Answers to the most commonly asked questions about the StartupSmart Awards 2015. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please email
What is the definition of ‘startup’ for the purpose of the Awards?
Your business must have started up after July 1, 2009 for all award categories – EXCEPT for Best New Startup where the business needs to have launched after 1st Jan 2014, and Best Startup Idea where the business has not launched yet.
Does my startup need to be Australian owned?
Businesses need to be Australian and their founders have at least 20% equity in the business. The company must be Australian (not the subsidiary of a multinational).
How much does it cost to enter the Awards?
Good news! It’s free.
Can I enter more than one category?
Yes you can enter any category, as long as you meet the criteria. The more the merrier we say!
How do you treat confidential entry information?
All our external judges and StartupSmart staff are required to sign a confidentiality agreement before seeing entries. Our external judges will only see the entry form of finalists.
How long does it take to enter?
Entering should take about 10 minutes. We recommend preparing your answers in Microsoft Word and copy and pasting them in. Want to think about your answers first?
Can I enter the Awards if I have previously been a finalist or Awards winner?
Yes. The 2014 award winners and finalists will not be treated differently during the 2015 judging process and we encourage all nominees to enter again.
What is the judging process?
There is a two-tiered approach to judging these awards – firstly involving a the StartupSmart team (editor and journalists) and then our list of external judges – and a number of steps we undertake before determining our overall winners
- As we receive hundreds of nominations, the StartupSmart editor and journalists will determine our short-list of finalists according to the criteria provided for each award.
- The list of finalists is then sent to our external judges for assessment, a group chaired by Private Media’s Acting CEO, Jason Kibsgaard. We ask our judges to inform us of any potential conflicts of interest in the list of finalists they’re provided – should there be a conflict, the judge is assigned to a different award category.
- Our external judges independently assess each award by assigning a rating out of 10 for each of the set criteria we ask nominees to address. The numbers provided by each of the judges on the award panel are then tallied to determine the overall winner.
- In the case when the points based allocation makes it too close to call – eg, should one point be the difference between the winner and runner up, then all external judges are invited to participate in a conference call to discuss the winners and assist in delivering a verdict.
- Winners are NOT informed they have won prior to the awards function. All finalists are invited to prepare a short speech should they be the overall winner on the day.
The awards are in Melbourne but I live interstate. Will StartupSmart help cover my travel costs if I’m a finalist?
No. However, as a finalist we provide you with two free entry tickets to the Award Function.
How will I know whether I am selected as a finalist?
A StartupSmart representative will be email you to let you know you’re a finalist. Unsuccessful finalists will be contacted thereafter.
Can I get any feedback after the judging process has been completed?
Unfortunately as we expect to receive hundreds of entries, it will not be possible to obtain feedback after the judging process has been completed.
When do tickets go on sale for the Awards function?
Tickets for the Awards evening will go on sale the same day entries open.