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The SPARKies nominations are now open. Of course, there’ll be some more time to get these nominations in, with the current ongoing public health crisis we’re not entirely sure when the SPARKies will be this year and we won’t be going ahead with booking venues or announcing dates until we’re sure it’s safe for our community to get together.

We have decided to open nominations on schedule though; with the difficult times we’re all going through it might be nice to take 5 minutes every now and then to sit down and nominate a person or company you’ve been really impressed by, or indeed, yourselves for the work you’re particularly proud of from the last year.

If you’re unfamiliar – the SPARKies tech and digital awards, now in its eighth year, shines a light on the amazing wealth of tech and creative professionals, startups and businesses in the West of England. We want to highlight the innovation being created in such abundance in and around Bristol, Bath and the wider West of England, and the people and businesses who make it possible.

With fantastic judges set to pour over your nominations in 17 categories, there’s an award to recognise a range of tech and digital achievements this year.


Full Awards Categories Breakdown below


One for the under 25s. This award will go to the individual, whether an employee of a tech company, post grad or entrepreneur, that has already demonstrated true commitment and initiative within the tech and digital community and whom the judges believe will go far in this industry.

Founder/ Entrepreneur of the Year

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

Best Mentor/ Advisor

This award recognises the individual or organisation, that has truly gone over and above to advise and support a tech company or individual to achieve success in the South West digital and tech sector.

Best Digital Design

This award recognises the best web and software designs and experiences created by individuals or companies in the South West since January 2017. This could include anything from a brilliant e-commerce website, or a clever piece of software design.

Best Cyber Company

This award recognises the achievements of any Cyber Security company operating in the West of England.

Data Data Data

An award for the projects that are pushing the limits of what we can do with data. This can include both commercial or public good projects.

Most Exemplary use of Virtual or Mixed Reality

This award recognises the best way virtual or augmented reality, 360 video or merged media has been utilised within a product or application. It could have the highest impact, or be the most spellbinding product.

The Hardware Award

This award looks for a piece of new hardware or new application of existing hardware that solves problems in new ways. This can include standalone hardware, components or devices.

The ‘Good’ Award

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

Most Innovative Use of Tech

For the person, company or project using tech in the most innovative way.

Lifetime Achievement

This award celebrates the person who has had a clear impact and demonstrable long-term contribution to strengthening the tech cluster in the South West.

The ‘Totally Killing It’ Award

This award recognises the company that the judges believe really made the most of the last 12 months, increasing turnover, expanding, making an impact and capitalising on their successes, both in the region and where relevant, further afield.

Best Startup

This award recognises the achievements of any tech or digital business started up within the last 3 years that has achieved significant success and that the judges believe will be ‘one to watch’ in the future.

Best Scaleup

For companies with over 10 people or a turnover of over £1million who are showing great growth.

The Community Award

This award is for the individual or company that are doing the most to support the tech scene in the West of England. 

Best Place to Work in Tech

This award goes to the company that the judges believe has gone the extra mile, above and beyond, for someone who works for them, or for all those that work for them. This should be nominated by employees, ex-employees and non-share holders only.

The People’s Choice

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