Business Rocks is empowering the future of technology and our INNOV8 Award & new INNOV8 Coaching Programme for 2017 is here to empower start-ups founders and help them leave our festival with the key skills, advice and possibly investment to take their start-up to the next level.

We have listened to the start-up community and the problems they have with other competitions and have re-designed our INNOV8 Award judging criteria so start-ups can be judged on “what you’re doing now” and “what you plan to do next”. This is your time to shine in our Business Rocks Spotlight.

Those who founders who know their stuff and pitch well to our industry experts, investors & tech leaders will go far, it doesn’t matter if you have only be founded for 5 weeks or 5 years everyone is in for a chance to win the INNOV8 Award 2017.

The INNOV8 Award is for unique, diverse & creative technology start-ups who will go up against each other in a fierce competition to win £100,000 investment* & prizes from Business Rocks & our Innov8 Partners.

The INNOV8 Award is split into 4 rounds and our new INNOV8 Coaching Programme for our start-up community at #BR2017.


All Start-ups wishing to enter the INNOV8 Award will need to exhibit within the Start-up Village at #BR2017.
Start-up Pods are only £500 with several #BR2017 Start-up Exhibitor benefits including:

• Access to Investor Connect Zone & Programme which includes meetings rooms, investor lounge, speed networking and investor Q&A circles across 3rd & 4th May
• Access to pre-booked meetings with our community of global VC’s & investors
• Hustlers Connect – Networking session with all our exhibiting start-ups, investors & mentors on 3rd May.
• Support from #BR2017 Team – Tell us your news, PR stunts, social campaigns as we like to support our community and help you gain more exposure at the festival.
• Access to INNOV8 Coaching Programme on 4th May
• Entry to the INNOV8 Award 2017**


Three weeks prior to #BR2017, start-ups wishing to enter the INNOV8 Award will submit their pitch packs to the INNOV8 team to be vetted against our new judging criteria.

An outline of the judging criteria will be sent directly to each Start-up Founder from February 2017.
The week prior to the Festival, start-ups who have made it into the live Pitch Rounds will be contacted directly by the INNOV8 team.

The INNOV8 Competition will be only taking 40 start-ups into the live Pitch Rounds – Start-ups wishing to enter should submit your pitch deck on time and read the judging criteria.

Those start-ups exhibiting who do not make it through this round will be enrolled into our INNOV8 Start-up Coaching Programme on 4th May 2017 and will still be able to access the Investor Connect Zone.


Our exclusive start-up & investor networking session for our #BR2017 start-up community. Held in our INNOV8 Stage as our community relaxes post a busy day of pitching, meetings & unforgettable experience at #BR2017.

The Hustlers Connect session will be a community of global investors, advisors, mentors and all our start-ups as we allow you to connect and chill with beers and live music.

Our Head Innov8 Judge & Advisor will announce the best 10 start-ups semi-finalists of the INNOV8 Award 2017 plus some other awards for our #BR2017 start-up community with our INNOV8 Start-up Awards from “Gift of the Gab”, “Best Start-up Stand” to “Best Pitch Blunder of the Day”.


Day 2 will see our 10 semi-finalists head back to our INNOV8 Stage for a morning of intense pitch battles. With a brand new panel of judges who will be tasked with the hard job to find our 3 INNOV8 Finalists 2017. The semi-finals will be 5-minute pitches & 5 minute question time.

Pre our Headline Keynote on day 2, our Business Rocks Founder – Jonny Cadden – will announce on the Headline Stage who will be heading into INNOV8 Award Finale at 16:00 that same day.


The final of the INNOV8 Award will start at 16:00 in our Headline Stage that can seat over 800+ of the #BR2017 Festival Community. We will bring in an elite panel of judges specially selected for our final pitch rounds for increased scrutiny on our 3 start-ups.

The winner will be selected live by our panel and the award will be presented by the Jonny Cadden, Founder, Business Rocks & our INNOV8 Sponsor.