Two Different Awards

Two Different Procedures

Beyond recognition, honors and awarness boosts, all finalists will have access to the UStart Alumni’s networking opportunities. All finalists will be among a national organisation of change-makers and future leaders that have demonstrated drive, passion, and dedication to achieving outstanding positive impact on the society and remarkably growth feat by any measure.

Do you want to know if you have what it takes to qualify for one or two of these awards? There’s only one way to find out.

SSY Award

Open for everybody!

With the Student Startup Of The Year Award, UStart wants to give a significant boost to the most promising Student Startup of 2019, to help them with achieving their trajectory from Passion To Impact!

Student Startup Of The Year: Prize Package

  • € 5 000 CASH, no strings attached
    Offered by BNP Parisbas Fortis
  • € 4 000 as a structural prize, in the form of accounting, accountancy and advice for entrepreneurs
    Offered by SBB Accountants & Advisors
  • A win-trepreneur day, perfect to help lift the business off the ground with workshops about Digital Advertising, Marketing Strategy and more
    Offered by Xerius and their partner BBDO
  • A fast track to the Pitchdrive platform: Get in direct contact with the most reputable angel investors in Belgium. The success rate for start-ups that used their program to facilitate their funding is 100%.
    Offered by Pitchdrive

Student Startup Of The Year: The Contest

If your growing startup, company or non-profit organization has a positive impact, or shows great promise for the next few years to come, get a national recognition of your hard-earned triumphs and a structural boost for your startup by participating in the SSY awards, the hallmark of student entrepreneurial success.

Apply and celebrate your achievements.

Submit your application at the latest by January 31st, 2020.


The pre-selection

Based on your application form, a jury of experts will be selecting the most promising student startups based on various criteria:

The Student Startup of the Year’s semi-finalists
The originality, innovation and thoughtfulness of your startup (company or non-profit organization). The differentiation from the existing competition. The identification and addressing of major relevant risks, and inclusion of contingency plans.

Thereafter, the 8 most promising startups will be able to attend the semi-finals, where they will be able to pitch their project with professional coaching.

The selection

For the last selection, the 8 semi-finalists will be invited for an interview in front of a panel composed of our partners and experienced entrepreneurs. These experts will elect the 4 SSY finalists for 2020. The selection will be based on these different criteria:

The Student Startup of the Year’s finalists
The target market, customer identification and segmentation. The business model and revenue streams. The marketing strategy and sales strategy, with a plan to scale. The product development and traction-to-date. The future measurable, achievable milestones. And the expertise of founding team and commitment, and motivation of founding team.

The semi-finalists will be officially annonced on social media by February 2, 2020, and the semi-final will take place on the 10th Of February, 2020.


At the Award Ceremony, the 4 SSY Finalists will be asked to pitch their project one more time, this time in front of a proffesional, high profile 6-headed jury panel and the full audience of the event. The 5 minute pitch of each candidate will be followed by a 10 minute Q&A Session

The jury (%75) and the entire public (%25) will then decide who will be the winner of the SSY Award 2020!


SEY Award

The "Oscar" for Student Entrepreneurs

UStart Belgium will nominate student entrepreneurs who have achieved great things, gotten a national recognition of have achieved hard-earned triumphs in the Belgian Entrepreneurial world, and congratulate tham at the SESSY Awards, the hallmark of student entrepeneurship in Belgium. Besides the congratulatory honour of winning this award, the winner of the SEY Award will also be granted a selection of personal prizes, which will be announced leading up to the event.

While you will only be eligable for this award via personal nomination, don’t hesitate to contact us if you know somebody that you feel would definetly deserve this recognition!

Contact us

Eligibility Criteria

To be able to apply for the 2020 SSY Award, or be nominated for the SEY Award:

  1. You must currently be enrolled or have been enrolled as an (under)graduate student in a university/college in the academic year 2018-2019. Full-time enrollment is not required; part-time enrollment is acceptable.
  2. You must be the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of your startup and principally responsible for its operation. Each startup can be represented by only one owner/co-founder.
  3. Your startup must have been officially founded while you were enrolled as a student, and in the year 2019 or earlier.
  4. Your business must have generated at least €500 or received €1000 in investment at the time of application.
  5. You must not have been one of the finalists of any of the previous editions of the SESSY Awards.
  6. The age cap for participation is 30 years of age.