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Prolific North Tech Awards 2022: Judges share what makes a winning entry


The Prolific North Tech Awards will return to the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester, on October 27th to celebrate the companies, campaigns and innovations putting the North’s thriving tech sector firmly on the map. 

With entries now open and competition fierce, some of this year’s judging panel have shared their tips on what makes a winning entry. 


This year the panel of judges will include Ben Tan, Creative Technologist at Google; Mark Lyons, Director of Investments at Praetura Ventures; Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation at Bruntwood SciTech – Leeds; and Phil Benson, Co-founder at UKBlackTech. You can view the full list of judges here.

For Ben, the impact of an entry is key. “Great entries are the ones that make me think “WOAH! I wish I’d thought of that!” Or at least worked on that. Or I thought of that two years ago and I’m elated that someone actually made it for real!” 

Campaigns with a clear purpose and authenticity are also important. Phil Benson, co-founder of UKBlackTech, added entries should “be authentic and tell your story and truths!”.  

Deb Hetherington, Head of Innovation, Bruntwood SciTech – Leeds, explains that the awards are “a great opportunity” to highlight the scale of talent, leadership and innovation in the North. 

“Be bold and confident in portraying your successes. As Northerners we are almost predisposed to be modest and unassuming but awards submissions are no place for modesty”.

You can find all the information on criteria and the judging process here

Ben Tan leaves us with some final words on how to make your entries stand out.

“I like campaigns that have a human truth behind it. Something that you just grasp straightaway without it having to be laboriously explained. Something that makes me want to go and actually try the experience myself instead of only watching the shiny case study video. Something that makes me want to dig further and find out more. Something that solves a real world problem.

“Something that makes the world a better place – I love DojaCode.”

Girls Who Code – “DojaCode” with Doja Cat (case study)

“Something that is actually truthfully never been done before. Or maybe something that is just aesthetically beautiful or technologically impressive. BOX by GMUNK is one of my favourites.”



“But fundamentally, what supports all this is something that evokes an emotional response in your target audience. The project might even evoke a negative emotional response, but if that was its goal, then the effectiveness is what you have to measure.”

Lastly he added: “If you make something awesome, make sure enough people actually saw it, and hopefully took the action you wanted them to take.”

If you have any questions about the Tech Awards you can get in touch with our team on And make sure you make a start on your entries before the final deadline approaches on September 11. 

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