invitation to a relevant McKinsey hosted event to extend the winners’ local executive network of leaders of the relevant community;
  • a feedback session from a Rocket Internet investment manager on the Winner’s pitch deck for further fund raising efforts; and
  • a 1-on-1 meeting with Rocket Internet’s CEO Oliver Samwer to discuss the Winner’s business plan (i. e. agile scrum coaching session).

The Winners of the B2C Scale-up and B2B Scale-up categories will also receive:

  • an invitation to a relevant McKinsey hosted event to extend the winners’ local executive network with relevant industry leaders and experts;
  • a feedback session from a Rocket Internet investment manager on the Winner’s pitch deck for further fund raising efforts; and
  • a 1-on-1 meeting with Rocket Internet CEO Oliver Samwer to discuss business plan (i. e. agile scrum coaching session).

The Winner of the Tech-for–social-impact category will also receive:

  • a cash prize of EUR 50,000;
  • a virtual panel article about the Winner’s business from McKinsey published at the website www.mckinsey.com;
  • a product workshop on a topic of choice from Rocket Internet (e. g. feedback on website or app, implementation support); and
  • in-depth support of a Rocket Internet tech expert for one month to leverage the Winner’s product or service.

 

Additional TOA Benefits for all Top50s participants include:

All Top50s nominees receive

  • 1 Startup ticket to TOA18
  • 1 Day Startup Booth at TOA Exhibition Area
  • Online pitch coaching sessions.

Application

Who is eligible to apply (definition of entities and territory, e.g. EU, EFTA, etc.)?

The Digital Top 50 Awards are open to entries from Start-ups, Scale-ups and Tech For Social Impact Companies with headquarters in EU and EFTA countries. Please note that we will not accept applications from companies with revenue or valuation greater than EUR 1bn. A digital product or service must be the central element of your company's business. You will have to show that you fulfill this requirement by pointing to a publicly available URL or App as part of your application to the Awards. Please consult our Terms of Participation to observe the details.

Do the founders have to have EU/EFTA citizenship in order to apply?

It is not required for founders to have EU or EFTA citizenship.

Can people only self-nominate or can one nominate another team / start-up?

For several reasons we decided to only offer application via self-nomination. But of course we will be happy if you suggest others to apply for the Digital Top 50 Awards.

How do you define the 5 different categories?

Applicants applying for the B2C Start-up Award:

You must have the provision of products or services to consumers as the main focus of your value creation, and you must have launched your first product offering under a public URL or as a published App less than 18 months prior to the date of application.

Applicants applying for the B2B Start-up Award: 

You must have the provision of products or services to other businesses as the main focus of your value creation, and you must have launched your first product offering under a public URL or as a published App less than 18 months prior to the date of application.

Applicants applying for the B2C Scale-up Award:

You must have the provision of products or services to consumers as the main focus of your value creation, you must have launched your first product offering under a public URL or as a published App 18 months (or more) prior to the date of application, and you must have an average annual growth in employees or in turnover greater than 20% per year.

Applicants applying for the B2B Scale-up Award:

You must have the provision of products or services to other businesses as the main focus of your value creation, you must have launched your first product offering under a public URL or as a published App 18 months (or more) prior to the date of application, you must have average annualized growth in employees or in turnover greater than 20% per year.

Applicants applying for the Tech-for-social-impact Award:

You must have as the main focus of your products or services to have a lasting positive impact on society at large by solving a social problem.

How and where can I apply?

Applications have to be made through the Digital Top 50 Awards website and must be received by April 1 2018, 23:59:59 CET.

Why do you only require the contact details of one person for an application?

We require one person per application who we shall contact should we require any further information to supplement the application. Please note that the person confirming the online application and stated as the contact must be legally able to represent the company applying and have clarified all information accompanying the application with co/founders etc.

Is it possible to apply as a single person?

Yes, there are no restrictions on the minimum number of company personnel.

What information must applicants provide to enter?

Applicants should ensure to answer all relevant application questions in detail and provide information as required to each question when specified. However, to ensure a fair and equal process for all applicants throughout the Awards process, you must not submit any business sensitive and/or highly confidential information.

Must applicants submit a business plan?

No. Submitting a business plan is not necessary, however please ensure that you answer all questions relevant to your application comprehensively and with as much detailed information as possible.

Will the application form allow for pitch decks to be submitted?

No. But you will have the chance to upload a short video presenting your team and your business. However, this will not be the same video which you will have to upload for the Top50 Public vote phase

How many stages would a competitor need to go through before they win?

There will be 4 main stages. 1) DT50 Jury will select a shortlist of 50 Top companies which will comprise 60% of final decision. 2) Top 50 companies will post 1 minute pitch videos on TOA subpage in May for public vote which will comprise 20% of final decision. 3) Top 50 companies will be invited to pitch at TOA on 20-21 June in Berlin to pitch in front of a judge panel which will comprise 20% of final decision. 4) After counting the votes, the 5 winners will be announced at DT50 Awards ceremony at TOA.

Who does the initial application screening?

All applications will first be submitted to a sanction screening by the Digital Top 50 Awards team, whereby given information will be checked to be true and certify whether all legal requirements have been met.

What if multiple applicants present the same project/business plan? Will they still be equally eligible?

Two or more applying companies presenting the same, or a similar idea, will have no automatic advantage or disadvantage between them. We are very aware that companies may be working on solving the same, or similar problems. However, it is highly unlikely that two start-ups or scale-ups would be working on the exact same thing and in the exact same way. Regardless, we are always interested in observing the various approaches between companies and seek to understand their approach/es and the reasoning behind them.

