The 2015 Academic Enterprise Award

The ACES, launched in 2008, are the only pan-European awards for spin-outs from universities and public research institutes, aiming to recognise the best academic entrepreneurs from across all technology disciplines. Every year, they have drawn nominations from all sectors and disciplines and countries in Europe; and have been judged upon key criteria (e.g. novelty, fundraising, market potential, impact on society) by the Science|Business Innovation Board, a not-for-profit association created to improve the climate for innovation in Europe.

The ACES are celebrated annually on the occasion of the Science|Business annual conference. The winners of the ACES 2015 will be celebrated in Barcelona on 20 November 2015.

‘Fast start’ Award

In their 7th edition, the ACES 2015 are open to individuals who have created a promising spin-out based on ideas developed at European universities.

Each member of the Science|Business Network is invited to nominate two candidates. Nominations should be coordinated within the same department of the universities (e.g. tech transfer office, incubator, etc.).

Nominate an ACES candidate

Rules of participation
  1. Nominated individuals must have generated the knowledge on which the spin-out is based in a university or public research institution from one of our Science|Business Network
  2. The spin-out must have been legally formed in one of our university partners after 1 June 2013
  3. Submission should be done through the dedicated form
  4. Deadline for submission: 15 September 2015
Judging process and quality criteria

Four companies will be shortlisted and will be invited to join the 2015 Science|Business annual summit in Barcelona on 19/20 November 2015 to present their company during a 3-minute ‘elevator pitch’ in front of the audience, to convince the distinguished jury of the ACES.

They will look at the progress the companies accomplished during the first two years of their existence in terms of:

  • Novelty: what makes the company unique?
  • Business development and market potential production, marketing, and sales
  • Fundraising strategy
  • Expected impact on society
  • Looking forward – growth targets foreseen in five years
What do finalists receive?

‘Elevator-pitch’ training session:
On November 19th, the four finalists will benefit from a personalised training with investors to help them improve their commercial pitch. At the session, they will be invited to run through their presentation, and the trainers will make some constructive suggestions which they may (or may not) incorporate into their presentation at the public conference to be held the day after.

Connect with Europe’s innovation leaders:
Finalists will deliver a 3-minute elevator-pitch in front of a large audience bringing together innovation leaders from academia, industry and policy and the members of the distinguished jury. The networking sessions will also offer great opportunities to exchange with peers or potential partners.

Finalists receive extensive visibility on all the conference materials, online and on site. A publication presenting all the finalists will be distributed at the conference to the attendees.

Finalists' travel expenses to Barcelona will be covered by Science|Business

Prize for the winner
A one-week business administration executive course at ESADE Business School

For more information, please contact Isabel Ortega at or call +32 2 880 3040