Have you got an idea that you toy with? share with your friends who say its great but still you’re not quite sure if it’s worth investing the time and effort to bring to life? Or perhaps you’ve just started the often long and daunting task of launching your startup? Apply for the WBIS Startup Awards and you’ll get the chance to grab the attention of 100 decision makers in the wine industry and make those connections that will make a difference to your business.

We want to hear about projects that aim to change the wine business, solve a problem and help the consumer in its adventure through the sometimes overwhelming world of wine.

We will choose 6 Startup projects to present their businesses during the next edition of WBIS to be held in Brussels in January 2017. The chosen projects will get 2 minutes to wow our audience and panel of judges. Here’s what we’re looking for in that short time and why some of our past projects sparked our attention:

Innovation: We look for projects that are different either in what they do or the technology or approach they use to respond to a need. Take Food 4 Wine for example, our winner at the last edition of WBIS Startup Awards hosted in October 2014 during DWCC in Montreux. This project matches wine to food using a database of aromatic compounds found wine and food. Whilst some hardcore wine enthusiasts rejected the idea that the perfect food pairing could be found not by human perception but by an algorithm, our panel of judges were blown away by the technological approach to the age old problem the consumer has of knowing what to drink with their favourite foods.

Focus on consumers needs: We also place a lot of emphasis on helping consumers either find, or find the information about the wines they want to drink . Our winner from the WBIS edition in Munich in 2014, Smart Glass, did just that. Aimed at helping consumers purchase the wines they discover at tasting events, their system uses a microchip placed on the base of the wine glass to check in at wineries’ tasting stations. The day after the event, the consumer receives an email with all the information about those wines as well as where they can be purchased. No need to take notes or balance glasses whilst taking photos, just a quick swipe over the terminal on each tasting station is all that’s needed. Smart Glass impressed our judges, by not only answering the consumers’ needs but also bringing more value to producers who invest considerable amounts in tasting events.

Viability of the business model: We’ve heard from many projects in the past that have had great ideas but haven’t been able to prove where the revenue streams would come from. This aspect is overlooked yet it’s the very base of a business. If you can’t make any money from it, your idea deserves to stay just that.

Quality of the presentation: two minutes may sounds like a lot but it’s not – especially when you’re under the spotlight! The projects that have scored highly in our competitions are those that have got straight to the point. A few slides with a few key points: what the idea is, what need it answers, who the target market is and a brief overview of the business model including revenue streams. This is exactly what Vincod did well during our first edition in Brussels in 2013. Another project that really impressed us during the last WBIS awards in Munich for presentation was Wines with Spirit. See their presentation here.

If you still think you’ve got what it takes. Sign up. We can’t wait to hear from you!

(WBIS startup applicants chosen for the event in Brussels will also be given coaching before the event on their presentation)