Guidance

The GREAT Tech Awards

The GREAT Tech Awards encourage high growth technology companies in the US to select the UK as a place where they can set up and grow their businesses. Winners take part in a tailored business development programme in the UK.

Overview

The GREAT Tech Awards competition is run by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Consulate General New York. The awards are designed to help innovative US technology companies expand their businesses into the UK, providing key connections and resources during a week long trip to the UK to make the process easier than ever.

2014 Winners

On 9 October 2014, the British Consulate General New York and UK Trade & Investment hosted the 2nd annual GREAT Tech Awards at the Diamond Horseshoe in New York City. Six US tech companies were announced as the winners of the competition, having been selected from over 120 applicants from the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

The winners represent innovative companies in the US tech scene seeking to build their international presence. US winners will receive a bespoke business development trip to the UK during the week of 2 November 2014. The Best of British winner will receive promotion in the US, including a reception at the British Residence in New York.

The category winners are:

  • Education - Admittedly, which offers fun, interactive school profiles for education institutions to help students find the right schools and see what their chances of acceptance are.
  • Finance - SeedInvest, an equity-based funding platform connecting accredited investors to leading startups.
  • Health - CytoSorbents Corporation, a critical care immunotherapy company using blood purification to treat life-threatening illnesses.
  • Internet of Things - Critical Mention, which allows users to monitor global TV, radio, and online news and receive alerts and reports about coverage for their brands.
  • Lifestyle - TodayTix, a free app to buy last minute discount theatre tickets.
  • Media - SeamlessDocs, a modern replacement for PDF forms.
  • Best of British - ustwo, a global digital product studio launching products, services & companies.

Kinsa, a smart thermometer technology, took home the People’s Choice Award, which was voted on by attendees at the gala via text message.

Watch the video below to learn more about The GREAT Tech Awards.

Find out why your tech company should apply for this year’s awards

Who could enter

The competition was open to US technology companies headquartered in one of the following states:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania

Companies could apply in one of the following award categories:

  • education
  • finance
  • health
  • internet of things
  • lifestyle
  • media

Additionally, a UK company with an office in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania can apply for the Best of British award.

Prize

US company winners

The award for US winners includes:

  • One British Airways World Traveller Plus flight from New York to London departing 1 November returning 7 November 2014
  • 5 nights accommodation plus breakfast at the 5 star Corinthia Hotel London
  • a meeting with a senior representative from Number 10 Downing Street
  • a customised business development programme in London (w/c 2nd Nov) including one entry pass to the Innovate Conference (5-6 November)
  • legal services provided by Taylor Wessing valued at $4,500 per winner
  • accountancy services provided by Blick Rothenberg valued at $4,000 per winner
  • recruitment services provided by Propel valued at $15,000 per winner
  • mentorship sessions from respected UK business leaders – Rohan Silva, Harriet Fear, Dr Geoff McGrath, Sir John Sorrell, Farah Ramzan-Golant and Alastair Lukies
  • 3 months office space in East London, for 2 employees provided by Second Home

UK company winner

The award for the Best of British winner includes:

  • a business reception for up to 100 people hosted by the British Consul General to New York
  • a speaking opportunity at one of UKTI ‘s 2014/15 events in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey
  • promotion on UKTI and GREAT digital platforms
  • an opportunity to participate in UKTI’s Export Week, 2015
  • legal services provided by Taylor Wessing valued at up to $3,000
  • accountancy services provided by Blick Rothenberg valued at $1,000

Full details of the awards packages and competition rules are available in the terms and conditions document.

Judging criteria

US applicants were judged on:

  • their past growth
  • how innovative their product, service or company model is
  • how closely their product or service relates to the award category entered
  • potential for business growth in the UK

UK applicants were judged on:

  • growth from the UK to the US
  • how innovative their product, service or company model is
  • potential for business growth in the US

Applying

Timings

The deadline for applications was 1 August 2014.

Finalists were announced at an event with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond at the British Residence on 22 September 2014.

The winners were announced at a gala event in New York on 9 October 2014.

Selections

Finalists were selected by a advisory board whose members were:

Winners were selected by a panel of judges which included some of the biggest names in the emerging tech industry. They were:

Award sponsors

Contact

Keep up-to-date with the latest information on the GREAT Tech Awards Tumblr page.

For general enquiries about the 2014 awards email GREATtech@fco.gov.uk.

Find out how UKTI services can help your company expand to the UK by contacting Patricia Young, patricia.young@fco.gov.uk, Tel:212-745-0451.

For media and PR enquiries, please contact Patricia Edwards, patricia.edwards@fco.gov.uk, Tel: 212-745-0251.

GREAT Tech Awards ambassadors

The following GREAT Tech Awards ambassadors helped to promote the competition:

2013 Winners

In 2013, six technology companies were selected as winners for the GREAT Tech Awards with 5 US companies winning a trip to the UK for an exclusive business development programme. Selected from a pool of over 100 applicants the winners were:

Education

TeachBoost - a Brooklyn, NY based company that has created one simple online interface to manage classroom observations and teacher evaluations.

Finance

Gust - a state-of-the-art financial services platform that supports the development, growth and funding of innovative start-ups around the world.

Hardware

Floored - a company that builds software that turns 3D data into an interactive virtual experience.

Lifestyle

Charitybuzz - a Manhattan-based company that helps nonprofits raise funds via online auctions with the world’s biggest celebrities and luxury brands.

Media

ADstruc - a leading buying platform for the outdoor advertising industry, including both traditional and digital out-of-home media.

In October 2013, the companies were flown Premium Economy round-trip, courtesy of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and stayed for four nights at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane (provided by RBS). In addition, they met a senior representative at No. 10 Downing Street, as well as with lawyers, accountants, recruiters, office spaces, and more.

Advisors’ Choice

blippar – the first image-recognition phone app aimed at bringing to life real-world newspapers, magazines, products and posters. The GREAT Tech Awards

UK-based blippar received the Advisors’ Choice Award, which recognized a successful British tech company that had established a dynamic presence in the New York market. Blippar received a business reception hosted by the British Consul General New York at the Consul General’s residence, a complimentary British-American Business annual corporate membership, and more.

People’s Choice

An additional award for People’s Choice was voted on by attendees at the The GREAT Tech Awards 2013 gala. The winner, Codecademy, is an innovative, web-based programming tutorial designed to teach the basics of coding, coinciding with reforms to the education curriculum to boost digital skills for UK school pupils.