How to enter

1. Entries for the 15th annual Startups Awards, run by – the UK’s largest independent business advice resource – open on 11 June 2018. To be eligible to enter companies must have started to trade no earlier than 1 August 2014 and no later than 31 July 2017.

2. Think about which categories you would like to enter:

  • This year, there are 13 different categories available to enter (view all the categories here)
  • You are permitted to enter as many categories as you like for one administration fee of £50 plus VAT.

3. To fill in your form:

  • Section 1 – The Basics covers the company name, contact details, launch date and a 100-150 word elevator pitch (what the business does and the industry in which it operates); hopefully details that will be at your fingertips. It’s a good idea to save your progress at this point.
  • Section 2 – About Your Business is your chance to tell us in your own words what makes your business a winning entry for the category or categories for which you are applying. Please use no more than 1,500 words.
  • When completing Section 2, the judges are looking to see:
    • How your business makes money: Avoiding industry or technical jargon, explain in the simplest terms how your business model works – how does your company make its money? Is turnover the value of sales processed by your business / site / platform or the revenue from which your overheads / costs are deducted?
    • What is unique about your business: What differentiates you from competitors? Have you changed industry practices, produced innovative products or services or found a new route to market?
    • Evidence of success: Please provide evidence of achievement in excess of targets and key milestones for the business. Has revenue / profit / market share exceeded expected levels? Who are your clients and what proof is there of strong customer satisfaction? Have you made a major impact on your sector or local community?
    • Demonstration of sustainability: If your business is not already making a profit, please tell us when you expect it to become profitable. Here we require information to be comfortable that you will be able to raise enough money to continue in business long enough to get to that sustainable point. How much money have you already raised? Have your current investors, if any, suggested that they will invest again if needed? When will you become cash flow positive? We would also like to see an outline of how you intend to drive growth in the next 12 months.
    • Why the business should win: This should be specifically related to the category or categories you are entering
  • Section 3 – The Financials includes your turnover for the last year (please enter n/a if your business is younger than one year old) and projections for the current year and next year. All of these figures are used exclusively for judging purposes and remain confidential, but please do speak to us if you have any concerns or need any clarification. Alongside the criteria above, judges will be comparing the extent to which businesses have demonstrated excellence in their financial performance.
  • Section 4 – The Categories allows you to select the categories for which you wish to apply. You can apply for as many as you like; Startups also reserve the right, after consultation with the entrant, to include submissions in additional categories which they feel may be appropriate.

4. Make payment:

  • When you’re happy with your application, click submit and you will be redirected to a payment page to make a one-off entry admin fee of £50 plus VAT. Please note that we can’t process your entry form until we have received payment. Please read the refund policy on our FAQ page.

5. You are welcome to send us press reviews, promotional material, product samples and any other relevant supporting material that you believe will enhance your submission. We will not be able to return these. You can email them to the address above, or send them to: Startups Awards c/o Global, Labs Camden – The Atrium, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, Camden Town, London NW1 8AH

6. You are also welcome to send digital supporting evidence and/or send us a film up to two minutes long on ‘Why you should win the Startups Awards’, to enhance your entry. chances of winning. You can either include links within your entry form or send these directly to

7. Final completed entry forms must be submitted by midnight on Friday 14 September 2018.


Next Steps:

1. Our panel of experts will judge entries and a shortlist of up to eight businesses per category will be drawn up and notified by 8 October 2018.

2. The winner of each category will be announced and presented with their award at the awards ceremony at Royal Garden Hotel, London on the evening of Thursday 21 November 2018.


To be eligible to enter all companies must:

  • Have started to trade no earlier than 1 August 2014 and no later than 31 July 2017.
  • Be ‘independently owned’. This defined as a business which is substantially owned by its founders and/or a group of independent investors; is not quoted on AIM or any other stock market; and is not a subsidiary or associated company of another business.
  • Be UK based and UK founded.


The rules

1. The awards will be administered by trading as Marketing VF Limited. 2. Marketing VF Ltd will appoint a judging panel to make an assessment of the entries, and to draw up a shortlist and winner in each category. 3. All category entries and winners will then be reviewed and assessed by the judging panel and an overall winner of the Startups Business of the Year chosen. 4. The judges’ decision is final and binding, no correspondence will be entered into. 5. By entering you agree to supply any additional financial or other information requested. Entrants consent to this information being made available to judges and third parties associated with the awards. 6. The shortlisted companies and winners agree to take part and assist with any promotional activities or PR supporting the awards. 7. The judges have the right to withhold an award in any category, if they feel the entries are not of sufficient merit. 8. The judges may also reallocate an entry to a different category. 9. Shortlisted companies will be notified by email, if you have not heard from us by 9 October 2017 you have not been shortlisted. 10. Closing date for entries is 14 September 2018. Entries received after this date may not be entered into the Awards. Proof of postage will not be accepted as proof of receipt. 11. No responsibility will be taken by Startups, or any sponsors or companies associated with the awards for delayed, lost or damaged entries. 12. Entries received who do not pay the administration charge before the judging starts may be withdrawn from the awards. 13. Entries are covered by our Privacy Policy.

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