e International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Mind the Bridge (MTB) have announced the second edition of the Startup Ecosystem Stars (SES) Award Ceremony set to take place on 4 December 2024 in Paris

Co-organized by ICC and Mind the Bridge, in collaboration with the OECD and the European Commission, and with support from Microsoft, the SES Awards recognize excellence among organizations fostering innovation in their ecosystems in addition to showcasing success stories, promoting collaboration and stimulating opportunities for innovation ecosystem growth.

Candace Johnson, ICC Executive Board Member, Vice-Chair of the ICC Policy Committee and Chair of the Awards Jury said: “Innovation ecosystems play a pivotal and vital role in supporting entrepreneurship and advancing global goals. We at ICC believe that demonstrating leadership within these ecosystems not only enables businesses to thrive but also drives more opportunities built on a shared purpose for a brighter future for all.” 

The initiative is open to cities, regions, countries, and supranational entities that demonstrate impactful initiatives supporting innovation. Last year, former EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel received special recognition as “Person of the Year”, acknowledging her significant contribution in fostering innovative ecosystems in Europe and beyond. In addition, 15 regions and cities across four categories from 10 countries and five continents were recognized as “Startup Ecosystem Stars”.

“The SES Awards are built upon a decade-long research and experience in tracking and benchmarking innovation ecosystems worldwide. This initiative uses the MTB ‘Innovation Ecosystem Life Cycle Model’ to make international comparisons, estimate growth trajectories, and highlight factors behind different growth paces”, said Alberto Onetti and Marco Marinucci, respectively Chairman and CEO of Mind the Bridge. 

The SES Awards follow an open-call application process, targeting programs and initiatives able to boost the development of innovation ecosystems. Candidate organizations can be public or private organizations, or agencies representing cities, regions, countries, or supranational entities that have a direct impact on their respective innovation ecosystems.

To be eligible, organizations and agencies are required to run excellent programs in one of the following five categories: Best-in-class Startup Programs, Outstanding Investment Boost, Visionary Public Procurement, Top Talent and Research, and Exceptional Industry Support.

Initiatives are evaluated based on criteria such as program novelty, impact, and efficacy.

A distinguished jury, led by Candace Johnson, Serial Entrepreneur, and ICC Executive Board member, evaluates applications.

Applications for the SES Awards are open until 31 August 2024. Interested organizations are invited to submit their programs and initiatives for consideration. 

Winning organizations will be invited to attend the official Award Ceremony event at ICC Global Headquarters in Paris in December.