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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

A. Participation

Who can apply to APIficator?


Physical individuals—working alone or in a team—with a young project and the intent to launch their business in B2B.




Can I apply to compete in a geographic zone other than my own?


No, you must apply in the zone where you are located: the geographic zone will determine the contest judges and the teams with whom you will collaborate, if you win.




What type of project could win?


The projects we expect constitute technological solutions destined for companies, taking the form of API or software. The projects’ maturity will be taken into account as part of the criteria, but projects that are not yet finalized still fit within the scope of the contest. A project is eligible from the moment its technological solution exists.




Will costs incurred by the contest be reimbursed?


No, none of the costs incurred by the contest will be reimbursed (communication, development, transportation…).




Will it be possible to obtain a confidentiality agreement prior to communicating detailed documentation of the project (notably technical information)?


Yes, of course. In the registration questionnaire, you can check the box, “I would like to sign a confidentiality agreement,” and we will send you a signed document that will be tailored to your entry, using the information provided in your registration form (type of company, the identity of the founders or other players…). If this is your intent, it would be wise to complete all forms before registration closes, so that we will have time to send you the confidentiality agreement.





B. Contest Stages

What are the contest stages?


Phase 0- registration: submission of registration forms

  • Starting from December 11, 2019 for Middle East

  • Starting from February 1st, 2020 for London

Phase 1- enrollment: submission of full applications

  • Before March 17, 2020 for Middle East

  • Before April 30, 2020 for London

Phase 2- selection of finalists: the judges choose the most pertinent applicants to pitch their projects during the SiAPIdays

  • March 18, 2020 - March 24, 2020 for Middle East

  • May 1st, 2020 - May 15, 2020 for London

Phase 3- SiAPIdays: finalists present their solution to the judges, having developed the business opportunity and synergies with teams from Sia Partners, prior

  • April 7, 2020 for Middle East

  • June 1st, 2020 for London

Phase 4- judges study the deliverables submitted by the finalists and choose winners

  • April 8, 2020 - April 13, 2020 for Middle East

  • June 1st, 2020 - June 12, 2020 for London

Phase 5- Awards ceremony: During a corporate event, the judges will award the laureates their prizes

  • April 14, 2020 for Middle East

  • June 12, 2020 for London




What are the documents to submit at each stage?


Phase 0- registration: Submission of registration forms

  • You must complete the registration form, available on our website

Phase 1- enrollment: submission of full applications

  • You must submit your full application by email to apificator@sia-partners.com with “Application Submission—GEOGRAPHIC ZONE—PROJECT NAME” as the subject
    • Include in the email a presentation of your project (as a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or PDF), including:
      • A description of your idea and the problem your solution addresses
      • The innovation that you’re bringing to market
      • A description of technology used
      • Information regarding the maturity of your project (in development, POC completed…)
      • Information about your team and profiles of its members
      • If already conceived: the business model you have in mind
    • An excerpt of your technical documentation (allowing us to analyze your technological solution and the maturity of your project): script, code, or any other documentation that you consider sufficient to assess the technical and technological progress of your solution

Phase 3- SiAPIdays: finalist presentations

  • You must pitch your solution for business judges, as if you were doing so for a client, including the following content:
    • The business opportunity
    • Your innovation
    • A description of the technology used
    • A live or recorded demonstration of the solution in action

At this stage, you can use whatever format you prefer: PowerPoint, video, website…

Your pitch must last 20 minutes and will be followed by 30 minutes of questioning




Why is the Middle East challenge on hold ?


Due to the current COVID-19 epidemic, we had to put the Middle East challenge on hold for the moment. However, we will make sure to inform you about the new schedule for this challenge as soon as we have more information.





C. Evaluation

What are the evaluation criteria for the contest?


