UK: Cisco BIG Awards Tech Start-Ups Legal Workshop


Bird & Bird hosted an exclusive tech start-ups legal workshop in London for the semi-finalists of the 2013 Cisco BIG (British Innovation Gateway) Awards on Thursday 5 September.

Roger Bickerstaff, co-head of Bird & Bird's international IT sector group opened the session and was followed by James Froud providing tips on employment issues facing start-up companies. Barry Jennings presented on the effective use of commercial contracts, while Tim Harris covered the importance of protecting intellectual property. The presentations were followed by a lively question and answer session lead by corporate associates Ali Ramadan and Mark Rundall.

Bird & Bird have been the official legal partners of the BIG Awards since it launched in January 2012. Over the last year we have been providing free legal advice to the 2012 winners Snap Fashion and have also given mentoring support to runners up Digital Shadows as part of the prize package. This initiative has helped to significantly raise the profile of Bird & Bird within the "Tech City" start-up community in East London, as we continue to look at ways of working with increasing numbers of tech start-ups and SMEs both in London and across the country. 

Our participation in the BIG Awards forms part of a wider international initiative which has seen several Bird & Bird offices engage with start-up clusters around Europe. Most notably an extensive Tech Entrepreneurs road show, co-hosted with WhiteBull Summits, involving seminars run by our teams in Copenhagen, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Stockholm. Additionally lawyers from our offices in Brussels, the Hague and Helsinki have also participated in events for aimed at supporting tech start-ups.

The 2013 BIG Awards were launched in March with the 20 semi-finalists shortlisted in July. The six finalists will be announced on 1 October with the live finals and awards ceremony taking place on 14 November at IDEALondon, an innovation hub in Shoreditch, East London, jointly operated by Cisco, DC Thomson and UCL. 

The BIG Awards aims to recognise and support innovators, entrepreneurs and early-stage start-up businesses. The Awards have been set up to attract high-potential technology start-ups that are seeking investment and support to accelerate their development. Bird & Bird will once again provide legal advice and on-going mentoring to the winners and runners-up for the next 12 months.

Read more about Bird & Bird's involvement in the launch of the 2013 Cisco BIG Awards here.


About the British Innovation Gateway

The British Innovation Gateway (BIG) is a Cisco-led, UK-wide programme that supports technology start-ups and the upcoming generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Following on from Cisco's sponsorship of London 2012, BIG will help to create a lasting legacy from the Games by providing a set of resources to support and nurture entrepreneurs and start-ups. BIG aims to inspire a new generation of businesses and offer practical help, mentoring and advice, with the specific goal of accelerating innovation and growth and having a significant impact on the SME sector of the UK economy.