International awards, ratings, and analyst reports are a great way to introduce your company or a product, create a publicity opportunity for a massive PR campaign or just expand the list of your company’s achievements.
There are ratings and awards that many companies aren’t even aware of. And winning or, at least, being nominated for such awards seems to be a distant prospect and barely real for startups and small/mid-sized tech companies.
Everything is much simpler than it seems. Of course, some awards and ratings can only be entered with a certain level of turnover or customers. Still, there are many ratings and awards tailored to startups.
In this article, I will talk about the most interesting awards and ratings that tech companies and startups have good chances to win or, at least, be nominated for.
HOW TO FIND TECH AWARDS TO WIN?
The easiest and most effective way is to analyze the success of your international competitors, as well as companies involved in related products or services.
You should not focus on companies that are 50-100 times larger than yours or more. Search for companies that are slightly larger, but not much.
Yet not only awards are helpful for you. Check out the websites of your competitors, read their interviews, annual reports, and mentions on social networks. Their news, announcements, and lists of achievements are the best source to find relevant events (conferences, exhibitions, etc.), content platforms, and analytic reports.
The second way is to hire someone who has already done similar projects: an agency, employee, or independent consultant. A qualified consultant can be found through the GLG network or similar platforms.
Tech awards 2023
That’s the key point of this article. Below is a list of awards & ratings I’ve collected for you in 2023. If you think I’ve missed a worthy event, feel free to contact me on Facebook or Linkedin and I’d be happy to expand the list.
It does not include awards that are part of conferences or exhibitions since there are too many exhibitions and awards in various industries that simply give away the "awards" to their top-tiered sponsors. The exceptions are awards/competitions where finalists are admitted to events (like Finovate) and getting into such an event is a sort of success for the company.
Webby Awards. Awards for various projects & products somehow related to the Web. A great choice for online services, SaaS, or any website that stands out. However, due to its popularity, this award is quite difficult to win.
Stevie Awards. There are a lot of nominations. Tech companies with high-quality customer business cases often win general nominations, for example, the International Business Award. The awards are categorized by region. The application must be submitted from the region in which the clients' projects are located. It is quite possible to win the award even for small companies.
Red Herring 100. There are many nominations for startups. Often, the awards go to small and little-known companies.
Software 500. One of the oldest ratings for 500 largest software companies worldwide. Since many relatively small companies are confident that they will not make it into this ranking, the current entry threshold is quite low - less than $1 million in software sales revenue.
Fintech and other companies related to financial technologies (some awards have a broad list of nominations - from innovation in payments to cybersecurity and big data):
Fintech 50. There are several Fintech50 ratings (including Forbes Fintech 50) that are quite difficult to get into, especially for small companies. But if a company announces that it’s been listed in Fintech50, no one cares, in which list exactly.
Finovate. One of the most interesting competitions/ events. Quite often, startups become finalists. Unlike other awards, this award/event is a good PR opportunity as the videos from the event tend to get a lot of views. It is held several times a year in different regions. Participation is paid, you must pass a preliminary selection.
Asian Banker Award. More than 40 different categories, the presence of a company in Asia is not necessary.
Winners of the most awards are determined by subjective criteria. Therefore, to win, you do not need to be better/larger than competitors. It’s just your application for the award that should be better than others.
Many jury members agree that each year the composition and number of applications are different. I have an example from my own experience. We’ve had a great and high-quality case, but we didn't make it to the shortlist of the award (and didn't win it). The next year, we won the same award with an average business case just because other companies did not apply with better business cases.
A few tips:
- Save and learn to reuse the information you prepare for rewards. First of all, you will need well-written descriptions of your company, products, case studies/success stories. You might also need financial reports (some basic figures like revenue, profits, new sales, sales by category, etc) and a list of key customers.
- Your application should sound professional. Send it to a professional copywriter/editor for verification (if you don’t find one among the employees, find a proofreader (editor) on Fiverr, Upwork, or another similar service). It will cost you ~ $50-100.
- Prepare for the event in advance. Organize information related to your clients and case studies, so that you don't lose time when filling out the application.
- Don’t think like the hosts of an event trying to guess what they meant in their questions. If you are asked about the number of clients, then list them. Don’t specify how many of them implemented your product successfully, or were onboarded. Instead, list all customers who bought at least something from you. If the hosts ask the number of users of your online service, then feel free to include everyone who signed up even for a trial period. After all, no one asked how many of them paid for the service. Those are the basic examples to show that each question should be interpreted in the most convenient way.
- Business cases are the main thing in many awards. Learn to demonstrate how your products or services have impacted business results. Do you sell servers? You can tell how your client is revolutionizing the industry and how you are providing the infrastructure for them. Do you deliver programming outsourcing services? Describe how mobile apps you’ve been working on with clients improve clients’ business processes, reduce costs, and innovate the field.
- If you are a small company, then apply on behalf of your clients. In some cases, awards are given to projects. Thus, you can create a great description of a business case on behalf of your client and win the award together. It doesn’t matter that you share the award with someone else. What matters is how you take advantage of this in future when working on your PR strategy.
- If you have several legal entities in different countries, then apply from the UK or USA. Companies from these countries receive the most awards. Besides, some awards from this list require the exact location of your company or the presence of subsidiaries. Although, if you look at the list of winners, you can see that they operate worldwide.
Alright, you've won the award. What's next?
The reward itself will not give you any new leads or clients. It is up to you what outcome you will get from the award or participation in the rating. You can modestly list the award in the About section on your site. Or make a big deal out of it: send a press release to the leading media, share the news on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube ads, and retargeting of your client base), talk about the award at conferences, and discuss it in interviews or articles.
This way you will maximize the outcome and turn the victory into a really big deal. Anyway, what to do with the award is solely up to you. Obviously, the host of the event would not promote you. The best you could get from the host is a mention and an link to your website.