Regional tech awards return for sixth year to celebrate innovation in the South West

The annual Tech South West Awards have opened for entries as the prestigious event returns for a sixth year to celebrate the region’s tech sector.

Covering the whole of the South West from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset to Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, the awards showcase innovation across the region’s fastest growing sector. 

Since the first Tech South West Awards in 2019, the event has grown to receive over 300 entries each year. Categories include Best Application of AI, Women in Tech, Best Startup, MarineTech, Commitment to Diversity, Workplace Culture, AgriTech, Tech For Good, FinTech and Commitment to Talent. 

Accountancy firm Bishop Fleming returns as Headline Partner for this year’s awards, having been involved with the annual event every year since it launched.

Pippa Clark, Chair, Tax Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunication at Bishop Fleming, said: “We’re honoured to stand once again as headline sponsors for the Tech South West Awards, marking our sixth year of partnership. 

“The dynamic growth and innovation in the South West’s tech sector are truly inspiring, and we’re committed to championing its success. Our dedicated team, deeply embedded in the tech industry, is poised to offer invaluable support and guidance to businesses on their growth journey. 

“As we eagerly anticipate the awards night, we extend our best wishes to all participants, celebrating their achievements, creativity, and the vibrant tech ecosystem of the region.”

Tech is the fastest growing sector in the South West, which was identified as a “regional unicorn” in the recently published Startup Coalition ClimateTech Index. The sector has been forecast to grow to almost £20bn gross value added (GVA) a year and create 125,000 new jobs by 2026, according to research commissioned by Tech South West.

Award-winning marketing and PR agency Program has been announced as the first Supporting Partner of this year’s Tech South West Awards. The South West-based agency specialises in insight-led marketing for organisations delivering tech solutions with a positive impact. 

Caroline Orr, Marketing and Brand Director at Program, said: “We’re really excited to continue our support of the region’s tech sector as a sponsor for the Tech South West Awards 2024.

“The Tech South West Awards are all about recognising the trailblazers, the movers, and the shakers in our tech community, and I can’t wait to see the incredible talent and game-changing innovations this year’s event will showcase.”

This year’s Tech South West Awards will follow the launch of the region’s first Tech Prospectus at a regional sector showcase event in London in June. The event will celebrate the region as a hotbed of innovation and a UK leader in blue and green technology.

Last year’s awards took place in Exeter with a record-breaking 400 tech leaders in attendance. Winners included Cornwall-based Arwen AI, Devon-based Adopstar, Dorset-based fintech iplicit, the Cornwall Museums Partnership, Bristol-based Huboo and Rowe IT, based in Plymouth.

Bristol-based Kelpi, which was incorporated in 2020, won a record-breaking five awards at the event, with CEO Neil Morris also bagging the Tech Leadership Award. The firm, which develops seaweed-derived alternatives to plastic packaging, recently won a contract with global fresh fruit producer Blue Skies and their supermarket client Waitrose to remove plastic from their shelves.

Category sponsors for the Tech South West Awards 2024 include Ashfords, FDB Health, Granted, Michelmores, Program, South West AgriTech and Devon AgriTech, South West Business Council, and the University of Exeter.

Alongside the main categories, the Cluster Awards celebrate tech initiatives and organisations across the South West in particular local areas where the likes of TechExeter, Software Cornwall, Torbay Hi-Tech Cluster, TechSpark, Digital Somerset and Silicon South operate.

Entries can be submitted at https://www.techsouthwest.co.uk/awards-2024/

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