Arrow
1 / 6

Entries are now open for Pause Awards 2024 until 30 August.


New in 2024

12 new categories, special offers and comprehensive support.


  • 12 New Categories

    Introducing 12 innovative categories like ‘Next Level’, ‘Customer Obsessed’, ‘Collab’ and ‘Visionary’ under five organised tracks, tailored to highlight diverse innovations.


  • NomiGPT™ Introduction

    Meet NomiGPT™, your AI chatbot for quick and efficient entry drafting, providing detailed category info and eligibility with a paid OpenAI ChatGPT version 4 subscription.


  • Fortnightly Info Sessions

    Join our bi-weekly online sessions to get your questions answered and receive detailed guidance on successful entry submissions. Book here.


  • Expanded 40+ Judging Panel

    Our judging panel now includes leaders from Google, Dentsu Creative, Tech Council of Australia, Aussie Angels, and more, ensuring a diverse and expert evaluation of entries.


  • Enhanced Entry Bundles

    Take advantage of our new entry bundles: enter three categories, get one free; enter five, get two free; enter ten, receive three free. Automatically!


  • Female Founder Discount

    In celebration of Women’s International Day, female founders and leaders enjoy a 21.7% discount, supporting efforts to close the gender pay gap. Contact us for personalised code on info@pauseawards.com


  • Increased Alumni Discount

    Alumni now receive a 30% discount, rewarding past winners and judges for their continued participation and loyalty. We have sent everyone special codes, if you haven’t received it please get in touch.


  • Extending Services

    While we offer extensive support for all entrants, we can’t write your entries. However, we’ve partnered with Green Door to provide exclusive entry preparation assistance.


  • New Partnerships

    Welcoming back Blackmagic Design for a third year and new partner WeMoney. Our community partners include Social Change Central, Birchal, The Startup Network, The Community Collective and Fintech Australia to name a few. We’re always open to new partnerships — contact us.


  • New Advisory Board

    We’ve formed a new Advisory Board to strengthen our awards, including Co-Chairs joining Celia Harding from PR Shed and Brett de Neise from Aceik.

“Super-high energy, snappy networking and I loved Dancing-Walks.”
Upstock
“Winning the ‘Company of Year’ award really put us on the map and was very unexpected!”
BODD
“Personally, the most important thing is community, not the awards.”
Clever Manka

Past winners

“It’s super-high energy, snappy networking and I loved Dancing-Walks.”
Tom McKerrow
Business Development, Upstock
“Winning the ‘Company of Year’ award really put us on the map and was very unexpected!”
David McLaughlin
CTO, BODD
“Entrepreneurship is all about the community. Otherwise it can be a very isolated experience. So being part of the ecosystem is everything.”
Jirra Harvey
Founder, Kalinya
“Pause is the community of amazing innovators, and we are thrilled to be recognised for the third year running.”
Matt Vitale
Co-Founder, Birchal
“Being able to network with entrepreneurs, founders, learn and be part of that ecosystem has been fantastic for us.”
Dean Cherny GAICD
Founder & MD, SocialQ
1 / 6

By the numbers

Top 5 industries

1. Health
2. Financial Services
3. Web/Internet Services
4. Marketing/Advertising
5. Computer Technology
Purple

The average age of the founder

38 years
Purple

Awards by states:

1.90% ACT
17.11%. NSW
0.38%. ROW
5.32%. QLD
1.52%. SA
0.38%. TAS
69.96% VIC
3.04%. WA
Purple

Awards by gender

Male 63%
Female 37%
Purple

Top 5 categories

1. Future builder
2. Company of the Year
3. Hammer
4. Women in Business
5. On the Rise
Purple

Average funding for a company entered

$18 million
Purple

Why enter

Winning catapults you into the limelight.

Entering the Pause Awards aligns you with a vibrant community of forward-thinkers, offering a platform for significant promotion, valuable networking, and extensive media exposure. The awards are more than a competition; they are an investment in your network’s worth, providing opportunities for mentorship, speaking engagements, and featuring your achievements across newsletters and meetups.


  • Join the community

    Dedicated to redefining business excellence.


  • Together we break—through

    The power of innovation beyond financial success.


  • We set gold-standard

    Our commitment to meritocracy and integrity.

Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Trophy - WeMoney
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Trophy - Origin Energy
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Trophy -
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23
Pause Awards Night & Afterparty '23, photo by Creativ Mod

Acknowledgement

We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of this land.

The Pause Awards honors the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung peoples, acknowledging their enduring connection to the Eastern Kulin lands. We pay our respects to their Elders, celebrating the wisdom and culture that inspire our pursuit of a better future.


See who won in 2023


Read more

Category tracks



The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


Categories


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.


  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.


  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.


  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.


  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.


  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.


  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.


  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.


  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.


  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.


  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.


  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.


  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.


  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.


  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.


  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.


  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.


  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.


  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.


  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.


  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.


  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.


  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.


  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.


  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.


  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.


  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.


  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.


  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.


  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.


  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.


  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.


  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.


  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.


  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.


  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Category tracks



The Culture track seeks entries that exemplify the development of an inclusive and collaborative workplace culture, crucial for organisational success and growth. Submissions should illustrate transformative strategies implemented across core business functions, reflecting expertise, leadership, and a clear vision. These strategies should demonstrate a positive impact on the business, its employees, stakeholders, and customers, showcasing how a nurturing culture contributes to overall growth and innovation.

The Excellence track celebrates businesses that have demonstrated remarkable success and impact within their industry, regardless of their size. Entries for this category should illustrate how the business's strategic execution, guided by visionary leadership and exceptional expertise, has significantly influenced the industry. The focus will be on the tangible outcomes of these strategies, highlighting the company's ability to innovate, lead, and leave a lasting impression in its field.

