The Tech Trailblazers Awards “Firestarter” Bursary for Non-VC Funded Early Stage Startups


The Firestarter bursary is for non-VC backed startups up to two years old. This has been created to ensure that entry fees are not a barrier for the new lean startups who are still securing major funding from VCs. This new program will attract more earlier stage startups within the accelerator and incubator communities as well as those self-funding or with angel, seed and crowd-funding as their primary source of investment.

The recent Tech Trailblazers Tech Startup Index surveyed the funding environment for nearly 200 enterprise tech startups. 35% of those surveyed indicated that raising funds took considerably longer than anticipated and 31% said that it was considerably harder than expected. The bursary aims to ease that pressure in the early stages for a startup. It ensures that these tech firestarters get a shot at recognition with all eligible entrants 2 years or younger who are pre-VC funding can receive a bursary for the $295 entry fee to their chosen Tech Trailblazers category as well as a chance to also win the new cross category early stage “Firestarter” award.

All entrants will also be automatically entered free of charge for Regional Trailblazers Cups – a further chance to win an award, and be crowned Trailblazer for their geographical region as well as the new Firestarter Award if eligible.

For more information on the Firestarter bursary, please contact the Tech Trailblazers team on