Apply for the Startups 100 Index 2024

The UK’s longest-running index of new businesses is back. We're seeking the best businesses the UK has to offer to put on the list: could yours be one of them?

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Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
The Startups 100 Index 2024 is now LIVE

View the full Startups 100 Index for 2024 and see who we crowned the winner.

The Startups 100 is the definitive list of the most promising new UK businesses, chosen in collaboration with our authoritative panel of guest judges.

Celebrating its sweet sixteenth, next year’s list will put the spotlight on those firms who are leading the way for sector innovation in 2024. Since 2008, we have identified some of the biggest movers and shakers of the past two decades. Previous alumni include household brands Monzo, Deliveroo, and THIS™. The winner of last year's list, Caura, recently celebrated receiving £4m in funding from Lloyds Bank.

We want to celebrate the creativity and agility of the UK’s startup landscape, and highlight the inspiring entrepreneurs who are using small ideas to fix giant problems. So don’t miss the opportunity to shout about your success and join one of the oldest, largest, and reputed small business communities.

The entry requirements are minimal. As long as your business is based in the UK and founded after January 1st 2018, you're free to apply to the Startups 100 2024!

Startups 100: how to apply

Applying for the Startups 100 is easy and entirely free. We are proud to be one of the few business awards that does not charge any entry fees.

When you fill out our online entry form, we'll ask you a number of straightforward questions about:

  • Who are you? Your entrepreneurial story
  • What is your business? (and what makes it stand out from the competition?)
  • Where you are based?
  • When did you launch your business?
  • Why did you start your business?
  • What do your finances look like? including figures from FY 2022/23 and this year's projections (any financial information is treated as confidential and will never be disclosed).
  • What other company data can you provide? – go on, show off your impressive stats such as superfast employee growth, new product launches, or booming subscriber numbers.

Once you’ve submitted your form, your application is complete. We’ll store your submission away until it’s time to begin judging in October 2023.

Startups 100: how it works

During the application stage, our online form asks businesses to provide us with clear facts and figures that give us evidence of your growth story, ranging from financial details to five-year vision.

Once the judging process begins, we then use this data to assign weighted scores to every business entrant based on five key areas of analysis:

  • Finance (how much funding have you raised if any, and through what methods?*)
  • External validation (any significant achievements e.g. notable partners or clients)
  • Size of opportunity (what ambitions do you have in terms of scale-up?)
  • Strength of concept (is your idea unique?)
  • Innovation: (how is your idea disrupting the market?)

*When finalising the top 100, our judges look for impressive business ideas with lots of growth potential – but don’t feel intimidated if you haven’t got big funding figures to advertise or a well-known partner.

Startups 100: special awards

The Startups 100 Index is all about celebrating authenticity. We want to hear about the challenges you’ve faced or mistakes you’ve made, and how you’ve overcome them to get to where you are today.

We want to recognise the startups that prioritise people, planet, or purpose as much as profit. That’s why this year, as in 2023, there will be several other awards up for grabs, including:

Karen Lynch guest judge
The Social Impact award - judged by Karen Lynch MBE

This award celebrates startups that are dedicated to addressing social issues and making a meaningful difference in people's lives, often placing purpose ahead of profit.

Read more about Karen Lynch MBE
Chris Forbes guest judge for Startups 100
The Sustainability award - judged by Chris Forbes

This award highlights startups that prioritise the protection of the planet as a core part of their mission, demonstrating a dedication to reducing their environmental footprint.

Read more about Chris Forbes
The Marketing Excellence award - judged by Finn Lagun

This acknowledges startups that have demonstrated outstanding marketing strategies and campaigns.

Read more about Finn Lagun
Danielle Bowman featured image
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award - judged by Danielle Bowman

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award honours startups that can show evidence of a commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Read more about Danielle Bowman
Liz Barclay featured image
The Just Started award - judged by Liz Barclay

The Just Started award recognises very early-stage startups that were founded in 2022 or later, but show great promise and potential.

Read more about Liz Barclay
Eloise Skinner
The Young Entrepreneur award - judged by Eloise Skinner

This award is in recognition of the brilliant young innovators aged 25 and under who are here to solve the next generation’s challenges with their inspiring business idea.

Read more about Eloise Skinner
The Exceptional Founder award - judged by Ian Wallis

This award is in recognition of the entrepreneur who has turned their own personal struggles or challenges into a force-for-good, leading the way for industry change and innovation.

Read more about Ian Wallis

Apply to the Startups 100 Index 2024

The above guide should tell you everything you need to apply to the Startups 100 2024. Now, you’re ready to get started with your application.

Remember: entries close October 9th 2023.

If you have any questions about your entry, drop us an email at su100@startups.co.uk. Similarly, if you know a startup business that deserves to be on this year's index, tell them to apply or send us their details.

For more information:
  • How much does it cost to enter the Startups 100 Index?
    The Startups 100 is completely free of charge to enter. At Startups, we believe businesses should be recognised for their achievements regardless of the size of their bank account. We therefore do not charge application fees. We also do not ask for any listing fees if your application is successful.
  • When do entries for the Startups 100 Index 2024 close?
    Entries will close on October 9th, when we will begin our unique and comprehensive judging process. You will be notified in January 2024 via email if your application is successful.
  • Am I eligible to apply?
    To qualify for the Startups 100 Index you must be a UK-based, privately owned company that launched on or after 1st January 2018. That’s all we ask! As long as you fulfil this criteria, firms can be based in any industry, virtually anywhere - or just virtually - with founders of any age or background.
  • How do I apply?
    Applying for the Startups 100 is easy. We are also one of the few business awards that is completely free of charge to enter. To make a submission, all you have to do is fill in our online entry form. You can find more details on what to include, below.
  • What do I win?
    As always, the businesses making the biggest industry impact will make it into our list of the top 100 firms and sit alongside the likes of industry giants like Monzo, Deliveroo, and THIS™. However, we will also have five specialist award categories to highlight the top 100 companies which are outperforming in areas like sustainability and social impact.
  • Who judges the submissions?
    As always, the Startups team of new business experts will judge all our top 100 entrants in collaboration with specialist industry consultants. We also work with famous entrepreneurial faces who have been there, done that, and sold the t-shirt, to decide our special Startups 100 award winners.
  • How do I get in touch?
    If you have any questions regarding the Startups 100 2024 that you can’t find the answer to here, drop us an email at su100@startups.co.uk or reach out to us on our social channels.

Startups 100: our impact

Sai Lakshmi, founder of Caura, winner of the Startups 100 Index 2023

The Startups 100 is a noteworthy accolade and we were delighted to win. We got a flurry of inbound messages from potential partners and lots of traffic to the site! It’s a testament to our team’s hard work and commitment to solving real-world problems faced by car owners across the UK.

Learn more about 2023 winner Caura
Finn Lagun, cofounder of the three-time Startups 100 listee, Pasta Evangelists

The way you tell the story is important. Quantify your answers with facts & figures but don’t forget people-led insights. Get quotes from all angles, from your team to your partners and suppliers, to demonstrate your impact in an emotive way

Learn more about Pasta Evangelists
Melissa Snover, CEO of Nourished

Appearing in the index has certainly validated our business as a market leading player within our industry, as well as raising our brand awareness and credibility. We were very grateful to have been listed amongst such impressive peers, and hope we can continue to be recognised by Startups 100!

Learn more about Nourished
Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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