Find answers to our most frequently asked questions below. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please get in touch with us.

  • Who can enter Pause Awards?

    Pause Awards is open to all registered companies and individuals that live in Australia.

  • How do I enter?

    You can enter Pause Awards by hitting the PORTAL button in the navigation menu at the top right corner with the avatar icon, or from the home page. Or click ENTER NOW anywhere you see it.

  • Why should I signup to the Entry Portal?

    This is how we process entries this year. Everyone must signup to create their accounts and then write their entries. The best thing about it is that you can log back in whenever you want to edit your entries.

  • How long does it take to enter into Pause Awards?

    How long is the piece of string? To signup takes 2min, to update Account another 5min. Choosing categories can take as long as you need, but with our Category Filters and search bar we think 30min is good enough. The process of entering depends on how many categories you select to enter, let’s say only one for this purpose. To write 1,000 words it can take up to 200min if you write 5 wpm. But you also have option to get back and edit until very last deadline on September 30th.

  • How do I apply for Company and Individual categories?

    Inside Entry Portal, in Account settings select how you want to enter, with Company or as an Individual. Depending on how you set this preference you will only see those categories. You can change your preference until you submit an entry, after that your account will be locked to that entry type. The reason for this is because each account owner, if they win, gets a full profile page on our website.

  • I’ve signed up as Company, how do I enter individual categories?

    If your account is set as Company, you can select as many categories to enter. Pause Awards has 21 Company categories and 10 Individual categories. If you want to enter as a Company into Individual categories, you need to create a separate account for each individual you’d like to nominate.

  • What is in the Entry Portal?

    Entry Portal is another mini website in itself. You can find the same resources like on the website, so you don’t have to toggle across. You can browse through all categories, lookup Entry Fees, find everything about how to enter, check eligibility and timelines and download Entry Kit which we really recommend!

    Your Account is the first thing you should finalise. In there you will set your preferences on how you’d like to enter, as a Company or an Individual.

    Entries is a place where you manage all of your entries, pay for them, delete and see pending entries.

    In Payments, you will only see due balance which you can pay from there too and also received payments.

    And finally, ENTER NOW is the place where you pick your categories, submit and pay.

  • What qualifies my business to be eligible?

    Your business or initiative is being judged for the success in past year between 1 July 2021 to 1 June 2022. 

  • Can I enter results for more than a year?

    Pause Awards are annual awards and we are looking for the latest and greatest. If you never entered Pause Awards you may submit results beyond the last financial year. This pass is given in a good faith so that following year you enter the most recent results.

  • How do I make sure I have the best entry?

    Please follow the instructions on the entry form and answer all questions at your best ability, succinctly and clearly, avoiding exaggeration and sticking to the facts where possible. Download the Entry Kit and follow the briefings and follow our announcements.

  • Can I edit my entry?

    Entrants can update an entry even after they pay right up until the very last deadline on September 30th 2022.

  • When do I need to pay for entries?

    Your credit card will be charged on submission, but you can keep editing your entry even after you pay. This means you can catch the Earlybird prices and finalise the entry later. Hack the system!

  • Can I enter the same initiative for two years in a row?

    Yes you can as long as you have additional results to share this time and it falls in the date range for this year.

  • Can I submit attachments?

    We don’t accept attachments, PDFs or any other visual or written documents. You just need to answer the questions. All of them!

  • Can I withdraw my entry? Will I get a refund?

    We are sorry but we don’t offer refunds if you change your mind.

  • My business or initiative has been impacted by the COVID-19, is that a problem?

    No on the contrary. The judges are looking for your resilience, impact and how you measure success. What strategies have you employed and how has that impacted company culture and your customers?

  • Will I get the confirmation that I’ve entered?

    Yes you will. After you pay you will get an automated invoice from Stripe. 

  • Can I enter projected values or initiatives that are not finished?

    Unfortunately not. We only accept final projects that have been finalised in the specific time frame.

  • What are the Pause Awards categories?

    There are 31 categories expanded for 2022 that you can enter. 21 for companies and there are 10 for individuals too. All are set under five Category Tracks: Growth, Excellence, Operators, Good and Culture.

