About Pause Awards

What are Pause Awards?

Pause Awards is part of Pause Fest, the world’s leading festival for business and creativity. The awards programme is now in its fourth year and it celebrates the world’s most innovative, brave and impactful individuals, startups, scaleups and large companies for their outstanding achievements in the marketplace. And their contribution to building better ecosystems!

Pause Awards are the global benchmark for innovation and creativity, and an ‘Oscars worthy’ industry recognition for your company.

How to enter Pause Awards?

Entering the Pause Awards is simple, by going to the entery form page, where you can start your entry without having to sign up first. For more information on how to enter, please visit how to enter page and important dates and fees page for critical information.

For further information on how we can help and assist you with your application, have a look at the need help entering page.

Pause Awards 2021 is open for entries until 1st October 2021, but make sure you subscribe to keep in touch with all announcements. And download your Entry Kit, it will save you time and answer all questions.

Why enter Pause Awards?

Pause Awards is organised by Pause Fest, an independent, industry-driven movement with a mission to bring diverse intelligence together to fuel the next generation forward. Our innovation focus is about people, mindset and culture - for a good purpose.

Pause Fest has been around for eleven years, fueling the Australian ecosystem with the most innovative companies on the planet, such as Airbnb, Google, NASA, Atlassian, Canva, Zoox, IDEO, Antler to drop a few.

This means that our judges consist of incredibly successful and industry leading pros in various industries worldwide from the innovation, tech, business and creative world. This convergence of judging talent is hard to find all in one place, which means that Pause Awards have a spectacular pool of talent, credibility and network.

All finalists will be published on our website, given a shout in socials and newsletter. Both finalists and winners will receive promo kits to brag about the fact they are Pause Awards winners. And additionally, winners will get digital certificates and beautifully designed and hand-made trophies.

What is different about Pause Awards?

There are not many startup awards in the world - that’s a fact. There are almost no awards that recognise startups, scaleups and corporates together for their achievements and impact in business with a purpose to build better ecosystems.

Pause Awards are very different and almost a unicorn in terms of what and who we award for and with unique mission.

Our entry fees are kept low, compared to the other award programmes to appeal to startups and encourage scaleups and corporates to enter in multiple categories.

The judges are diverse industry leading professionals that will be focussing on your effectiveness in delivering upon your business mission, purpose and success in your marketplace. We also believe that in today’s day and age all companies need to be consciously making an effort in addressing social impact and sustainability. You don’t have to be B-Corp or NFP to apply, just to have intentions of changing your game to be a more positive one.

Pause Awards are unique in that we bring scale to awards categories by having an award for just an idea all the way to corporate success, exits and IPOs. We are particularly excited in awarding creative, tech and business efforts and achievements. This is exactly the same part of DNA that Pause Fest has been cultivating for over a decade, and what sets us apart from any other tech event and award programme.

Pause Awards Judges

Judging panels are made up of founders, entrepreneurs, investors and leaders across different industries and companies such as The Australian, GGV Capital, Antler, Red Cross, PwC, DDB, Woods Bagot and to name a few.

Our jury panel has carefully selected senior industry-leading professionals from all around the world. Each year we refresh the jury with particular emphasis on our categories, gender and ethnic balance.

In 2021 we aim to hit over 50 judges, that’s triple from last year. And finally, our judges work separately to assess the entries. There is no group discussion and politics that may affect the final result. Every entry is assessed fair and on its own merit.

You can see the full list of judges on the award judges page.

Judging Process

Judges are asked to score against below criteria and to provide feedback if needed on some entries.

While each category is different, overall judges will be looking for and scoring:

Business success

Define your business success and give it a context. Explain the challenges and objectives. ?SCORES 30%

Smart tactics

What strategies have you deployed? How resilient is your approach and what are the insights? ?SCORES 30%

Positive impact

Show your results and execution. How did it impact internal/external stakeholders and the society? ?SCORES 40%

There are no attachments, video pitches, links or any other distraction from the written entry. Judges are not asked to research candidates and take into account their social media following etc.

Pause Awards Categories

There are 22 award categories that you can enter this year at Pause Awards 2021.

Pause Awards are not industry specific, so anyone can enter as long as they adhere to the award category they are applying for. We do aim the awards to be mostly for startups and scaleups being the future builders, but we are not excluding corporate success stories either.

There are 14 categories for companies and 8 for individuals to apply. This year we’ve added 10 new categories out of which 4 are in sustainability, 2 in creative and 4 are for high-achievers from under two years companies, intrapreneurs to exit/ IPO and tech breakthroughs. You can read more about new categories here on our page.

More details about all categories can be found on the category guide page and everything else is in the Entry Kit. We highly encourage you to download the Entry Kit.

Important note: Your entry and fee is associated with only one award category that you enter. If you want to enter and be considered in a few different categories, you will have to enter and pay a new entry fee for each category you would like to be considered.

What do the winners get?

Even if you don’t end up as a winner, all shortlists will get a Finalist Promo Kit in which there is everything you need to have to promote your entry.

Anyone credited on a winning entry will get a free digital Certificate and Winner Promo Kit to promote their winning entry.

Both winners and shortlists will be featured on our website and selected winners will be promoted in our newsletter at the time of announcement.

If you have sent us a good quality photo of yourself and you happen to win we’ll feature you in our promotions post awards and in 2022.

And there is a new Grand Prix award per category! Winners can purchase the sustainably and hand-made trophies. We’ll be announcing who is designing this year’s award trophy shortly, make sure you regularly check updates.

If you’d like to see who won in 2020 go here, and 2019 winners are here. Our 2020 online award show can be found here.

Award Night will be the night to remember, with all the entertainment we have planned and of course we’ll be announcing the winners there. That is if we can make it in-person, otherwise it will be online.

Important note: Our entry fees are flat for startups, individuals and corporates. After you submit your entry we won’t charge you if you win and for promotions and media that we create for you. Award Trophies are optional and come at an extra cost and if we hold Awards Night there will be additional entry fee but the attendance is not obligatory. Video footage will be available from the Awards Night after the show.

Award Finalists

In 2020, the top five winning industries were in Education, Financial, Consumer Goods, Design/ Marketing and Computer Service with 65% of female founders taking the trophies.

As a finalist, you’ll get a Finalist Promo Kit to promote your success in Pause Awards 2021 which includes badges, choice of few images and pre-written copy ready to copy and paste into the post.

We’ll also provide you with our logo in case you want to create your own promotional material.

All finalists will be listed on our website.

Subscribe and Q’s

Stay updated with the latest Pause Awards 2021 news by signing up to our newsletter here.

Filling out an entry form takes approximately 7 minutes, and you can do it here. For an awards overview please head to the awards page. Most answers to your questions can be found in the Pause Awards 2021 - Entry Kit which you should download from here.

Send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you need further assistance. This is how we can help you, so feel free to arrange a call or Zoom meeting to talk about your entries. Best of luck!