Every year, The Europas Awards for European Tech Startups recognise the very best fast-growth businesses from across the Continent. For the past five years, FieldHouse has been proud to support the event as lanyard sponsors, and this year we were lucky enough to be joined as sponsors by our client Home Grown!
So, last Thursday, somewhat bleary-eyed after spending the first half of the week on a farm in Sussex (see the blog from my colleague Izzie to see what we got up to!), the team headed to the iconic Geffrye Museum in East London. As soon as we walked through the gates, any cobwebs that remained were blown away.
What greeted us was a garden party of epic proportions; think food trucks, outdoor bars, marquees and games. Forget about your traditional awards do – this had the feel of something truly different about it.
Ahead of the awards, host and mastermind of the event – Mike Butcher – facilitated a number of panel sessions that included media and investors (including our client Malin Holmberg from Target Global!). Journalists discussed some of the biggest stories from the past year, while investors discussed technology and societal responsibility.
One common theme (aside from Brexit) that appeared over the panel sessions was “doing good”. Whether that was investing in clean, green technologies, e-scooters, or supporting corporate social responsibility programmes, it’s clear that there’s a renewed focus on doing the right thing to benefit the wider population. The journalist panel also picked up on trends in healthtech, which are helping us all to live happier and healthier lives.
The final session before the awards was a fireside chat with Brent Hoberman, who is best known for launching Lastminute.com with Martha Lane Fox. He subsequently launched Founders Forum, a network for technology entrepreneurs. He spoke with Mike about his time as a founder, and what lessons new founders can learn.
As the final session wrapped up, tensions mounted ahead of the awards. People crammed into the tent to hear the winners be announced by a number of special guests – including our very own MD, Cordelia Meacher, Malin Holmberg at Target Global, and Dr Barbara Ghinelli from Harwell!
Winners included Voi Scooters which owns, operates, and manages electric scooters for urban commuters; Metail, a virtual fitting room service for fashion retailers that allows customers to create a 3D model of themselves and try on clothes; ed-tech Perlego, a textbook subscription service; and Beam, which allows you to help a homeless person for the long-term by funding their employment training.
A special shoutout goes out to our wonderful clients Immersive Labs and Holvi who made it as finalists in the Hottest CyberTech and Hottest FinTech categories!
By the end of the evening, one thing was clear: Europe is absolutely full of incredible businesses, all of whom are making a difference to the customers that they serve.
On a personal level, it also reminded me that the ecosystem within which FieldHouse works is truly one-of-a-kind. Never before have I been in a room where we knew so many people; many of whom have moved beyond being professional contacts and into friends.
I am proud to be part of an agency that helps support such a fantastic community of entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and creators. Roll on next year!
Tom Knock / @trknock