Vet-AI is a research and development company dedicated to overhauling the pet healthcare industry

One of the region’s most prestigious technology awards is celebrating its fourth year and calling for local tech businesses to enter.

The Leeds Digital Festival Awards highlights the success of technology businesses in Leeds and the wider city region. It puts start-ups, SMEs and larger businesses under the spotlight recognising the region’s cream of the crop digital companies, celebrating their innovation, growth and creativity.

Organised in partnership with Leeds-based Top 100 law firm Ward Hadaway and Amsource, a specialist recruitment consultancy in the tech space, the awards are free to enter and highlight the talent of Leeds’ thriving and vibrant technology hub, which has the fastest scaleup growth in the North of England.

Andrew Maeer, founder and CEO, Amsource said: “It gives us great pleasure to announce the fourth consecutive year of The Leeds Digital Festival Awards. Through the awards, we’ve heard the stories of many fantastic tech businesses from across Leeds and the wider region, and the highly innovative work they’re doing, showcasing the talent we have right here on our doorstep. The city’s digital tech sector employs around 30,000 people, contributing £6.6bn to the local economy, and it’s vital that we celebrate its outstanding achievements.”

Last year, Vet-AI won the Tech Innovation of the Year award. The business has developed ground-breaking technology that makes pet care more accessible and affordable for pet owners around the world, giving them online access to vets 24/7, 365 days a year.

Robert Dawson, co-founder of Vet-AI, said: “It was brilliant to win such a recognised award, especially from such a large highly acclaimed festival. Winning has helped to raise our profile and enabled us to better showcase our innovative technology and how our business works.”

Businesses can choose from nine categories to enter including two new categories that have been added for 2021. The 2020-2021 Thrive Award celebrates those businesses who have pivoted, grown their teams and impacted their markets or driven innovation during the last 18 months. The International Award recognises a Leeds tech business that has achieved significant success outside the UK whether that’s through launching a product into a new market, building a team in a different time zone, or winning clients on a global scale.

Other categories include Start-up of the Year, the Diversity and Inclusion Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and One to Watch 2021.

Bill Goodwin, Head of IP/IT at Ward Hadaway Leeds, said: “Leeds and the wider region boasts some of the brightest and best tech talent not just in the UK but internationally. The Leeds Digital Festival Awards shines a light on tech firms, rewarding them for their pioneering skills and achievements in the tech sphere. There are a number of different categories available for entry and we encourage all digital businesses, no matter how large or small, to enter. Leeds is brimming with incredible tech skills, and we need to applaud that.”

The deadline for entry is Wednesday, August 18 at 5pm.

Entries are free and businesses can enter multiple categories. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 29th September at Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds City Centre and it is also free to attend. Tickets are limited and final details will be announced at a later date.

Stuart Clarke, director of the Leeds Digital Festival, which celebrates digital culture of all forms and manages the annual awards, added: “These awards provide an incredible opportunity for Leeds’ digital businesses to showcase their talent and the strength of the region’s tech prowess. You can enter your own business or nominate another company that has created, for example, a game-changing product or provided a service, driven by technology, that sets it apart from the rest. We’re very excited to see this year’s nominations so please do enter today.”