XXI questions I ask myself about the awards

Below you will find the answers to FAQs relating to participation in the EntrepreneurXXI Awards. Look for the answer to your question and if you can’t find it, don’t hesitate to contact us; we’ll be more than happy to help.

1. Who can apply?

Young innovative companies with tax residence in Spain or Portugal which have started their activity subsequent to 1 January 2016 may apply for the EntrepreneurXXI Awards.

2. Which awards can I apply for?

By sending in your candidacy, you are choosing to compete for these awards.

  • Company with high impact in your territory, with a €5,000 prize and an international development programme. All companies in a territory compete for this award, regardless of their sector. This contest grants 19 awards. In Spain an award is granted for each of the 17 Autonomous Communities and two awards are granted in Portugal (one award for the North/Central Area, and another for Lisbon/South and the Islands).
  • Company with high growth potential in your sector, with a €15,000 prize and an international business development programme. All companies in a sector compete for this award in Spain and Portugal. Five awards are granted in the following 5 sectors: AgroFood, Health, Senior, Mobility, Impact.
  • Second prizes granted by the Agência Nacional da Inovaçao through the BFK Awards in Portugal with a €5,000 prize for a Portuguese company.
  • The EntrepreneurXXI Awards, through CaixaBank DayOne, will launch the “DayOne Open Innovation” programme in the last quarter of 2019. The aim of this programme is to select a company from each sector vertical in which the challenge will be to carry out a pilot programme with a CaixaBank group business line. The company selected from each sector will receive €15,000 to carry out a pilot project with CaixaBank.

3. Can I win more than one award in one edition?

You can win them all! The selection processes and juries of the different awards granted in a specific edition are totally independent. Therefore, one company can win the sector, territorial and second awards.

4. If I already won an award in a previous edition, can I apply again?

A company cannot win the same award twice, but it can apply for the other awards. Thus, for example, a company that was the winner at the national level in a previous edition can apply again and compete for the sector and second awards, although it would be ruled out for the territorial awards that it already won.

5. Who am I competing against?

All the companies which have applied in that territory compete in the award for the company with high impact in its territory. There are 19 territories involved in the competition: the 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain and 2 areas of Portugal (North/Centre and Lisbon/South and the Islands).

All the companies which have applied in Spain and Portugal from this sector compete for the award for best company in their sector. The 6 sectors which are awarded are: AgroFood, Senior, Health, PropTech, Mobility and Impact.

All the companies presented in Portugal compete for the second prize for Innovation awarded by the Agência Nacional da Inovaçao de Portugal through the BFK awards.

8. What is the period to present the candidacy?

The candidate application period ends on 04 December 2019 at 06:00 p.m. (all times are listed in GMT+1). The organisation reserves the right to extend the end date. In this case, the extension will be notified through this website.

12. How are the winners chosen?

The first stage reviews the eligibility of the candidacies. The candidacies that do not meet the legal bases or which have not presented the required documentation are ruled out from the process.

Later, all the candidacies are scored. All the evaluators have evaluation tables that specify the criteria to be assessed and the scores to be assigned based on said criteria. The candidacies are reviewed by several evaluators. Once the candidacies have been evaluated, rankings are created by sectors and territories and these are sent to the different selection bodies.

Each award has an independent selection process. This means that there will be 50 technical committees and juries to select the 37 territorial winners and sector winners and finalists. This phase requires the candidates to present and defend their application in person before the committee or jury.

13. How is transparency ensured during the selection process?

The formality, independence and transparency of the selection process is one of the elements that define these Awards, therefore we take special care to ensure these aspects. Some of the mechanisms that we have established are:

  • The evaluation is carried out based on clearly established criteria and scores in evaluation tables used by the evaluators.
  • The committees and juries work based on operating guidelines that establish, among other aspects: how to manage conflicts of interest, the voting and tied scores.
  • We invite the winners from previous editions to the juries so that they know how the selection process first hand and can verify the transparency in the process.

