There is only one week to go for the tech firms of Cornwall to enter the first ever EDGE Awards and celebrate the success of the digital business industry in the county.
So whether you are a young start-up or an established 100-staff business creating intellectual property, jobs and the latest app that will transform our lives, we want to hear from you.
The EDGE Awards, launched in association with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Hub and Skills Hub and with the support of some major organisations, like Headforwards , Engineered Arts, Truro and Penwith College and The Smart Home Co, have been designed to celebrate Cornwall’s tech sector and its unsung heroes.
Whether you are an app or web designer, write Internet of Things software for global clients, create amazing virtual reality experiences or film Cornwall from the sky with your drone, the EDGE Awards are for you.
Cornwall Live editor Jacqui Merrington said: “This project is all about celebrating the fact that Cornwall has one of the fastest-growing tech sectors in the country and promoting all that we have to offer in this sphere. But we can’t do it without you.
“We’re not just looking for Cornwall’s digital entrepreneurs, games designers, software developers and digital media gurus, but also for the school projects and teachers using new technologies to transform Cornwall into Britain’s true Silicon Valley.”
EDGE Awards 2017
Why apply for awards?
Cornwall EDGE Awards 2017 sponsors
Stu Anderson, Operations Manager of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth and Skills Hub, says the benefits of entering awards are huge.
He said: “Awards are a great excuse to shout superlatives about how great your business is but they’re so much more than that. They pack a real punch when it comes to business value and have a surprisingly high return on investment.
“As well as offering an external perspective of your business they make you stop and think about your achievements, market position and growth plans.
“If you win, fantastic, but if you don’t there’s a pretty good chance that your business will be a stronger position for next year.”
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Below are Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth and Skills Hub’s top five reasons to apply for the EDGE Awards.
1 – Step outside the bubble
The more prestigious the award, the more work you have to do but this doesn’t have to be bad thing. Awards are a good opportunity to help you think about your company from an external perspective.
The questions might spark an idea for something you should be doing, or planned to do but never get around to. This might just be the spur needed to dust off that business plan and see how you are measuring up.
This is your chance to have an objective view from industry experts on how you match up in key business areas. If you don’t win this year maybe there is something to work on that will help boost your profits as well as earn you a trophy.
2 – Rate yourself
Cornwall EDGE Awards 2017
You keep an eye on your competition, check their website and social. You might even visit their store to see what new things they are doing. So why would you let them win Best Business of the Year yet again?
A good reason to take part in awards is because everyone is at it. Why did they win the title over you? What are they doing differently? Use the information to benchmark your customer offer and processes.
Being part of the entry process alone gives you an insight into how leading companies are operating and it allows you to learn from them.
3 – Boost your credibility
“My business is officially amazing and look, I have a badge to prove it.” Do you put questionable claims to success on your website?
Do you really have an innovative product range and who knows if you are really a great employer? Awards are a chance to add validity to your claims and it’s not bragging if someone else is saying it.
Awards are also a great way to get your small business in front of big name players who are sponsoring your award category and offer a good chance to show off your credentials as a potential supplier and make some personal contacts.
4 – Talk about yourself
RoboThespian from Penryn-based Engineered Arts helped launch the EDGE Awards
How often does your business talk about itself? How many press releases did you send out in the last year? Do you think your business is a bit run of the mill and you struggle to think of a story that the public might be interested in?
Even being shortlisted for an award is likely to result in publicity, raise your profile and enable you to tell the wider community what you do and why you do it.
The best part of the publicity for awards is that the award promoters do a lot of the hard work for you; including you in their press notices if you are shortlisted and on the night, sharing your business on social and if you are a winner, hopefully getting your picture in the paper.
Extra top tip – you are more likely to make the main picture if you look a bit excitable!
5 – It is a big party!
Ok so we have talked business benefits now let’s talk about the real reason we all enjoy awards…the chance to let your hair down and celebrate! You get to dress up, have a posh meal, listen to an interesting and funny speaker and then wildly cheer all the businesses winning and you (almost) don’t care if you win or not!
Awards nights are great fun but also a chance to get your team out of the office and have a bit of civilised team building which doesn’t involved climbing over a wall in two feet of mud.
They are also a great chance to network with your industry and find out all the latest goings on while people might be a bit more “chatty” than usual!
The EDGE Awards
To take part in the EDGE Awards you can nominate yourself, your business, or someone else whom you think deserves recognition.
Either nominate through our website www.cornwalllive.com/EDGEawards or email email@example.com.
To do so, submit a short one-minute video where possible along with your entry – which can either be a corporate or a simple straight-to-smartphone talking camera piece.
The EDGE Awards will take place at Newquay Lighthouse Cinema on November 30, 2017.
Deadline for entries is October 15.
Source: Cornwall Live