What assessment criteria will be used to filter applicants and decide the winner(s)?

Applications will be filtered based on criteria defined by the Digital Top 50 Jury Committee, generally based on the following:

In the B2B and B2C Start-up categories: Degree of innovation of the participant’s digital product or service. Value added for the users of the participant’s digital product or service.

In the B2B and B2C Scale-up categories: Ability to scale the participant’s business and to compete with other offerings in order to create sustainable growth of the Participant’s business.

In the Tech for Social Impact category: Potential to have a lasting impact on society with a socially-oriented digital product or service that is scalable in order to benefit the largest number of people in the most meaningful way. Please consult our Terms of Participation to observe all assessment criteria.

Will there be interviews during the shortlisting of the Top50s?

There will be no official “Interview Stages”, however, the Digital Top 50 Awards Jury may contact you, post-application, to obtain written clarifications of apparent errors in your application (e.g., obviously wrong data inserted).

Will we receive feedback on our application, regardless of the outcome?

Due to the lengthy and time-consuming processes involved in application screening, unfortunately it will not be possible to provide feedback on each individual application.

I have a solid business plan but am struggling on the technical side. Is it still worth applying?

Of course. With our “Start-up” categories we focus on the early-stage digital entrepreneurs. However, you must already be able to provide us with a publically available URL or link to an App (e.g., demo video showing what the final app/service will be like, as long as it is publically available, non- business sensitive and/or not highly confidential).

We have been in business for some time, and don’t really want/need funding, are the Digital Top 50 Awards still right for us?

Definitely! Successful applicants will have the chance to win invaluable support in professional development and contact to decision-makers, helping them to advance prosperously and thrive.

What is the maximum age a company can be in order to apply?

For our “Start-up” categories you must not be older the 18 months. However, if you apply for one of our “Scale-up” categories or as “Tech for Social Impact” we do not have a maximum company age.

Are there any limitations regarding applicant companies’ revenue or valuation?

Companies with revenue or valuation of over EUR 1bn cannot apply.

Is it possible to apply for different categories?

We have designed the 5 Digital Top 50 Awards categories with the specific intention that companies see themselves, and fit within the pre-requisites, of one category only. During the application process you will have the opportunity to state why you believe your chosen category to be the most fitting for your company.

Is it possible to apply with more than one idea?

Each application is limited to the presentation of one company only; companies are not permitted to submit multiple applications.

Will applications from Start-ups that do not operate online still be accepted?

Companies must have a publically available URL or application to submit, in order to be eligible for the Digital Top 50 Awards.

Evaluation Process

Selection Phase.

DT50 and TOA teams pre-select Top 100 potential nominees. Jury convenes physically and/or via conference call to choose Top 50 nominees, and their vote comprises 60% of the final decision.

Pitch Online Phase.

Top 50 nominees get pitch coaching sessions by professional coaches and provide 1 min pitches online for public vote to be published on TOA DT50 subpage for 2 weeks in May, 2018. Public vote comprises 20% of the final decision.

Showcase on TOA stage.

5 official pitch competitions take place on the same dame during TOA Conference on 20-21 June. 5 tracks are held as themed pitch competitions: B2B Startup, B2C Startup, B2B Scale-up, B2C Scale-up, Impact. Each startup will pitch for 3 minutes, and have a 4-minute Q&A session with a judge panel on stage. Each judge panel will consist of industry pioneers, CxOs and investors. Judge vote comprises 20% of the final decision.

Award Ceremony.

TOA calculates the final votes (60% jury + 20% online + 20% TOA judges) and the final DT50 winners will be announced at the award ceremony on TOA stage at the end of the same day when the pitch competitions takes place at TOA.

Invitation to the Award Ceremony

When and where will the award ceremony take place?

This year’s Digital Top 50 Awards ceremony will be held at one of 2 days of TOA Conference taking place on 20-21 June in Berlin. The exact day and the procedure of the ceremony is still to be confirmed.

Who will be invited to the ceremony?

The Top 50 shortlisted applicants, as determined by the Digital Top 50 Awards Judging Panel, will receive one invitation per company to TOA 2018 in Berlin and our award ceremony incl. support for your travel expenses of up to 500€ .

Is it possible to obtain tickets for the TOA conference without having applied for the awards or being shortlisted as a Top 50 company?

Of course you can obtain tickets through the official TOA website.

General

Why did you choose the name “Digital Top 50 Awards”?

The Digital Top 50 Awards have been created to recognise and award the Top 50 Digital Start-ups, Scale-ups and Tech For Social Impact in Europe. The name has been chosen because it’s clear, it’s uncomplicated, and it’s accurate - exactly how our candidates should be presenting their fantastic business ideas!

Who should I contact for media enquiries?

For all media enquiries, please contact one of the three partners:

Google: [email protected]

McKinsey: [email protected]

Rocket Internet: [email protected]

How do you keep information you receive confidential? What information will be published? (E.g. names of applicants)

For legal reasons, and to ensure a fair and equal process for all applicants, we ask that applicants do not submit any business sensitive and/or highly confidential information when applying for the Digital Top 50 Awards. We will assume all information provided is non-business sensitive non-highly confidential. Confidential information will be used in accordance with the Terms of Participation. Our Privacy Policy applies to the collection, processing, and use of personal information in connection with the Award. The Digital Top 50 Awards reserve the right to communicate applicant company names (+ logo) in connection with the award.

What are the competition’s rules and T&Cs?

Please consult our Terms of Participation to observe all competition Terms and Conditions.