Avanade Digital Innovation Award


The Avanade Digital Innovation Signature Award will recognize the young entrepreneurs who were best able to put their digital skills into practice to conceive an innovative business idea or concept. In addition to having an excellent business plan the start-ups will be judged on their ability to demonstrate the most creative use of digital innovations such as, mobility, collaboration tools, cloud-based technology, machine learning, artificial intelligent, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, in their products or services.

Award Prize

The prizes are designed to help the young entrepreneurs to take their business to the next level, with a cash prize of Euro 1,000 to further their innovative idea. The winners will have the opportunity to meet and engage with Avanade Senior executives at the Avanade London Headquarters followed by dinner. Additionally, one to one mentoring for team members and coaching from Avanade executives to continue building on their skill set, and invitations to select Avanade activities and events.

Join Avanade webinars

To support the students during the application process, Avanade will run two online webinars, in which they will talk through new digital technologies and their recommended approaches towards design thinking, digital transformation and data and artificial intelligence.

Award criteria

The Award will go to team whose business concept best demonstrates excellence in the following areas.

1. Use of Digital Innovation (45%): Has the team demonstrated use of digital innovations such as those listed above in their product or services? Does the company introduce a genuinely new innovative product or service?  Does the product or service deliver an innovative user experience, along with creative design?

2. Viability & Feasibility (30%): Does the team demonstrate sufficient business potential, with a realistic and practical business plan? Has the team presented a well thought through plan (do they have in place a strategy, business case, partnership structure, distribution channels) that have all the elements of being successful in the identified markets? Does the company accurately recognize and fill a gap in the market, or create a new one? Does the team have potential investors lined up, and a market tested product? Does the company demonstrate evidence to adherence to the General Data Protection Regulation ‘GDPR’?

3.  Business Sustainability (15%): Has the team demonstrated concrete steps to ensure a real and sustainable business, from leadership, recruiting top talent, operational agility and efficiencies, sound decision making where it comes to taking calculated risks to grow.

4. Presentation and soft skills (10%): Was the team’s presentation creative and compelling? Does the team demonstrate effective team work and communication skills to present their company to various stakeholders?

BONUS Criteria (5points)
5. Digital Ethics: Has the team demonstrated a commitment to digital ethics? Which digital ethics principles are taken into consideration by the start-up, security, privacy, data flow, GDPR? Does the product or service development demonstrate an approach or a methodology based on the concept of “digital ethics by design”?

Jury Members

Heba Ramzy

Global Citizenship Senior Director, Avanade – Seattle, WA

Heba is currently the global citizenship senior director at Avanade. Heba has an accomplished professional history having worked at Microsoft for 14 years and being the founding partner of H&E consult. Heba has received numerous national and international awards including the National Honorary award by Egypt’s First Lady, Cable & Wireless Childnet International Award for excellence, and Microsoft’s highest award, Circle of Excellence in 2007. Heba also created the first international acclaimed Egyptian children gateway, “Little Horus” and co-founded 21st Century Kids Club. Heba has also served on national and international NGO boards and is currently the chairwoman of the MasterPeace board, a member of the Co-Opinion advisory board, and a member of the Eisenhower Fellow President Advisory Council.
Heba holds a master’s degree from London School of Economics in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo.

Matt Joe

Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Avanade – Seattle, WA

As Avanade’s Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Matt helps teams envision, embrace, and realize the art of the(ir) possible in today’s digital, ubiquitous computing world. He is a proven technology leader, innovator, and industry speaker who understands that technology shines best when it embraces users' needs in intuitive, elegant, and eye-opening ways. Matt is the Chairman of the Technology Leadership Council of a non-profit, 501 Commons, is a member of Microsoft’s Distinguished Engineers Council, a member of Accenture's Technology Vision External Advisory Board where he works with industry leaders to help shape its forward looking trends, and is also a member of Accenture’s Global Technology Leadership Council. Matt graduated from Boston College where he studied Computer and Cognitive Science.

Jens Boegh-Nielsen

Executive-General Manager, Avanade -Nordic Region

Jens currently serves as Avanade’s Executive-General Manager for the Nordic Region. Jens also serves as the SVP Head of Sales & Marketing for EALA for four years. Prior to this, he was the Senior Vice President-Head of Application Management Sales for Continental Europe for Capgemini for 5 years for Europe, the Partner / Senior Executive / Managing Director of Accenture for 5 years for Europe, and the Client Solutions Executive for IBM for 5 years for London, UK and the Nordic Region. Jens studied his MBA and Commercial Law at the Copenhagen Business School.

Lise af Ekenstam

Executive—Europe Marketing and Tech for Social Good, Avanade

Lise af Ekenstam is a strategic marketing professional with 20+ years’ experience in running high performing marketing programs, driving strategic change and marketing performance improvement initiatives in the IT/Professional services industry. She currently leads Europe Marketing and oversees the Global Demand and Campaign Centre at Avanade. Furthermore, she is the Programme Lead for Avanade’s Tech for Social Good initiative. Lise has an international career and education, being a Norwegian/USA national and having worked and studied in the USA, Italy, France, the UK and Norway. She has a Masters in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, an MBA from SDA Bocconi University and a BA in Economics from Brown University.