Mind the Gap! Submitting a Stellar Application for the Innovation Awards

Posted by Lindsey Thorne-Bingham on Tue, Mar 22, 2011
Writing your application for the Innovation Awards doesn’t need to create worry, inflict pain or cause undue distress. But, you must Mind the Gap!

mind the gap resized 600What is the Gap? If you are familiar with the Tube (London’s version of the T), you’ll know that riders are frequently told to “mind the gap” – meaning, the space between the train and the platform. But, how does minding the gap apply to your application for the Innovation Awards?

In terms of your Awards application, the Gap is the fine line between giving the judges too much information about your product, and too little. The key is to give them just enough information to communicate how innovative your product is, without overselling it. You are the train, and the awards are your platform to share with the world.

With this in mind, I sat down with judge and advisory group member Matthew Witheiler of Flybridge Capital Partners to chat about what entrants should consider when writing their applications, and how to write a strong application.

Lindsey (L) : Hi Matthew. Thank you for taking the time to chat. Let’s jump right into the questions –  What does an entrant need to think about when  writing their submission?

Matthew (M): Remember that the people judging your presentation will not have the benefit of hearing your voice when evaluating the material for the first time. You need to make sure the material speaks for itself – a pretty PowerPoint presentation with few words may work great when you're pitching to people live, but is difficult to make sense of without the narrative.

L: What needs to be – or should be – included in the submission?

M: Cover relevant background – Who you are? Why is what you are working on unique? And why is the concept innovative? Try and keep it simple enough to get the judges excited, but meaty enough for the judges to understand what innovative new thing you are working on. Some judges prefer a short slide presentation to a lengthy business plan, so if it makes sense, add a short pitch deck where the application asks for it. Make sure you're presenting the big vision and getting the audience excited about what you are building.   

L: These are great tips. Now, the big question, what makes a strong application?

M: A strong application is one that gets the judges excited about the innovation your company is working on. If you can, convey the sense of excitement you have for the product/business through the material, and therefore on to the judging audience.

L: How do you make your submission stand out in the crowd?

M: Try to keep the judges engaged as they read through your material.  More isn't always better!

In short, mind the gap! Tell the judges how you are innovative, and keep them engaged, entertained, and excited. We are looking forward to your application, innovation, and seeing how you stand out from the crowd!