The evaluation will be based on several criteria, designed to judge the technical resilience of the API or software, the project’s business vision and the cohesion within the team

The projects and young startups will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Impact: Does the project respond to a business problematic? Does the use of the proposed API or software respond to a need or problem?
  2. Innovation: Is the proposition based on a real innovation (an innovative idea, or technical/technological modalities of innovative implementation)? Is it an improvement of an existing solution?
  3. Adaptability: To what extent would it be possible to roll out the idea on a large scale? Could this project serve as a model for others?
  4. Feasibility: Could the project realistically be implemented? Would the production of a Minimum Viable Product or POC be feasible within 6 months?
  5. Originality: Is the project ambitious, creative, visionary?

The examination of applications will largely focus on the following points:

  • Technical approach
    • Pertinence of the retained technical guidelines
    • Processing of analytical and modeling phases
    • Analysis of the proposed technical limits and axes of improvement
  • Quality of results
    • Validation methodology and results analysis
    • Congruence of the results with the initial operational need
  • Documentation
    • Completeness and readability
    • Quality of code
  • Ability to present and market the developers’ solution
    • Professionalism
    • Clarity and pedagogy
    • Quality of the deliverables and pitch




Who are the judges/ what are their areas of expertise?


The judges will be managers and directors from Sia Partners, with complementary skillsets: business/sectorial on one end and data science on the other, allowing them to judge the project in its entirety, from all angles.

The managers and business directors will, subsequently, be attentive to business opportunities and the pertinence of the solution, given problematics in the market.

The managers and directors in the data science domain will, on their end, consider the technical and technological quality of the solution, as well as the team’s competence regarding the innovative aspects of the solution.





D. Rewards

What are the rewards for each challenge?


The laureates will enjoy:

  • 6 months of coaching by a Sia Partners mentor (business)
  • Support in the co-creation of an offering (technology x service)
  • Access to Sia Partners’ network to launch POCs, or indeed industrialize an offering
  • Their choice of €20,000 (or $25,000 or £20,000) worth of APIficator tokens (full list of services onveach contest page)




How many laureates will be chosen for each zone?


Unless adapted, there will be 3 laureates for each zone.





E. Modalities of collaboration

Can the laureates choose their mentor?


The mentor for each laureate will be pre-identified to ensure he/she is a good fit with regard to the laureates’ business opportunities and client and contact portfolio. The mentor, together with the laureate, will be responsible for the construction of the co-branded offering. The mentor can be adjusted in the case of a problem, company shift, or unavailability.




Where are Sia’s offices in each locality?


Europe - Paris, 12 rue Magellan 75008 - Brussels, Avenue Henri Jasparlaan, 128 1060 - Lyon, 3 Rue du Président Carnot 69002 - London, 90 Bartholomew Cl, EC1A 7BN North America - Montréal, 304 -19 Rue le Royer OuestH3A 3H3, Quebec - Canada - New York, 40 Rector Street, Suite 1111 NY 10006 - United States Asia - Hong Kong, 23/F, The Southland Building, 48 Connaught Road Central

Middle East
- 3449 Anas Ibn Malik Rd. Al Malqa, PO box 19970 Riyadh 11445 KSA




When do we have to decide how to use our tokens?


You will have 6 months to use your tokens. Your mentor will help you to prioritize during your first weeks of collaboration.




If the POCs are developed during the collaboration period, will they be sold to final clients, or offered for free?


Ideally, the objective is to market the POCs, or indeed the industrial projects. However, if Sia Partners commits to identify opportunities among its clients, we cannot guarantee that these opportunities will be compensated. That will depend at once on the client and the maturity of the proposed solution.




Will we remain the owners of our technology?


Yes, of course. The collaboration period is intensive, but the collaboration will take the form of a partnership. You will conserve your independence and your company will maintain ownership of all your developments.




Will the contest allow for connections with Studio (Sia Partners’ investment arm for startups)?


Throughout your collaboration, if you wish, you can present your solution to the Studio team if you need funds and are interested by continued support by Sia Partners’ teams.