It’s the longest running digital and technology awards ceremony in the UK, so if you haven’t heard of it, it probably means you live in that bubble called London, have not been the “wrong” side of the M25 in years, and think Watford is a place where people wear flat caps and race whippets.
The Big Chip Awards, now in their 19th year, are doing more than anyone to break down these ridiculous London-centric stereotypes that the North “doesn’t do” tech startups.
The reality, of course, is that Manchester is one of the fastest growing and most disruptive start-up hubs in Europe, Leeds is one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, and the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland and Hull were all featured in Tech City’s “Tech Nation 2016” report of prominent UK technology clusters, contributing significantly to the £161bn of turnover generated by the Uk’s digital industries, and providing many of its 1.56 million jobs.
The Big Chip Awards is a not-for-profit run “by and for the industry” overseen by Manchester Digital, and celebrating “excellent work undertaken across the North’s digital and tech sector; anywhere from the Scottish borders down to Derbyshire”
For 2017, we can reveal there are 3 new awards; the Big Chip Transformation Award, Big Chip IoT Impact Award and the Big Chip Leadership Award. Entries will be judged by the likes of “design guru” Malcolm Garrett, Alastair Cole of the Engine Group, Herb Kim from Tech North and the BBC’s Bill Thompson, as well as Caroline Gorski, who is head of IoT at Digital Catapult.
The deadline to apply for one of the 22 awards on offer is Monday 13th March, the shortlist will be released on 27th April, and the event itself will take place at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel on the 15th June.
So get cracking; as Lawrence Jones of Headline Sponsor UK Fast puts it; “There’s no standing still for the North’s digital sector.”