14. What is evaluated?

The following criteria will be taken into account when evaluating candidates:

  • Team: Commitment, dedication, and risk assumed by the entrepreneurial team; suitability of the team’s experience/training to the needs of the business; completeness of the team and capacity to attract talent; motivation; existence of Boards of Directors and the profile of the experts, etc.
  • Business model: Value chain and monetisation of the business model; competition analysis; capacity to attract customers; commercial and marketing plan; potential and capacity for globalisation; capacity or probability of having the necessary resources to implement the business plan; internal and historical coherence of financial projections, etc.
  • Ambition: Size and growth projection of the accessible market; scalability; existing and expected competition; concentration of customers; ambition and strength of sales projections; expected gross margin; job creation, etc.
  • Innovation: Level of innovation of the product or service; suitable analysis of customer needs; competitive advantages and barriers to entry; positioning with respect to competition, etc.
  • History: Revenue and/or financing achieved; results obtained with respect to the resources employed, etc.

For the Awards to the best company in its territory, in addition to the criteria above, the company’s link to and impact on the territory will be evaluated. For the awards to the best company in its sector, we will also evaluate the impact of the company’s project on transforming its sector as well as how the value proposal fits into the sector to which they are applying.

15. Who is on the juries?

The different Technical Committees and the juries are formed by members of the innovation ecosystem: investors (venture capital funds and business angels), successful entrepreneurs, prestigious businessmen, previous award winners, representatives from universities and business schools, organising and collaborating entities in the different territories, and representatives of the granting entities.

16. How are the winning companies notified?

The winning companies are made public in the awards ceremonies that will take place as part of the DayOne Innovation Summit in each Territory. During the first quarter of 2020, 19 territorial awards ceremonies will be held as well as one sector awards ceremony in which all the sector awards are granted.

17. How is the cash prize paid out?

The cash prizes are paid out by bank transfer to a current account held by the winning company. These awards are subject to the corresponding tax withholdings.

18. Do the Awards cover other costs?

The organisation covers the travel costs to Barcelona for one representative of each finalist company called by the sector committees and juries. The costs for the other trips associated with the territorial awards are to be covered by the participants.

20. Who is behind the Awards?

The awards are backed by CaixaBank and organised by DayOne, the service for tech companies and investors. The company that formally grants the awards is Caixa EmprendedorXXI.

In Spain, the awards are co-granted with the Empresa Nacional de Innovación (ENISA) and in Portugal with the Banco BPI.

More than 130 entities from Spain and Portugal also collaborate in the organisation.

The second prize for Innovation is awarded in Portugal by the Agência Nacional da Inovaçao through the BFK awards.

22. And finally… any winning advice?

Some points in the questionnaire are of utmost importance as far as assessment is concerned and approaching the question correctly can make all the difference at the scoring stage. We’ve picked out the most important ones for you:

  • Market size: This is all about evaluating the accessible market for the company. This means that it is necessary to clearly define both the area where the company operates and the market segment. The basis for the economic valuation of this market should be close to the income model. For example, for an app related to running, the market would not be the number of mobiles in the world but the number of mobiles in Europe (where the company works) x % of the population that regularly does sport x % that would be willing to pay to use an app of this type x the annual cost of the application in euros.
  • Milestones achieved: This involves demonstrating to the assessors where the company stands and what it has achieved. For example: In terms of the product: if it is in the development stage, if a minimum viable product has been completed, if you are already marketing the product, etc.; in terms of the team: if profiles have joined the company beyond the entrepreneurial team; in terms of sales: if a pilot product has been sold, if the first customers have bought the product, if there are any loyal and repeat customers, if you have reached agreements with partners, distributors, etc.; in terms of innovation: grants/awards obtained that show the level of innovation of the company, if you have reached any partnership agreements with a university, technology centre, strategic supplier, etc.
  • Main challenges: Under this point it is important to show that you know what your company’s main mid-term challenges/goals are, what will be key or influential to your growth and what resources will be essential for fulfilling your business plan. To do this, describe the profiles of the people to be hired and when they are to be incorporated; how much it will cost and how it will be financed, whether financial resources are necessary, how much, when and what for; where you will look for these resources; if it is necessary to make investments, give details explaining the reasons behind the investments and what you think you will achieve from them, etc.
  • Competitive advantage: Show that you know the elements that give you a competitive advantage inside out. Describe what sets you apart from your competitors, what you are better or worse at; how you detected your weak points and why your product/service irons them out; how you plan to maintain these competitive advantages as time passes and your competitors try to incorporate this advantage into their product/service.