Top tips for creating an award-winning Tech Trailblazers submission

By Steve O’Donnell, Tech Trailblazers Head Judge

Success doesn’t come easily. Faced with ever-increasing competition, your business needs to provide a unique solution to a real problem, while having a clear go-to-market strategy. Entering an industry award is no different – you’ll need a winning strategy to capture the judging panel’s attention.

Here’s the inside scoop – what our judges are looking for and my top tips for creating an award-winning Tech Trailblazers submission…

Think of the judges like VCs being asked to invest

We review your submission with the same skepticism and detail that a VC would. We want evidence and proof points – help us do our research by providing external links. Creating your entry with this in mind also means that when you’re approached by a VC later, you’ve already thought about and answered the questions they’re going to ask you.

Consider the segment, problem and solution

Who are you selling to? What genuine issue do they face? How unique and effective is your solution? 

Read the questions

An obvious one, but many entrants fail to consider the question they are being asked, and end up not answering them properly. 

Spend time on your entry

It’s worth it! Some entrants ask their PR agency or a junior marketer to complete their entry. Our judges are all senior professionals, so your CEO or Founder’s answers are more likely to provide a clear picture of your business, its technology and go-to-market strategy. Also, some entrants copy and paste marketing blurb into their answers. Avoid!

Tell us a story

We want to know your success stories – AKA – how did you solve a specific customer’s problem? It’s good to have dreams and hopes, but we want to know what measurable goals have you achieved to date.

Click here to read my full guide, ‘How to Write an Award Winning Submission’. The Tech Trailblazers website also provides a wealth of advice for hopeful entrants.

Key information

Entries close on September 10th at 23:59pm Pacific Time. 

FREE: remember that early-stage startups (three years old or less, without VC funding) are eligible for the Firestarter bursary, where they can apply to one tech category free of charge and will be entered automatically for the Firestarter Trailblazers award.

For more information, visit, follow @techtrailblaze, or listen to the #OnFire podcasts.