Best use of Data Science/AI in a Start-up /SME

This category is open to Start Ups OR SME’s that have projects that clearly demonstrate the application of data science to a wider business problem.

For the purpose of this category:

* A start-up company is typically defined by being a new company < 3 years old, small with < 20 employees, scaling and usually externally funded by VC/business angel/incubator/accelerator.

* An SME is any businesses with less than 250 employees, with turnover less than €50 million. Please note businesses as part of a group of larger businesses will be excluded from this category.

Entry Criteria

Entries for Start-up/SME of the Year must be self-nominated;

Entries should provide detail on a data science/AI project conducted by the start-up that showcases why they should be Start-up/SME of the Year.

Entries to this award MUST showcase how they have applied data science as part of a live implementation. The data science/AI project MUST have been conducted by the start-up in the prior 12 – 18 months.

It is recommended that your application is submitted in data science context rather than marketing literature as each submission will be marked against the criteria set out below and will be reviewed by a data science professional.


Entries will be scored on a number of different criteria, receiving a score out of 100

Business Problem

  • Demonstrate the organisation’s understanding of the business problem; describe the key stakeholders and customers. Document how the project came about, how your organisation got it off the ground and how it was funded. [10 Points]

Solution Overview

  • Document the solution developed for the business problem. Showcase the complexities and challenges in the project and how your organisation overcame them. [15 Points]
  • Describe the data science/AI skills, tools and techniques that were applied in order to deliver this project, in terms of both quantitative analysis of datasets and the application of machine learning for delivering predictions or recommendations. [15 Points]
  • Detail the team and infrastructure that was required to deliver this project. Was this all in place prior to the project or did your organisation need to put it in place to deliver the solution? [15 Points]
  • Outline the innovation in your solution. What differentiates it from solutions that others may have taken to the same problem? [15 Points]

Business Impact

  • Describe the return on investment of the project to your business. What other effects has the project had within your organisation? What new market opportunities are now available to you? [15 Points]


  • Describe the vision for data and data science/AI in your business. Show us why you are the Start-up/SME of the Year. [15 Points]