  • Do you have a discount for startup and NFP?

    Yes we do. If you are an individual or a company that has or works with less than 10 people, please tick that box under Account setting in Entry Portal to apply the reduced fees. You’ll save on average 25% equivalent of $85 per entry.

  • Can I enter more than one category?

    Yes, you can enter your work into as many categories as you like, your entries will be evaluated separately for each category you entered. The exceptional entries will be honoured in more than one category if judges think so.

  • Do you have any deal for multi categories entered?

    If you enter into two or more categories in the same account you’ll get ‘Company Of The Year’ category at 50% off.

  • Can I enter multiple categories with the same answer?

    Yes you can. If you think that your answers apply for other categories, you can select as many to enter and check out faster. If you group the categories to answer, you won’t be able to break them apart and edit separately after. You also have an option to write individual entries too.

  • Can I enter different projects in the same category?

    There is no limit to how many entries you can have in the same category, just make sure they adhere to a specific category criteria and they are different from each other.

  • Which categories are best for me?

    This is hard for us to answer, but we have categories for companies and individuals. You should pick those that you think align with your company values, strengths or strategies. Once you login, there will be a simple category filter that can help you pick categories.

  • What is the judging criteria?

    You can read about that on our entry page.

  • When does judging take place?

    Judging will take place in October and November.

  • How do you pick judges?

    We pick industry professionals from Australia and abroad. Anyone can apply and if they have enough experience they can join awards and have their profile exhibited on our website. People can also apply to judge through the website on our Entry page.

  • What’s the judging process?

    You can read about the process under the Entry page.

  • Why is my feedback not displaying?

    In order for your feedback to display the winning entry needs to purchase the Winner’s Pack to unlock that benefit.

  • How much time is required to judge?

    We are super conscious of everyone’s time so we’re doing everything we can to reduce the time required to commit to being involved. We’ve introduced a whole new smart judging portal (built by us) that will speed up the process, manage your votes and assign entries.

    • Approximately 6–8 hrs in total, spread across a 3 week window between 17 October and 7 November 2022 (we keep this period fairly flexible so you can fit the judging around your other commitments)
    • All judging is done remotely in your own time.

  • How many entrants win Pause Awards?

    To keep it fair, there is no limit on how many winning entries we may have in one category. Judges are looking for the best business success and effectiveness. But with that in mind, some categories may not have any winners if judges don’t think the entries qualify.

  • What do winners get from Pause Awards?

    We give a beautiful designer Pause Awards Trophy which changes shape each year, and in addition you get Pause NFT digital art trophy and 17 other benefits, but this is all optional as there is a fee.

  • Do I need to pay for anything if I win?

    You have the Basic, Premium and Community option to choose from. In Basic, just by winning you automatically get a business profile on Business Index, get listed under Top10 companies, unlimited trademark, public voting inclusion and promo kits are all free of charge.

    Premium Winner’s Package has stacked fees by the company size. Community is for those who want to engage in our newsroom and Startup Manifesto.

  • What’s included in the Premium Winner’s Package?

    We have exclusive 17 benefits well explained in the Winners Package section on the How To Enter page. The benefits are far much greater than its cost so it pays off to get it and join Pause Business Club. The main difference is access to exclusive services such as: higher visibility on Business Index, invites to VIP events, judges feedback, partner benefits, thought-leading articles and of course Pause Trophy and NFT.

  • How much do I pay for the trophy, if I win?

    Winner’s Package is tiered by company size, check here. You only pay for the Premium Winner’s Pack by the size of your business, be it: Startup, Small, Medium. Large or Enterprise. Basic benefits is just what you get as a winner without paying. Community fees are for those that don’t enter into awards, or are past winners but want to post their news to our newsroom and engage with the Startup Manifesto.

  • What about the Pause Awards Night?

    Do you really want to miss out on the party of the year? It’s optional to attend and one ticket is included in your Winners Package, however you can purchase additional tickets for your team, friends and family too.

  • Will I get the Pause Awards Trophy at the event?

    The trophies are handcrafted so we won’t have enough time to produce the new trophy from the time you place an order, when we announce the winners, to the event. We’ll try to have sample trophies for photo ops! But, you’ll get framed certificates, photos and good times.

    It is very important that you place an order for your Winner’s Packs as soon as the winners are announced so that we can kick off the production of trophies as soon as possible. Pause NFT trophies may be done in time and can be dropped into your wallets, just in time for the awards.

  • Can I buy an additional Pause Awards Trophy?

    Yes. Additional trophies, and merchandise can be purchased from your portal. But please feel free to contact for more information.

  • Can I buy the trophy from previous years?

    Yes. It can be purchased from your portal, by selecting the year you won. Please get in contact via for more information.

  • Do you have any deals and discounts?

    If you enter into three or more categories we’ll offer you ‘Company of the Year’ category for 50% OFF. The offer is valid only for that category, not others. We’ll also offer you a third Winner’s Pack for free if you take three wins.

  • What do we do if we don’t have answers to some questions?

    Let’s be clear, the questions should not be scary. They are straight forward for a reason. However, if you are an early startup and don’t think you have valid results or can’t 100% answer the questions – provide what you know.

  • Do you have any tips on how to answer award questions?

    1. Info & Background segment won’t be judged, but it’s important.

    2. Smart Tactics (SCORES 30%): Why is your solution innovative?
      – Tell us what your big idea is.
      – Some evidence of planning.
      – Why do you think it’s innovative?

    3. Business Success (SCORES 30%): Provide tangible results.
      – Show any stats and results.
      – What’s your customer story?
      – Don’t have KPI’s? Let’s say you tried to dominate the world.

    4. Positive Impact (SCORES 40%): What impact have you created?
      – Provide any evidence of positive impact.
      – How was the internal/ external impact?
      – Did any social good come out of it?

  • Do I have to answer all questions?

    Yes. Please answer questions to the best of your abilities.

  • Can I sponsor Pause Awards?

    If you are interested in being considered as a sponsor of the Pause Awards, please contact George Hedon, Enabler of Awesome at

  • How do I keep up with news and announcements?

    The best way to keep up with Pause Awards is through our newsletter. Subscribe via the form in the footer. You may unsubscribe at any time by following the instructions in the footer of each newsletter.

  • What are the rules around image file sizes for my Pause Index?

    Profile Carousel Images (up to 4)

    Type: 16:9 Landscape

    Resolution: 3000 x 1687px

    Size: max. 600kb

    Format: .jpeg


    Tile Image (x1)

    Type: 1:1 Square

    Resolution: 1200 x 1200px

    Size: max. 300kb

    Format: .jpeg

  • What happens if the Awards Party can’t take place because of COVID-19?

    We are keeping a close watch on what’s going on and will decide if it’s safe to proceed in time, if not we will switch to online production. All this will be communicated ahead of time.

  • How do I become Pause Awards Ambassador?

    We’re looking for the influential people in various industries from startup to corporate that can help us spread the word and be the shiny beacons of the innovation ecosystem. If this is you, please get in contact directly via 

  • My questions have not been covered, how do I reach out?

    Please send us your enquiry via

  • Are answers to questions Founder’s Age, Gender and Total Funding published publicly?

    Answers will be kept confidential for our internal use only.

Big shout to all Pause Awards '22 winners!


Category tracks

Creating a safe and open space in which everyone thrives and the collaboration flows through all levels and titles with the power of the one team. The entries should demonstrate how the transformation has been achieved across core business functions, that have delivered a positive impact and growth for business, staff, stakeholders and customers. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Celebrating commercial effectiveness through success in the marketplace by leaving a dent in the universe, no matter what the size of the company. The entries should demonstrate the highest levels of expertise, leadership and vision in the application of their business strategies. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Standing up for your purpose and going beyond together as a team aligned on the single mission to positively impact the environment, people and community. The entries should demonstrate ideas intended to change the world; work which sets out to positively impact ingrained gender inequality, social imbalance or injustice. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Only awarded to a single entry in each category track, Grand Prix is the highest accolade in Pause Awards. To win the Grand Prix, the entire Judging Board must unanimously agree that the entry deserves the accolade of being the best in class.

​​Focusing on the productivity and elegance of execution to deliver impactful ideas to a market (or many) with the power to cut through the noise. Entries should demonstrate how the innovation and optimisation of the customer journey led to scaled consumer engagement and commercial success. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.

Elevating every voice in the ecosystem is not just important for its collective success, industry development but also for the future growth. The entries should demonstrate ingenuity which leads to the creation of new products and services, through leadership, by elevating the internal culture and communities they serve. Judges will only refer to written entries during the evaluation process. No additional research will be undertaken, and for this reason, we recommend you give detailed and sharp answers.


  • Diverse Co.

    For nurturing an inclusive environment. This award recognises a workplace that has successfully and intentionally encouraged innovation among diverse employees.

  • Large team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with over 1000+ employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Medium team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with 21-999 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation.

  • Small team culture

    For fostering innovation. This award recognises a workplace with less than 20 employees that has outpaced their cohort in fostering a culture of innovation

  • Work sweet work

    For a great workplace culture. This award recognises a company that has managed to improve or attain outstanding levels of employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.

  • Company of the Year

    For the best company. This award recognises a company leadership, success, ambition to excel against all odds with the solid future development plans.

  • Defiant ones

    For new tech breakthroughs. This award recognises a company that defines the future of the industry they play in.

  • Hall of fame

    For a lifetime achievement. This award recognises a game-changer who paved the way by breaking new grounds and inventing new categories.

  • Hammer

    For nailing it. This award recognises a company's success – on their own terms – in the market.

  • I wish I'd done that

    For sheer brilliance. This award recognises a company's simple and clever idea in a niche market.

  • Indi

    For new and First Peoples. This award recognises a successful company with its founders from indigenous or ethnic heritage that gained success in the market.

  • On the rise

    For early stage mavericks. This award recognises an early stage startup that has done well in its first three years.

  • Prodigy

    For being exceptional. This award recognises a young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.

  • Women in business

    For breaking the mould. This award recognises a successful female leader and entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for the future generations.

  • B-Good

    For a good business. This award recognises a company that has done well to change our economic system to positively impact all stakeholders through their commercial practice.

  • Circular Pioneer

    For making a difference. This award category recognises a company that is pioneering their circular efforts.

  • Going green

    For delivering impact at scale. This award recognises a company that is actively leading and delivering impact and scale through sustainable efforts in clean energy, climate change, healthy environment, social and economic justice etc.

  • You've got ethics

    For the leadership in environmental social governance. This award category recognises a company that is promoting accountability, good governance, leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility and solving societal problems.

  • Design first

    For design lead products. This award recognises a company that is using design to drive product innovation with the entire company onboard.

  • Inception

    For visionary thinkers. This award recognises a person that came up with the transformative idea that can change the world for better.

  • Out of the garage

    For scaling globally. This award recognises a company's global growth, expansion, and success.

  • Unexpected twist

    For a great pivot. This award recognises a company that has taken an unexpected pivot in their business or career.

  • Wildfire

    For conquering a marketplace. This award recognises a company that has made a significant impact on the marketplace in the shortest amount of time.

  • Backbone

    For backing the future idea. This award recognises a VC firm with a portfolio of companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the AU economy.

  • Brave Angel

    For early stage support. This award recognises an angel investor that has garnered a portfolio of companies and has a good track record of helping founders succeed.

  • C-Suite

    For the best leadership. This award recognises the highest-ranking executive that has impeccable leadership, management and interpersonal skills.

  • Do you know who I am

    For the silent achiever. This award recognises a person that has been responsible for the success of their company from the backstage.

  • Future builder

    For grit to start a new venture. This award recognises a founder at any level and life stage who has decided to start jumping the hoops of their own business.

  • Hottest hub

    For the best community. This award recognises a co-working space that provides boutique experience, world class facilities with community management.

  • Launch pad

    For activating the support systems. This award recognises an accelerator that has a good reputation in providing the best startup program with industry connections.

  • Super connector

    For being the community champ. This award recognises a person for a significant contribution to the success of their clients or the community.

Pause Awards '23 is launching on 17 May
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