Sparkies16_web_bluelogoThe launch party for The SPARKies 2016, the awards that highlight the best in tech, engineering and innovation in the West, was held this Tuesday. Over 100 guests, including SPARKies sponsors and judges, came along to the speciality beer and coffee bar Colonna and Hunter in Bath to help launch the opening of the award nominations.

As well as encouraging people to get nominating the people, companies and organisations they feel should be celebrated as contributing the most to tech and innovation in the region, the launch party was also the opportunity to show off the new SPARKies logo (pictured right). It was also a great chance for people to catch up, network and try out the speciality beers on offer!

We really enjoyed the night and we’d like to thank all the people who have provided the sponsorship which allows us to make SPARKies happen. The range of big names and local companies who were happy to give us this support makes us realise how much these tech awards mean to people in the area and beyond, and The SPARKies really couldn’t be done without them. 

And of course big thanks go to EEN who provided the sparkling wine, which always makes events like this go with a bang!

If you want to nominate someone (or yourself) for a SPARKies tech award – you can see the award categories below:

The award categories

AshfordsBiggest success story

Sponsored by Ashfords

This award recognises the company, organisation, project or individual that really made the most of the last 12 months and saw a high level of success.


deep-blue-sky-logo-mediumFuture SPARK

Sponsored by Deep Blue Sky

This category recognises a member of the digital community who is 21 or under and has gone above and beyond in the digital sector. They have the potential to become the ‘next big thing’.


KPMGThe ‘Totally Killing it’ award

Sponsored by KPMG

For competing globally from Bristol & Bath. The company having the biggest global impact, based in the South West.


cde_logoBest innovation in digital entertainment

Sponsored by the Centre for Digital Entertainment

Celebrating digital innovation in the spheres of entertainment such as gaming, VR, 3D and novel film-making techniques.


REALWORLD_logoThe ‘Good’ award

Sponsored by Real World

For the best use of technology for doing good – this covers green tech, sustainable tech and hardware for assisted living.


microsoft-logoBest startup

Sponsored by Microsoft

Starting a digital company is tough, and this award recognises a company that is doing it really well. The best startup will have achieved significantly in 2015, and will have significant potential for future growth.


SOLUTION-IP-logoMost innovative use of hardware

Sponsored by Solution IP

This award looks for a company, project, organisation or individual that has created a new device, project or service that uses hardware in an innovative way. This can be anything from robotics to the internet of Things including amazing product design.


engine-shed-logoLong-term contribution to innovation in the South West

Sponsored by Engine Shed

This can be a company or individual that represents the ‘best tech ambassador for the west’.


cookieshq-logoBest service provider

Sponsored by Cookies HQ

This award recognises an excellent service company that has provided a sustained level of support and made a clear difference to the region’s digital sector.


invest-bristol-bath-ibb-logo (1)Best mobile app

Sponsored by Invest Bristol & Bath

This app will reward the best web, wearable or mobile app made in the South West. It is judged on the way the app looks and operates; its stability, speed, content and its functionality.


freeagent_logoBest use of UX design

Sponsored by Freeagent

An award to celebrate the best web and software designs and experiences created by individuals or companies in the South West.


Hayes Parsons Insurance logoFounder/entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Hayes Parsons

This is an award for those in our community who have consistently demonstrated a significant entrepreneurial spirit and whose digital activity has shown commitment, enthusiasm, success and achievement.


TLT_New_Logo_RGBBest mentor

Sponsored by TLT

This award recognises those who have gone out of their way, providing their own time or resources to advise and support a young company or individual to achieve success in the SW in the digital and tech sector.


MAA-logoBest digital agency

Sponsored by Marketing Agencies Association

An award for the best digital agency serving the West of England.


forwardspace-logoPeople’s choice

Sponsored by Forward Space

You tell us who you think the best tech company in the South West is and the winner will be chosen by the SPARKies audience on the night of the award ceremony!


Nominations for the SPARKies are open until 7 January and all nominees must be operating within the SPARKies South West qualifying region. Self-nominations are welcome for all categories except the ‘Best Mentor’ and ‘People’s Choice’ award. The awards night will be held in Bristol on 17 February. Keep an eye out for ticket information in the next few weeks! To keep up-to-date with all things SPARKies, follow us @TechSPARKuk or tweet with the hashtag #theSPARKies.