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Start-ups are early stage projects demonstrating appropriate research and testing with the potential to work towards a positive contribution margin. 

Scale-ups are projects with secured funding, already validated within the marketplace and have proven that their unit finances are sustainable.

Student categories are reserved for those still in education.

Emerging Professional categories apply to anyone with less than 3 years of work experience. 

Established Professional categories for anyone with over 3 years of work experience. 

Learn more about Side Hustle

  • What is it?

    Side Hustle is the competition for students, emerging talent and creative professionals with big ideas. 

    D&AD Side Hustle Pencil is awarded to inspiring, scalable projects that combine creativity and innovation to meet a genuine need.

    For those who dream of launching their venture loudly and proudly into the world. Our jury of investors, entrepreneurs and creative directors are waiting to meet you.

  • What can I win?
    • D&AD Side Hustle Pencil
    • Your name in the D&AD Annual
    • 2 hours of mentoring with a D&AD judge 
    • A D&AD Masterclass of your choice
    • D&AD Awarded Membership for 1 year

    All finalists will be invited to pitch live to a panel of judges via Zoom on Friday 22 May.

  • What are the judges looking for?

    The judges will be looking for work that uses creative thinking to address a genuine need. For Start-ups, the idea should demonstrate proof of concept and show potential for growth, whereas Scale-ups should be sustainable, validated within the marketplace and on track to meet early ambitions.

  • How to enter

    Download the entry kit for eligibility criteria, information on what to submit and your step-by-step guide to entering.

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