New tech companies encouraged to enter renowned Thinking Digital Startup Competition

Shortlisted entrants will pitch to a panel of experts at Campus North, with two finalists going on to compete at the main event

Organiser Herb Kim at the Thinking Digital conference at the Sage in Gateshead
Organiser Herb Kim at the Thinking Digital conference at the Sage in Gateshead

Innovative and ambitious new tech companies are being invited to enter this year’s Thinking Digital Startup Competition, which is aiming to uncover and promote the sector’s success stories of tomorrow.

Now in its fourth year, the contest is recognised as one of the most prestigious in the tech sector and offers £500 and a raft of other prizes - including a ticket to next year’s Thinking Digital Conference - to the winner.

Previous finalists include YPlan, Reframed.tv, and Yossarian Lives.

Last year, the London-based Zipcube, which links people seeking meeting spaces with appropriate venues, took the top spot.

Since its Thinking Digital success, it has transformed from nothing but a good idea and a website into a fully-fledged business.

Marketing manager, David Hellard, said: “Thinking Digital really helped us as a company - not just in the exposure it gave us, but also in the impact it had on our mindset.

“Thinking Digital proved to us that the market we believed existed was real and by winning the popular vote it gave us further evidence to the need for an online marketplace for meeting rooms. Since then Zipcube has refined its offering, built up more inventory in London than even Regus, and is now raising money to expand nationwide.

“Our Thinking Digital pitch video has been a hugely valuable marketing asset and the credibility that the award has given Zipcube has accelerated every aspect of our business from engaging venues and customers, to the media and investors.”

Ten entrants from the 2015 competition will be shortlisted and invited to Newcastle’s flagship startup hub Campus North on May 19 to pitch their business to a panel of experts, including the incoming head of Tech North, Claire Braithwaite.

Two finalists will be selected to pitch on stage at the main Thinking Digital Conference at Sage Gateshead on May 20 to both the entire conference audience, who will select a Grand Prize winner, and global viewers tuned into a livestream of the event.

All shortlisted entrants are eligible for up to £100 in travel assistance underwritten by Thinking Digital sponsors Particular Legal and Northstar Ventures.

Free conference tickets, worth almost £350 each, will also be provided for up to two members of the shortlisted teams.

Thinking Digital founder Herb Kim said: “The Thinking Digital Startup Competition is a must-enter for ambitious early-stage tech firms with big ideas.

“Appearing at the event is a fantastic showcase for your firm and can provide a great springboard to the next level.

“Plus, shortlisted start-ups will have the opportunity to network and tap into the latest international ideas and developments in the digital world being presented both at the conference and workshop events, by an outstanding roster of global specialists.”

The eighth Thinking Digital Conference, which takes place between May 19-21, is one of the world’s leading forums for discussion on how developments in technology, science, media, business and the arts and can be practically applied in life-changing ways.

To enter the Startup Competition, please go to http://goo.gl/omw9zF .

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Thursday, April 30.

Thinking Digital is also opening up a limited number of audience places at the Startup Competition to non-Thinking Digital Conference delegates.

To register, visit http://bit.ly/1c7biNk

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