I-COM Data Startup Challenge 2018

The 6th edition of the I-COM Data Startup Challenge showcased top Startups from around the world who leverage value from Marketing Data & Measurement as the central selling point of their product or services. 

To watch presentations of the finalists visit our YouTube channel.

Success in a Data world means aligning a “dream team” and Ecosystem of companies that enable competitive advantage for their clients by leveraging value from Data. Never before has there been such a curiosity and need for large enterprises to understand and invest in the latest approaches and technologies that are on the horizon.

Award Winners 2018

  • Overall Award Winner, Emerging Market Regions Award & AI Category Winner: Thematic, New Zealand
  • General Category Winner: MeasureMatch, UK

Official Selection 2018

Our distinguished Board & Jury members selected the Official Selection finalists for the 6th edition of the I-COM Data Startup Challenge. The Official Selection was showcased with all finalists presenting on April 10, during the I-COM Global Summit in San Sebastian.

For the 2018 Data Startup Challenge:
◆ The Top 20 Startups had an opportunity to attend the 4-day I-COM Global Summit (including the iconic Gala Dinner) as part of the Official Selection at a discounted Summit access fee.
◆ Only the Top 10 Startups qualified to participate in the final round of judging and present to all the Global Summit attendees.
◆ The Top 10 Startups had the opportunity for 1 on 1 meetings with major brands & agency groups like Unilever, Havas, Publicis, WPP*

* Where requested by the company in question


Why Enter?

◆ To connect with key clients who could potentially invest in your product / service and help propel your company to the next level of development;
◆ To gain global exposure to key decision makers in the marketing industry;
◆ To meet with seasoned executives for mentoring during “Office Hours” session;
◆ To present your work in front of our distinguished Jury members;
◆ To be center stage as winners of the I-COM Data Startup Challenge;
◆ To leverage press coverage of your company, product and service during the I-COM Global Summit;
◆ To use the industry recognized branding “I-COM Award Winner” across your internal and external communications;
◆ To enhance both personal and business reputations. 

An “Office Hours” session gives Startup founders the opportunity to receive advice from seasoned executives about their most pressing business challenges and establish connections with large enterprises. For executives, the format is an easy, rewarding way to share their knowledge and to get to know promising young companies. 

Big brands and notable companies that were represented by top senior and C-level executives at the I-COM Global Summit 2017 in Porto, Portugal, include:


◆ Overall Winner
◆ The Emerging Market Regions
◆ General
◆ Artificial Intelligence (NEW)
◆ Attribution
◆ Content Marketing

◆ Mobile
◆ Programmatic
◆ Social Media
◆ Video

Entry Categories

Note: Each Startup can enter only in 1 category and once per competition.

◆ General

The General category covers any Startup that leverages value from Data as a central selling point of its product or service.

◆ Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is regarded as a computerized system that exhibits behavior that is commonly thought of as requiring intelligence. AI problems and solutions fall in one of the following categories:
a. Systems that think like humans (e.g., cognitive architectures and neural networks);
b. Systems that act like humans (e.g., pass the Turing test via natural language processing; knowledge representation, automated reasoning, and learning),
c. Systems that think rationally (e.g., logic solvers, inference, and optimization); and
d. Systems that act rationally (e.g., intelligent software agents and embodied robots that achieve goals via perception, planning, reasoning, learning, communicating, decision-making, and acting).

◆ Attribution

Rewarding work that measures the incremental value of marketing channels, strategies and tactics against business outcomes. Attribution should directly drive optimisation of marketing to improve business outcomes.

◆ Content Marketing

Rewarding work that involves a strategic and tactical marketing approach focused on creating and distributing information to the buyer that is valuable, relevant and helpful for a target audience using a combination of owned media (e.g. blogs, microsites, social media conversations, print and digital publications, etc.), paid media and earned media.


Rewarding work that is leveraging known customer data to better drive and measure marketing results across all channels.

◆ Mobile

Rewarding work involving data stemming from mobile devices. The data does not need to be exclusively mobile and can be cross-channel in nature.

◆ Programmatic

Rewarding work that includes the products and activities in Media Planning & Audience Targeting Innovation. Examples include: the marketing cloud, the RTB protocol, addressable audiences, marketing automation and measurement.

◆ Social Media

Rewarding work that falls within a broad definition of social media, beyond paid advertising in social platforms. This includes topics of social-driven commerce, user comments or conversations, user-generated content, forums and message boards, crowdsourcing/crowdfunding, social publishing, and social media listening.

◆ Video

Rewarding work that shows a creative use of data, measuring how viewers are watching video content across devices. Television accounts for 40% of ad spend globally and is in a period of rapid change, viewing is fragmenting across channels and devices with audience measurement struggling to keep up.

Qualifying entries must include data stemming from audiovisual content that was at some point broadcasted as part of its distribution, either as programming or advertising.

Innovation Partners

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