ESB and Web Summit open entries for €25,000 Spark of Genius award

14 Aug 2017

Image: Andres Poveda

The 2017 Spark of Genius award is now seeking entrants, with Web Summit and ESB joining forces once again.

ESB and Web Summit have announced that entries are now open for the 2017 Spark of Genius award, with a prize fund of €25,000 up for grabs. A celebration of Ireland’s flourishing start-up economy, the competition is now in its seventh year.

“We are looking forward to being involved with ESB Spark of Genius again this year. The standard of applicants over the last number of years has been extremely high and this year will be no different. It has been great to see the participants go from strength to strength over the years,” said Patrick Griffith, head of start-ups at Web Summit.

Future Human

The longest-running competition of its kind in Ireland, entries are open to start-ups that have been in operation for less than three years and have received less than €1m in funding. Entrants will be judged on their creativity, level of development and their potential for sustainable success in the future.

Paul Mulvaney, director of innovation at ESB, was keen to emphasise the potential of Ireland’s start-up economy. “ESB is focused on exploring radical and disruptive ideas in the energy and tech space to help develop smart energy solutions for our customers in homes, businesses and across the community. ESB Spark of Genius is one of a number of ways that we work with start-ups to co-create these solutions.

“Partnering with Web Summit for the seventh year is a perfect fit for the award.”

The award will be presented at Web Summit 2017 in Lisbon, with the winner getting the chance to exhibit at the event in November. As well as the €25,000 cash prize, the victorious business will also benefit from in-depth advice from top ESB executives.

Previous winners of the prestigious award include OpenBack and Bizimply. A shortlist of five will pitch live on RTÉ 2FM’s Eoghan McDermott Show, with three winners travelling to Lisbon for the final live pitch.

The closing date for entries is 10 September, and start-ups can apply here.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects