Rising Stars: Where Success Begins

Rising Stars is Tech Nation’s pitch competition for early-stage tech startups. Applications are now open!

We’re excited to announce – Rising Stars – the ultimate pitch competition designed for innovative early-stage tech startups is back…


This exciting event provides a valuable platform for tech startups to showcase their innovations locally, regionally, and nationally. Such exposure will substantially enhance their brand visibility and attract potential customers, partners, and investors.

Finalists will get the opportunity to showcase their businesses on the formidable London Tech Week (LTW) stage, PLUS gain access to numerous prizes set to propel their businesses forward.

Rising Stars applications are now open!


Founding Partner

HSBC Innovation Banking provides commercial banking services, expertise and insights to the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity and venture capital industries. HSBC Innovation Banking UK is a subsidiary of HSBC Group, benefiting from its stability, strong credit rating and international reach to help fuel its growth.

Who is Rising Stars for?

We want to showcase the brightest and best that UK tech has to offer but applicants must meet a few simple criteria, including:

Headquartered in the UK

A digital tech business with a product or service to sell

At Seed to pre-Series A funding stage.  If the company is bootstrapped, maximum annual revenues are below £1.5 million

Able to demonstrate market traction

At least one active client or pilot

Ambition to scale

Able to commit to Rising Stars dates

Rising Stars Alumni

How it works

Early-stage tech start ups from all over the UK will submit their virtual pitch via Instagram (@technationhq), alongside a questionnaire to understand more about their business and why they should be titled a Rising Star.

Application details, including how to apply without an Instagram account will be released on Monday 19 February. 

The judging panel, which will include some of the most influential entrepreneurs and investors, will select finalists to pitch in person at one of the six regional locations home to leading start ups: Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, North England, Midlands, South England.

Grand finalists will be selected to pitch at the prestigious London Tech Week on 10 June 2024.

What’s in it for your startup?

Unparalleled Exposure

Showcase your innovation on a local, regional, and national scale, whilst boosting your brand and attracting potential customers, partners, and investors

Tailored Support

Refine your business strategy and pitch capabilities with insights from experienced investors and industry experts

Networking with Influential Stakeholders

Build connections that lead to potential funding, strategic partnerships, and a supportive network

Global Recognition

Finalists will pitch to over 1000 attendees on the main stage at London Tech Week – a global celebration of tech, uniting the most innovative thinkers and tech talent

New to Rising Stars: People’s Choice Award

Your startup’s journey isn’t just about the pitch – it’s about rallying your community, sparking conversations, and leaving a lasting impression. That’s why this year, we have introduced the ‘People’s Choice Award’. 

Turn your social media strategy into a winning game plan! This unique accolade is determined by the power of your social media presence during the virtual pitches submitted to the competition. This is your chance to demonstrate the power of your startup’s community and claim a distinctive spot in Rising Stars history.

The more buzz, likes, shares, and comments your pitch receives, the stronger your candidacy for the People’s Choice Award. The winner will be chosen based on a combination of virtual pitch excellence and the impact generated on social media. 

The winner will join the finalists on stage at London Tech Week!

The Prizes

Top 3 Finalists

30-minute branding session from Founders Makers to help build out your businesses brand proposition 

3-hours worth of therapy sessions with professionals experienced in working alongside Founders and high performers

Exposure to Tech Nation, Founders Forum, and London Tech Week’s social channels with a +360K reach

An opportunity to be invited to attend Founders Forum Global, a gathering of the over 400 trailblazing founders and 130 world-class VCs representing $1.5trillion AUM


Become a VenturePath member and gain access to quarterly growth diagnostics and proven strategies to expedite your growth; 100+ hours of on-demand leadership learning content and in-person events; a community of fellow funded founders, exited entrepreneurs and £6bn+ associated VCs; and 2 complimentary tickets worth £500 to the VenturePath annual celebration of success


Regional Finalists

10 x one-to-one coaching sessions with Manageable

Resources, tools, discounts, and social sharing collateral to help elevate your startup

Exposure to Tech Nation, Founders Forum, and London Tech Week’s social channels with a +360K reach





Apply now

Submit Your Virtual Pitch
Submit your virtual pitch via Instagram tagging @technationhq and use the hashtag #WeAreTNRisingStars in order to be eligible for the People’s Choice Award. Alternatively you can upload a video file in your written submission; however, you will not be eligible for the People’s Choice Award.
Submit Your Written Pitch

Alongside your virtual pitch, please complete your written submission. This is required to be eligible for the Rising Stars competition.