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How it works

Central European Startup Awards is part of Global Startup Awards, a global competition to recognize the best talents of the global startup ecosystem. The overall process of the competition bottom-up (from national level up to the regional and global level) consists of 5 different phases, which are described below.

The Central European Startup Awards is a unique series of events in the Central and Eastern European countries – Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – to recognise, celebrate and connect the Central European startup ecosystem. In addition to being regional it is also cross-sectorial, bringing together all actors within the startup ecosystem from startups to investors and many more.


We start by opening up public nominations on national level. This means that anyone can nominate anybody – just as long as they fall within the guidelines of each nomination category.

We’ll go through the list and get each nominee to confirm their participation in the awards and to be selected for shortlisting.




Together with our extensive national and regional advisors, we work to determine the top 5 nominations in each category in each participating country.

Once selected, the top 5 shortlisted nominations in each category will be announced as finalists, who will run to compete on the regional level.



Once the nominations are in, we turn to the national communities and ask them what they think. Public voting is equivalent to one jury vote. This is not a popularity contest, but it’s important that we get an indicator from how the community themselves perceive the nominations.



The jury members will rank each finalist according to the information presented to them. This information is obtained directly from the nominee. Regional jury members selected by the Country Partners and regional HQs will determine who wins in a specific award.



With the combination of public voting and the voting of the regional jury members, the regional winners will be announced at the Regional Grand Finale.



At the end of every second year we host the bi-annual gathering where we place the winners from our top categories to be placed against each other to determine out of all the thousands of nominations and tens of thousands of votes, who should deserve to be the very best from throughout all of our regions. As we select our nominations from the regional winners, we already have a ‘shortlist’. From this shortlist, we gather the very best jury members from around the world and throughout our entire network to decide our winners.