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Evaluator Feedback 2017

Take a bow! You are all incredible and inspiring innovators. Congratulations, and thank you for entering the Awards this year - we are so glad you did!

Each of the entries into this year's Awards were reviewed by three of our 43 Business Innovation Evaluators. You will have received feedback unique and specific to your entry, and we've summarised some key insights and trends that were noticed across the board this year. Even if you aren't planning on entering again, have a read through this information as it includes some general tips on telling your business & brand story, which is something you probably do on a daily basis!

Word Counts Count

So choose your words wisely!

Entry length is different for everyone, so use as many or as few of the 250 words per answers as you need. We saw some very long entries this year that included a lot of repetition. And at the other end of the scale, we saw a few very short entries in the mix that didn't leave room for the evaluators to get to know you and your innovation. Some answers will be longer, some will be shorter - but be warned, one sentence answers usually leave the evaluators wanting more!

What problem are you solving?

We want to hear all about it!

Evaluators love it when you spell out the key problem you've identified early on in the piece - think Q1 & Q2! This very quickly highlights the need your innovation meets and the kind of impact you can have. If it's not a problem per se, then tell us what opportunity you're seizing with your innovation or business. Build that bigger picture of just what it is your innovation can do for an industry or end user!

Make your claims, but back them up!

Whatever your statements or forecasts show, tell us how you got there.

If you believe you can be turning over $100m revenue in 5 years, that's amazing and we'd love to hear all about it! But clue us in to how you've come up with, and verified, that number so we're on your wave length from the get-go. Think data and research, and validation of your market and its size.

Getting this piggy to a (validated) market

Provide a clear picture of your markets, and their size & scale.

The more market information you can provide, the better! This helps our evaluators to understand the market opportunities available and your current penetration into these markets, along with anything new on the horizon! We understand some entrants operate as very successful businesses already, others are very early-stage and yet to break even. Targeting a small or niche market isn't a negative, so don't feel the need to oversell it - just be specific.

Final checklist: does this entry sound like me?

It doesn't have to be written by experts, but it should have your unique flavour throughout.

Our evaluators work really hard to review and score every entry fairly. Make their job of scoring you highly easy by entertaining and delighting them! Some of their favourite entries to read started with a quirky opening remark, were open and honest, and gave a real feel for the entrant's innovation passion & culture throughout.

Video works a treat

Sharing your story with a few clicks of a button!

Video is effective in helping evaluators understand your entry. Short videos of two minutes or less brought entries to life and sold the benefits of what you do for your customers. We had lots of positive feedback that the process of creating a short video was a valuable experience to go through, and helpful long-term on social media and websites as well. This doesn't have to be a work of art - it's fine to grab your phone and start filming.

Categories matter

Get smart about the categories you choose to enter

You may enter in up to three categories for a single entry. Each entry into a category gives you three evaluators to review your entry. This means a really diverse set of eyes on your entry, and therefore diverse feedback. We encourage you to invest the time in tailoring your entry a little more for each category. While the story is the same, please consider the category you're in and tie the entry back. For example, if you're entering the Innovation in Media, Marketing & Communications category, we'd love to hear specifics on customer targeting, branding solutions or a specific campaign that you're really proud of. Our team can help you choose your best categories to profile your innovation.

Show us the money

Provide a short summary of financial data

For pre-commercial and research entries, we are looking for funding milestones, commercialisation milestones and other achievements to help us gauge commercial viability such as patents, trademarks, commercial partnerships and funding gained.

For early-stage, start-up and emerging businesses, we are looking for growth in revenue and your pathway to profitability. Any 'actuals' as well as 'forecase revenue' supported by verifiable market data and other information that will support your revenue growth assumptions.

For commercial businesses that are well established, we are looking for consistent revenue growth, a track record of success and a well-developed growth pathway.

Share your vision

Social innovation entries are about impact and vision

The evaluators are looking to see examples of the progress and impact that your innovation has made, funding streams, business models and any commercial partnerships. Highlight the impact you are making in your chosen area and the impact and positive change you are planning to make.

Awards Event 2017

What a night! Selling out well in advance of the Event, 720 guests and innovators recognised and celebrated the country's top thinkers & doers across every industry and growth stage. 22 winners were announced, and 14 finalists received commendations. Innovation changes our world, and these are the companies doing just that!

We're pleased to announce the Bayer Supreme New Zealand Innovation for 2017 is Rocket Lab! Rocket Lab pioneered a kiwi space programme, with purpose-built rockets for regular commercial satellite launches - space is officially open for business! This isn’t Rocket Lab’s first recognition in the NZ Innovation Awards – CEO Peter Beck was named Most Inspiring Individual in 2014. To return three years on and receive the biggest honour of the Awards evening is testament to the continued growth and success of Rocket Lab.

Special thanks goes to Louise Webster, Andy Blackburn, Vic Crone (CEO of Callaghan Innovation), Kim Connolly-Stone (Policy Director, Digital Economy at MBIE), Derek Bartlett (Managing Director at Bayer Australia and New Zealand), Idealog, the New Zealand Innovation Council and all our wonderful partners and sponsors that inspire us and make these Awards such a great celebration of everyday kiwis doing world changing things.

Awards Magazine

Learn more about our 2017 NZ Innovation Awards Winners in our free online magazine - meet these Kiwis creating innovations to change our world.

Winners 2017

See the full list of 2017 winners and highly commended recipients for each category, including the Bayer Supreme NZ Innovation Award.

Event Photos

The NZ Innovation Awards were held at ANZ Viaduct Events Centre in October 2017 - check out or download all the event photos on Flickr.

Our Sponsors

Meet the amazing organisations supporting innovative Kiwis. These are the incredible sponsors that make these Awards such a great celebration each year.

Past Events




© NZ Innovation Council 2017