Start-up of the Year Award 2024

For organisations set up by graduates in the past two years

The Start-up of the Year award will celebrate the achievements of successful students and alumni in innovative world-class business strategy, but also showcases business schools that are nurturing a spirit of enterprise and ambition.

This award is a fantastic way to highlight the success of AMBA & BGA business schools that promote entrepreneurship in their cohorts. The award is also a chance for individuals to impress high-profile judges who are already at the forefront of global entrepreneurship.

The Start-up of the Year award is to encourage and promote the value of start-up business strategy and innovation, in the current competitive climate and to showcase its importance in the global market.  

The Start-up of the Year award is open to both private and public sectors. This award is designed to celebrate innovative business strategy – taking something from idea to action and judges will be more interested in the idea behind and potential of the venture, and its plans for the future, rather than any financial or monetary results in the early stage. 


  • AMBA & BGA business schools are invited to nominate a student or alumni who they think are eligible based on the Award Criteria
  • Only one nomination can be accepted from each school
  • The business school must inform the nominee of the intention to nominate
  • The nominated student or alumni must be an entrepreneur who has launched an innovative organisation. 
  • The organisation must have been founded or co-founded by an student / alumni 
  • The business must have been operational (selling / trading) for a minimum period of one month and a maximum period of 2 years (so would have launched between 1 June 2023 and 1 July 2021) 
  • The organisation can be based on any legal activity 
  • The business must be put forward for the award by the business school in which the founder / co-founder completed their most recent business course  
  • The business must demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future and to responsible management with a strong Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) record 


  • Students / graduates may NOT nominate themselves for this award. 
  • Ineligible entries may be disqualified at any phase of the competition without notification 
  • Late submissions will be ineligible 
  • Incomplete submissions will be ineligible 
  • Entries will be ineligible if they do not meet the above stipulated date range 

Award Criteria  

  • An original idea with a strong business case behind it 
  • A focus on addressing a gap in the market 
  • A clear unique selling point 
  • Originality and entrepreneurial flair  
  • Sound business planning 
  • Strategic forecasting and research and development 

 Judging format 

Shortlisted finalists will be required to supply additional information regarding their businesses and supporting their nomination. Finalists will also be asked to provide biography, photo and answers to why they should win this award which we will use for marketing purposes.

Following receipt of the supporting documents, their application will be passed onto the judges to review and select a winner.

Have a question? Want to get in touch?

Entries into this category have now closed. If you have any questions about the Excellence Awards, you can contact our dedicated awards team or return to our homepage.