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Excitement for The Europas Awards for European Tech Startups is heating up. Here is the first wave of speakers and judges — with more coming!

The Awards — which have been running for over 10 years — will be held on 25 June 2020 in London, U.K. on the front lawn of the Geffrye Museum in Hoxton, London — creating a fantastic and fun garden-party atmosphere in the heart of London’s tech startup scene.

TechCrunch is once more the exclusive media sponsor of the awards and conference, alongside The Pathfounder.

The application form to enter is here.

We’re scouting for the top late-stage seed and Series A startups in 22 categories.

You can nominate a startup, accelerator or venture investor that you think deserves to be recognized for their achievements in the last 12 months.


For the 2020 awards, we’ve overhauled the categories to a set that we believe better reflects the range of innovation, diversity and ambition we see in the European startups being built and launched today. This year we are particularly looking at startups that are able to address the SDGs/Globals Boals.

The Europas Awards
The Europas Awards results are based on voting by experts, experienced founders, hand-picked investors and the industry itself.

But the key to it is that there are no “off-limits areas” at The Europas, so attendees can mingle easily with VIPs.

Timeline of The Europas Awards deadlines:

Submissions now open!
25 March 2020 – Submissions close
14 April – Public voting begins
25 April – Public voting ends
8 June – Shortlist Announced
25 June – Awards evening, winners announced

Amazing networking

We’re also shaking up the awards dinner itself. There are more opportunities to network. Our awards ceremony this year will be in the setting of a garden/lawn party, where you’ll be able to meet and mingle more easily, with free-flowing drinks and a wide selection of street food (including vegetarian/vegan). The ceremony itself will last less than 45 minutes, with the rest of the time dedicated to networking. If you’d like to talk about sponsoring or exhibiting, please contact Claire Dobson on

Instead of thousands and thousands of people, think of a great summer event with the most interesting and useful people in the industry, including key investors and leading entrepreneurs.

The Europas Awards have been going for the last 10 years, and we’re the only independent and editorially driven event to recognise the European tech startup scene. The winners have been featured in Reuters, Bloomberg, VentureBeat, Forbes,, The Memo, Smart Company, CNET, many others — and of course, TechCrunch.

• No secret VIP rooms, which means you get to interact with the speakers

• Key founders and investors attending

• Journalists from major tech titles, newspapers and business broadcasters

The Pathfounder Afternoon Workshops
In the afternoon prior to the awards we will be holding a special, premium content event, The Pathfounder, designed be a “fast download” into the London tech scene for European founders looking to raise money or re-locate to London. Sessions include “How to Craft Your Story”; “Term Sheets”; “Building a Shareholding Structure”; Investor Panel; Meet the Press; and a session from former Europas winners. Followed by the awards and after-party!

The Europas “Diversity Pass”
We’d like to encourage more diversity in tech! That’s why we’ve set aside a block of free tickets to ensure that pre-seed female and BAME founders are represented at The Europas. This limited tranche of free tickets ensures that we include more women and people of colour who are specifically “pre-seed” or “seed-stage” tech startup founders. If you are a women/BAME founder, apply here for a chance to be considered for one of the limited free diversity passes to the event.

Meet some of our first speakers and judges:

Anne Boden
Starling Bank
Anne Boden is founder and CEO of Starling Bank, a fast-growing U.K. digital bank targeting millions of users who live their lives on their phones. After a distinguished career in senior leadership at some of the world’s best-known financial heavyweights, she set out to build her own mobile bank from scratch in 2014. Today, Starling has opened more than one million current accounts for individuals and small businesses and raised hundreds of millions of pounds in backing. Anne was awarded an MBE for services to financial technology in 2018.

Nate Lanxon (Speaker)
Editor and Tech Correspondent
Nate is an editor and tech correspondent for Bloomberg, based in London. For over a decade, he has particularly focused on the consumer technology sector, and the trends shaping the global industry. Previous to this, he was senior editor at Bloomberg Media and was head of digital editorial for in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Nate has held numerous roles across the most respected titles in tech, including stints as editor of, editor-in-chief of Ars Technica UK and senior editor at CBS-owned CNET. Nate launched his professional career as a journalist by founding a small tech and gaming website called Tech’s Message, which is now the name of his weekly technology podcast hosted at

Tania Boler
CEO and founder
/> Tania is an internationally recognized women’s health expert and has held leadership positions for various global NGOs and the United Nations. Passionate about challenging taboo women’s issues, Tania founded Elvie in 2013, partnering with Alexander Asseily to create a global hub of connected health and lifestyle products for women.

