Helping select the winners for Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition

Helping select the winners for Tech Nation’s Rising Stars competition

Following an incredibly tough selection process, the winners of TechNation's Rising Stars 3.0 awards will be announced on Thursday 25th February. Harper James CEO and founder, Toby Harper, was one of this year's regional judges for the prestigious annual awards.

Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 3.0 is a national scale-up competition created to take the UK’s best early-stage tech companies through a growth programme, connecting them with a network of investors, influencers and corporates.

The awards’ organisers felt Toby’s position as CEO of Harper James Solicitors, a national law firm which supports ambitious businesses from start-up to scale-up, made him the perfect candidate to sit on the judging panel of the competition.

Along with a panel of other industry-leading experts, Toby sifted through and reviewed more than 300 applications to create a shortlist of 55 regional winners. The regional winners will now go through 2 further stages of judging, firstly to select 20 UK finalists, then to choose 10 UK winners, who will be announced on 25 February 2021 in a virtual showcase. 

Commenting on the competition, Toby said the standard of applications was ‘incredibly high’. And he says the standard shows how innovation among the tech-sector is very much ‘alive and well’.

‘After the challenges 2020 has thrown up for all businesses, many would be forgiven for just focusing on trying to stay afloat,’ Toby said. ‘What being a part of this process has illustrated is, in fact, businesses are still committed to innovating, developing and moving forward. It is wonderful to see how much success these early-stage businesses have had despite only having access to limited funding, and I am looking forward to following their progress in 2021.’

Toby has also offered some advice to businesses who might be thinking of applying for Rising Stars next year. ‘Being named a Rising Star by Tech Nation would be a great boost for any early-stage start up,’ he added. 

‘My advice to those applying would be have someone read your application with fresh eyes. Ideally this would be someone who doesn’t know the business at all or in any great detail. Only when they are satisfied there is sufficient information to understand everything required to assess the application should you press send or post that application off. Aim to ensure you don’t leave a judge having to read between the lines or rely on their own knowledge of a sector to fully understand the message you are trying to get across.’

About our expert

Toby Harper

Toby Harper

Founder & CEO
Toby is the Founder & CEO of Harper James Solicitors, as well as a corporate and commercial solicitor.

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