Award Management | Case study
The Next Web, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2019 and Submit
Founded in Amsterdam in 2006, The Next Web is a news site and annual series of conferences focused on new technology and start-ups across Europe. They aim to inspire tech-inclined individuals through remarkable storytelling and extraordinary conferences and events.
Their extensive experience managing conferences saw their Innovation Program team brought in to work on The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which took place in The Hague on June 3—5, 2019.
The goal of GES is to exhibit innovative entrepreneurs from around the world and encourage relationship and partnership building with influential investors. Since 2010, an estimated 20,000 emerging start-ups have participated in GES and have raised over $1 billion in capital.
Any entrepreneur can attend the summit, however, only a select few are invited to participate and get in-depth experience with investors. Also, participants aren’t required to pay a registration or conference fee.
With this in mind, the selection process for participation in GES 2019 was obviously extremely competitive and an extensive project for The Next Web to manage. Over 5,500 applications from entrepreneurs in 140 countries needed whittling down to just over 1,000.
Initially, Carolina Lapa and Nivida Lamichhane, members of The Next Web’s Innovation Program Team, used Typeform to collect the information. However, once they had the applications, they quickly ran into problems. They had no means to manage and evaluate the data. So, they turned to Submit.
An intricate process
The jury process for GES 2019 was complex. More than 50 external stakeholders were involved in evaluating over 5,500 applicants from 140 countries divided into five categories.
“The platform was good to work on the backend, and in spite of the complex requirements we had from the client side, it was well laid out and easy to follow” they noted. A particularly useful feature highlighted by The Next Web’s Innovation Program team was our smart folders.
To manage the GES 2019 evaluation process, They created five folders to represent five different categories, each of which contained hundreds of applications.
“Because we were able to give exclusive folder access to the 50 judges responsible for each category, there wasn’t any mismatch issue with the votes,” observed Lapa and Lamichhane.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the Innovation Program team. As part of the evaluation process they designed, five areas needed scoring one of which was mandatory. Unfortunately, Lapa and Lamichhane reported, “the [evaluation] page would refresh after the scoring of each area of every application, which would cause a delay.”
In another instance, The Next Web remarked that while the ability to export the scored to a spreadsheet was useful, “the breakdown was not always perfectly organized”. For example, when more than one judge scored a company in more than one subcategory, it would sometimes result in a mismatch in the rows on the exported sheet.
This feedback was invaluable for our relentless Development team. They quickly solved these slight issues within two days, making greater improvements to our app.
Key Features Used
The Next Web was grateful for Submit’s Customer Success and Development teams. The Next Web highly commended our ability to unearth quick solutions to complex problems at the last minute.
“The support that we received from Submit’s staff was splendid! The team always ensured we were a priority and made sure that our requirements were attended to as fast as possible,” exclaimed Lapa and Lamichhane.
“Special props to Sarah who was extremely helpful from the start – when we were still assessing all of our options of competition platforms – all the way to the end of the project.”
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If you think it’s time to streamline your awards submission process or you’re interested in more ways to modernise your current workflow and review process, talk to one of our senior solutions specialists today.