The Awards

Our accelerator program benefits all participants


About the awards

The Phillips Innovation Award is the largest student-entrepreneurship award in The Netherlands. This award is organized for students, by students.

The Philips Innovation Award has become a trajectory from which each participant can profit. By participating you will get personal feedback, practice on soft and hard skills, receive coaching and build a network. To give all startups from different stages a fair chance we created two leagues, the Innovator and Rough Diamond league. Scroll down to learn more about our leagues and criteria.

Our trajectory benefits all participants!

The Philips Innovation Award consists of four stages. Click on the right to read more about the stages.

The four stages

Idea Stage
Development Stage
Refining stage
Final stage

Innovator Award

The Innovator Award is the league for the more mature startups and gives every participant a kick-start towards success.


Innovator Award

The Innovator Award is our big league, with a prize worth of €50.000 and gives every startup a kick-start towards success. It consists of cash, assistance in registering patents, creative services, consulting advice and more!

This prize will boost your startup to the next level. However, the Philips Innovation Award is more than just an award. Every participant will benefit from our platform. We make sure you will get feedback and receive coaching from members of our network. Additionally, you will build a network with several interesting startups.


Rough Diamond Award

The Rough Diamond League is a separate league for teams who just started working on their idea.


Rough Diamond Award

The Rough Diamond League is a separate league for teams who just started working on their idea. The objective of the Philips Innovation Award is to make it possible for students to further develop their idea.

The Philips Innovation Award stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation among students. Therefore we implemented this league in 2017. We give idea developers an opportunity to win a price worth €10.000. This price will boost your business to the next level. Do not be afraid that you have to compete against other startups who are already in an advanced stage! This league is only there for startups that are not incorporated or after the 1st of October 2021.

Philips Innovation Award

Learn all about our criteria

The Philips Innovation Award is an entrepreneurship award focused on students and young professionals.


How to participate

Many people have clever, innovative ideas. You are probably one of them. But only a few have the guts to transform their idea into a successful startup. It is precisely this group of people who make a difference in our world. Why won’t you become one of those people?

In the Idea Stage, you can submit your idea in a one-pager. We highly recommend our participants to write this executive summary. It helps you to concretize your idea and think more in-depth about your idea. Of course, we help you in this process to make sure that your executive summary is as good as possible. Nevertheless, this Idea Stage is optional.

Our partner ‘Graduate Entrepreneur’ will give feedback on the 1-page executive summaries, and the 5 best executive summaries will win a price of €500, €400, €300, €200, and €100 respectively!

In the Developing Stage, you will start writing your business plan. The deadline for handing in your business plan is the 20th of January 2023! We have clear guidelines and a format that will help you in this process. By handing in your business plan, you’ll enroll for our trajectory and will be one step closer to participating in the semi final! Our Business Panel will evaluate your business plan and provide you with personal feedback, whether you make it to the semi final or not.


At the Philips Innovation Award we have two leagues to enable startups from different stages in the maturity cycle to participate in our trajectory. 

Innovator League

The startup is classified as an innovator if it is registered at the Kamer van Koophandel (Dutch Chamber of Commerce) before the 1st of October 2022, for the 2023 edition.

Rough Diamond League

The startup is classified as Rough Diamond if it is not registered at the Kamer van Koophandel or has been registered at the Kamer van Koophandel after the 1st of October 2022, for the 2023 edition.

General conditions

Free of charge

Participation in the Philips Innovation Award is free of charge.

Sign up

Teams can sign up for participation during the Idea Stage (deadline:1st of November 2022 at 23.59) or the Developing Stage (deadline: 20th of January 2023 at 23.59). Participation in the Idea Stage is recommended but not obligatory.

Participation Innovator League

A team that has reached the semi final in the Innovator League in a previous edition of the Philips Innovation Award is not allowed to enter the competition.

Participation Rough Diamond League

A team that has participated in the Rough Diamond League in a previous edition of the Philips Innovation Award, but has not reached the final, is allowed to participate in the Innovator League.

Team requirements

Idea owner

At least one of the team members must be the owner of the idea or, if a business based on this idea has already been founded, must be directly in charge of the business (as founder/owner, board member, director or any comparable role).

Team size

The team must consist of a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 10 members.

Member age

The team members must all be aged 30 or younger on the 1st of October 2022.

Member conditions

At least half of the team members (rounded upwards) must; be enrolled at a Dutch University, HBO or MBO, or; be a PhD student at a Dutch University, or; have graduated from one of such institutions within the last three years at any point during the competition.

Registered members

Teams with team members that are not registered in the application to the Philips Innovation Award will be disqualified.


What is the Philips Innovation Award?

The Philips Innovation Award is the largest student-entrepreneur award in The Netherlands. The winner wins a prize worth €50.000. We don’t believe in a ‘the winner takes it all’ mentality: all participants benefit from the coaching, events and networking possibilities that our platform offers.

Who organises the Philips Innovation Award?

The Philips Innovation Award is an independent non-profit organisation that works in close cooperation with Philips. The organisation of the Award is led by a Board consisting of seven students from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Who can participate?

Participation is open for (teams with) students with an innovative idea or startup. If you have already started a business, your business should be younger than 3 years. All team members must be aged 30 or younger on the 1st of October 2022 . Read for more details Conditions of entry.

Do I need to be Dutch?

No. If you are an enrolled student (or have graduated within the last three years) at a school or University in the Netherlands you are welcome to participate. Please note that you are expected to visit a few events (e.g. the Innovation Market in March) to be able to win the Philips Innovation Award. Read for more details Conditions of entry.

I’ve just graduated. Can I still participate?

Yes. If you’ve graduated within the last 3 years, you can still participate. Read for more details Conditions of Entry.

What do I need to hand in to participate?

You only need an innovative idea and write it down in one page. The deadline is 1st of November 2022. After this deadline, you need to hand in your business plan on January 20th, 2023.

If you have taken the next step already, and you’ve set up a startup, you are also welcome to hand in your business plan already.

Is there any risk that my idea will get stolen?

No. All people who review your idea will sign a Confidentiality Agreement with the Philips Innovation Award. Nothing you tell or show us will be published or spread without your explicit permission.

What is the participation deadline?

The deadline for participation is the 20th of January 2023. Be aware that a business plan is required at this point.

Who has a chance to become the winner?

Above all, you! It’s often not the expected winner who wins. Your idea has every chance to win, even if it hasn’t been fully developed yet, or if you don’t have any experience in entrepreneurship.

How will the winner be chosen?

Our Business Panel of high profile entrepreneurs and professionals will read and give feedback on your plans. They will also select the semi finalists. The semi final jury consists of managers with an entrepreneurial spirit, and are representatives of our partners. They will choose the eight finalists. The final decision will be made by a jury consisting of captains of industry. This jury will be presided by the CEO of Philips, Frans van Houten.

What do the other participants win?

Experience in pitching, exclusive coaching days, networking possibilities with innovative entrepreneurs and companies, a good deal of fun, and more!


Get inspired by our past participants!


Semi Finalist 2018


Innovator winner 2020

Loop Biotech

Innovator winner 2021


Semi Finalist 2020


Innovator finalist 2017


Innovator winner 2017


Innovator winner 2022


Rough Diamond winner 2019