Turn €25,000 into $200m – all it takes is a Spark of Genius

For a few days in November, Web Summit 2014 will turn Dublin into the epicentre of the tech world – will you be there?


You’ve probably heard the brilliant news – home automation innovators SmartThings have been acquired in a huge deal with South Korean technology giant Samsung. Only 2 years ago SmartThings won the ESB Spark of Genius trophy at Web Summit 2012.

So as the deadline for applications draws closer, we thought it was worth reminding you about this year’s ESB Spark of Genius initiative – one of the most exciting opportunities that Web Summit provides for new Irish companies – where your startup could come away with a lot of attention and maybe even a cash injection of €25,000.

If you think you have the same spark that SmartThings had, you could find yourself on the ESB Spark of Genius stage, pitching in front of a distinguished panel of judges that includes investors, media professionals and industry heavyweights.

All this will happen live onstage at Base Camp, our dedicated networking event for the Irish tech community in NDRC on September 17th. The top 3 will proceed to the live final at Web Summit on November 4th and compete for the five-figure prizefund.

However, the prizefund is just the beginning, as SmartThing’s recent success goes to show. As creators of innovative domestic automation technology, the company’s value was placed at a reported $200m in the deal with Samsung. That’s right, the ‘m’ stands for million.

SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson with his Spark of Genius trophy at Web Summit 2012
SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson with his 2012 Spark of Genius trophy

In reaction to the buy-out, SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson, who will be speaking at Web Summit in November, explained what being part of such an expansive organisation like Samsung means. Indeed the new development seems to have satisfied Hawkinson’s ambition when he says that, at a high level, “it has always been our vision to go really big.”

So if you also want the chance to go really big and possibly add an ‘m’ to the end of your startup’s valuation figure, find out below if you are eligible and get your application in now.

Who can apply? ESB Spark of Genius is open to any Irish startup that has received under €1 million in funding to date and has not had a discernible change in business model in the previous 3 years. Other previous winners include Viddyad and Datahug.

Applications close at Midnight on 29/08/2014.

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