• D&AD Festival 2023
    9 & 10 May, 24 & 25 May
  • 9 & 10 May, 24 & 25 May
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You can enter your Side Hustle as a start-up or a scale-up.

Start-up refers to projects in the first stages of operation. You should be able to demonstrate appropriate research and testing, although you are unlikely to have a fully developed business model or funding.

Scale-up refers to projects in the later stages of operation. Your product or service should be fully functional and proven within the marketplace. You should be able to demonstrate success and will likely have received some funding.

Emerging Talent subcategories are for Side Hustlers who are still in education, have recently graduated or are non-professionals.

Junior Professional subcategories are for those with less than 5 years experience producing commercial creative work.

Established Professional subcategories are for those with more than 5 years experience producing commercial creative work.

Learn more about Side Hustle

  • What is it?

    Side Hustle is D&AD's category for students, emerging talent and creative professionals with big ideas. The D&AD Side Hustle Pencil is awarded to inspiring, scalable projects that demonstrate creativity and innovation.

    Entry is open to anyone with a Side Hustle, so long as it demonstrates flair and creativity. Work must have been developed or significantly changed within the entry window of 1 January 2022 – 18 April 2023.

    Is your Side Hustle on the way to becoming your main hustle? Then our scale up categories are for you. Benefit from an extended entry period of 1 January 2020 - 18 April 2023.

  • What can I win?

    Shortlisted entrants will receive:

    —An invitation to D&AD's pitching masterclass on 27 April, worth £560, to help you prepare for Side Hustle Pitch Day.
    —Your name and work in the D&AD Annual, online and freely accessible to a global creative community of over 130,000 people.

    Winning entrants will receive the above plus:

    —A D&AD Side Hustle Pencil, a symbol of creative excellence
    —12 months of mentoring for you and your business, courtesy of the Anyone app's global community of entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders - billed as a 'marketplace for advice'
    —A tree planted in recognition of your award. Find out more about this initiative here.

  • What does Pitch day involve?

    Pitching will be done in person at the D&AD office in Shoreditch, London, on 10 May. You will be joined by the other finalists and the judging panel. Each finalist will take a turn to pitch their business. This can be delivered in a style to suit you, provided it is not pre-recorded and is a maximum of 7 minutes. After each pitch, the Judges will have 5 minutes to ask questions.

    When the pitches are over, the Jury will retire to vote independently for their winners. Following the first vote, they will debate the result and finalise it as a Jury. When judging is complete, you will have the opportunity to find out the results and receive feedback from the Judges on the work.

    Depending on your location, we may invite you to present your work remotely.

  • What are the judges looking for?

    Start Ups:

    —Is it innovative and inspiring?
    —Is it supported by appropriate research and testing?
    —Does it show potential for growth?

    Scale Ups:

    —Is it innovative and inspiring?
    —Is it fully operational with proven success?
    —Is it on track to meet its intended scale?

  • How to enter

    For the first time, we're allowing entrants to submit a pitch film to present their Side Hustle. Keep it short and succinct — we recommend 7 minutes — with a brief introduction about yourself.

    Download the new entry kit for eligibility criteria and more information on what to submit.

    When you're ready, visit the entry site to upload your work.

    The first round of judging will take place in mid-April. If you are shortlisted, we will contact you and invite you to pitch day and the Masterclass.

Have a question about your entry?

Most questions can be answered by checking our FAQs page.

If you still need to speak to someone, you can call the Awards team on +44 (0) 207 840 1111. Lines are open from 9.30 - 5.30pm GMT.

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