Kieran O’Neill
CEO and co-founder
Thread makes it easy for guys to dress well. They combine expert stylists with powerful AI to recommend the perfect clothes for each person. Thread is used by more than 1 million men in the U.K., and has raised $35 million from top investors, including Balderton Capital, the founders of DeepMind and the billionaire former owner of Warner Music. Prior to Thread, Kieran founded one of the first video sharing websites at age 15 and sold it for $1.25 million at age 19. He was then CEO and co-founder of Playfire, the largest social network for gamers, which he grew to 1.5 million customers before being acquired in 2012. He’s a member of the Forbes, Drapers and Financial Times 30 Under 30 lists.

Clare Jones
Chief Commercial Officer
Clare is the chief commercial officer of what3words; prior to this, her background was in the development and growth of social enterprises and in impact investment. Clare was featured in the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list for technology and is involved with London companies tackling social/environmental challenges. Clare also volunteers with the Streetlink project, doing health outreach work with vulnerable women in South London.

Luca Bocchio
Luca Bocchio joined Accel in 2018 and focuses on consumer internet, fintech and software businesses. Luca led Accel’s investment in Luko, Bryter and Brumbrum. Luca also helped lead Accel’s investment and ongoing work in Sennder. Prior to Accel, Luca was with H14, where he invested in global early and growth-stage opportunities, such as Deliveroo, GetYourGuide, Flixbus, SumUp and SecretEscapes. Luca previously advised technology, industrial and consumer companies on strategy with Bain & Co. in Europe and Asia. Luca is from Italy and graduated from LIUC University.

Bernhard Niesner
CEO and c-founder
/> Bernhard co-founded busuu in 2008 following an MBA project and has since led the company to become the world’s largest community for language learning, with more than 90 million users across the globe. Before starting busuu, Bernhard worked as a consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. He graduated summa cum laude in International Business from the Vienna University of Economics and Business and holds an MBA with honours from IE Business School. Bernhard is an active mentor and business angel in the startup community and an advisor to the Austrian Government on education affairs. Bernhard recently received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 UK Awards in the Disruptor category.

Chris Morton
CEO and founder
Chris is the founder and CEO of Lyst, the world’s biggest fashion search platform used by 104 million shoppers each year. Including over 6 million products from brands including Burberry, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and Saint Laurent, Lyst offers shoppers convenience and unparalleled choice in one place. Launched in London in 2010, Lyst’s investors include LVMH, 14W, Balderton and Accel Partners. Prior to founding Lyst, Chris was an investor at Benchmark Capital and Balderton Capital in London, focusing on the early-stage consumer internet space. He holds an MA in physics and philosophy from Cambridge University.

Husayn Kassai
CEO and co-founder
/> Husayn Kassai is the Onfido CEO and co-founder. Onfido helps businesses digitally onboard users by verifying any government ID and comparing it with the person’s facial biometrics. Founded in 2012, Onfido has grown to a team of 300 across SF, NYC and London; received over $100 million in funding from Salesforce, Microsoft and others; and works with over 1,500 fintech, banking and marketplace clients globally. Husayn is a WEF Tech Pioneer; a Forbes Contributor; and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”. He has a BA in economics and management from Keble College, Oxford.

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Two cheers! But as a next step lets push Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would at least let women know they are being underpaid

Remember all those balloons on the podium at the end of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia? Sponsors of a new Massachusetts bill would like to have twice as many to kick around in celebration of their accomplishment in getting bipartisan approval for the countrys strongest equal pay law to date late last month. And now it has been signed by the states Republican governor, Charlie Baker.

Massachusetts employers, take heed: when the new law takes effect on 1 July 2018, it will become illegal to ask a new hire for her (or his) salary history, and employers will have to pay all employees the same wages for the same or comparable positions. To hear the sponsors tell it, the new rules will finally put a nail in the coffin of the gender pay gap.