The Good track is focused on recognising companies dedicated to their mission of creating a positive societal impact. Entries should highlight innovative solutions aimed at addressing global challenges such as environmental sustainability, social equity, and community well-being. Successful submissions will demonstrate how their initiatives contribute to significant changes, tackling issues like gender inequality, social imbalance, and injustice, thereby setting a precedent for responsible and impactful business practices.

Awarded to a single entry in a category, Grand Prix is the top accolade in that category. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in that category.

The Growth track is about showcasing how businesses have enhanced productivity and execution to make a significant impact in their market. Entries should highlight innovative strategies that have optimised the customer journey, leading to increased engagement and commercial success. This track is for those who have effectively used their understanding of the market and customer needs to scale their business and achieve notable growth.

The Operators track seeks entries that showcase leadership in fostering innovation within their ecosystems. Ideal submissions will highlight how your initiatives have catalysed the creation of new products or services, bolstered by a culture that uplifts internal teams and the wider community. This track celebrates those who drive progress by empowering voices and forging transformative connections in their industry.


Categories


  • Always Evolving New

    Acknowledges a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a company, encourages employee development, and always looks for ways to optimise and innovate operations.


  • Big & Mighty Culture New

    Recognises companies (51-1000 employees) for their exceptional efforts in cultivating a culture that champions innovation.


  • Diverse Co.

    Celebrates workplaces dedicated to fostering innovation through a vibrant tapestry of diverse talents and perspectives.


  • Small & Mighty Culture New

    Applauds small teams of fewer than 50 employees for their remarkable ability to foster innovation and set new benchmarks in their domain.


  • Work Sweet Work

    Acknowledges companies that have achieved extraordinary employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, creating an exemplary workplace culture.


  • Company of the Year

    Honours an outstanding company that not only showcases exemplary leadership and resilience but also demonstrates a clear, quantifiable impact over the past year.


  • Customer Obsessed New

    Applauds prioritisation, understanding and meeting the needs and expectations of their customers, including feedback, personalised services and ensuring high satisfaction.


  • Defiant Ones

    Recognises firms that lead technological innovation, setting new standards and defining the future of their industries.


  • Hammer

    Celebrates companies that have not only defined success on their own terms but have also concretely demonstrated their triumphs over the past year.


  • I Wish I'd Done That

    Applauds ingenious, simple solutions in niche markets that spark a universal sentiment of admiration.


  • On the Rise

    Celebrates early-stage startups, under 4 years, that have shown remarkable progress and success in their initial years.


  • Prodigy

    Recognises young visionaries under 30 with outstanding talents and achievements, setting them apart in their fields.


  • Singularity

    Highlights AI-driven companies that are pioneering new services or integrating AI to create innovative products.


  • Women in Business

    Celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders who are forging paths for future generations by creating more equitable opportunities.


  • B-Good

    Recognises businesses that redefine commercial success by positively transforming our economic system for the benefit of all stakeholders.


  • Circular Pioneer

    Celebrates companies at the forefront of circular economy practices, making substantial and sustainable differences.


  • Ethical Leadership New

    Commends companies exemplifying leadership in environmental and social governance, setting standards in corporate responsibility and ethical practices.


  • Going Green

    Acknowledges companies leading large-scale sustainable initiatives, addressing critical areas like clean energy and environmental justice.


  • Collab New

    Honours strategic partnerships and alliances with other businesses to leverage complementary strengths, access new markets, and share resources for synergistic growth and innovation.


  • Design First

    Celebrates companies where design is the heartbeat of innovation, engaging the whole team in crafting groundbreaking products.


  • Going Global New

    Applauds companies that have expanded their reach globally, showcasing exceptional growth and international success.


  • Great Pivot

    Acknowledges companies that adeptly navigate change, leveraging insights to pivot towards delivering outstanding products.


  • Movement

    Recognises unforgettable event experiences that resonate emotionally, drive social change, or achieve viral status.


  • New Model

    Honours businesses revolutionising markets with elegant and disruptive business models.


  • Next Level New

    Applauds companies which had successful strategic acquisition and integration of another entity, staff or an asset that allowed them to further grow and scale their services.


  • Wildfire

    Celebrates companies that have rapidly and significantly impacted their marketplace, online and offline, setting new standards for success.


  • Angel

    Honours visionary angel investors who've significantly contributed to early-stage startups, guiding them toward success.


  • C-Suite

    Recognises exceptional leadership qualities in high-ranking executives, showcasing their management and interpersonal excellence.


  • Creative Maverick New

    Honours unconventional thinkers with exceptional abilities to execute typically unimaginable initiatives, expertly coordinate teams, secure funding or successfully launch multiple ventures.


  • Ecosystem Star

    Celebrates individuals who energise and nurture their communities, fostering engagement and advocacy.


  • Future Builder

    Recognises the determination and resilience of founders who've embarked on the challenging journey of starting their own ventures.


  • Quiet Achiever New

    Applauds the unsung heroes whose behind-the-scenes efforts have led to flawless project executions and exceeded expectations.


  • Splash Down Under New

    Acknowledges international companies making a noteworthy entrance into the Australian market, enriching the local business ecosystem.


  • TopCoder

    Recognises developers for their outstanding technical skills, clean code, and collaborative spirit.


  • Venture Cap

    Salutes venture capital firms with a track record of backing transformative businesses, contributing significantly to Australia's economic growth.


  • Visionary New

    Recognises effective leadership by setting a clear vision, motivating the team, and making strategic decisions that guide their business towards its goals.

Early Entries end on:
00d : 00h : 00m : 00s
Enter now