Much as I hate to rain on a parade and this is a great parade, with landmark achievements worth celebrating Im far from convinced that this is going to mean that women in the Bay State will soon be collecting a dollar for every dollar that their male counterparts earn. Certainly, these measures may contribute to narrowing the pay gap. But there are other factors that contribute to the fact that women in many professions and jobs still earn less than men, ranging from blatant discrimination to life choices.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act made possible a slew of lawsuits in the 1970s and 1980s that opened the doors to better-paying jobs for women. Greyhound Lines was no longer allowed to set minimum height and weight requirements to exclude otherwise well-qualified women from driving buses as far back as 1977. As recently as 2013, women challenged the Chicago fire departments physical abilities test, requiring the department to prove that it was related to the demands of the job and not just a barrier to keep women out of high-paying positions.

Nonetheless, many women are still concentrated in low-paying jobs they work as healthcare aides, as cashiers, as receptionists. Wages in these pink ghettoes are low and there are few men earning higher salaries; new laws such as the Massachusetts initiative wont help them. Some kind of creative initiatives to compare the kinds of skills required with those fields dominated by men, determine whether, relative to the skills and experience, pay is equitable, and if not, figure out a way to make it equitable, is in order.

Even if women no longer have to disclose what they were paid in their previous job, they still have to negotiate a starting salary. And as any study you care to consult seems to suggest, women dont fare as well in that respect.

Women dont seem to be very effective advocates for themselves in salary negotiations and when they try to play hardball, it may backfire, because they then risk being viewed with suspicion and hostility. You know, the whole phenomenon of men being called aggressive, while women are dubbed bitches? Yeah, that one. That is not a great label to have slapped across your forehead just as youre starting a new job, by the folks who have just agreed to hire you: ball-buster, troublemaker, bitch.

An alternative to that might simply be to ban wage negotiations outright. Thats a rather avant garde proposal made by Laura Kray, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, and its one of the steps that Ellen Pao took during her brief tenure as CEO of Reddit. Pao explained that the company offered salaries at the high end, and that making them non-negotiable meant that no one could be penalized for asking for more or for failing to ask, out of fear of being penalized as women sometimes are.

To others, thats simply patronizing, and playing to womens weaknesses. Its up to women to Lean In and ask for what they want, and need.

That said, there is still a lot of discrimination that women confront. Consider the famous case of auditions to join symphony orchestras. Theoretically, this should depend purely on whether or not someone is a good enough player, but tests have shown that using a screen, so that those assessing the candidates skill cant see what gender (or ethnicity) they are, means that theres a 50% greater likelihood of a woman advancing to the finals. Where women must still be seen to be evaluated and selected in classical music as a conductor, say, or as a composer they are woefully underrepresented. Only about 1.8% of the pieces performed during one season by the 22 largest American symphony orchestras were by female composers, according to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; only 14.3% of works by living composers were written by women.

There are simple obstacles women point out that many job applications still ask them for their age and complex ones. Consider the lawsuit filed by the US national womens soccer team, which, although it has generated more revenue for US Soccer in recent years, arent on a collective basis, when all of its members are taken into consideration earning as much as members of the mens team. The problem? The nature of the compensation agreements governing the two teams, and their very different schedules, are so wildly different, that it becomes hard to figure out just what equality might mean.

So, while the Massachusetts law is a great move, it is one single initiative, in a single state. And even if it were replicated in all 49 other states, it would not solve the problem of the gender pay gap, on its own, although it is an important part of the puzzle.

Perhaps as the next step, once the election is over in November, we can lean on our new (or re-elected) members of Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. That law, which would penalize any employer who tries to retaliate against a worker trying to discuss and compare her colleagues salaries, was introduced in Congress in 2013, and has been stalled there ever since.

It was only when discussing her salary with colleagues that one California woman a consultant for the Fresno County office of education, who instructs teachers on the best way to teach math, and who has two decades of experience and two masters degrees, was earning at least $10,000 less than some of her male co-workers, some of whom were younger and less experienced. It turns out that her salary had been determined by her prior wages something that at least the new Massachusetts law will outlaw. But we can at least protect the rights of women to find out that they are underpaid in the first place without which, how can they assert their right to fair pay?

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