Rules + Nominations FAQ


The Austin Under 40 Awards application process is a rigorous one. This is where the Austin Under 40 Awards is distinguished from any other awards ceremony in the region. There are many business and industry awards that exist, but for the past 24 years, the Austin Under 40 Awards has distinguished itself as an event that celebrates not only our young industry leaders, but also those leaders who dedicate themselves to the improvement and stewardship of our community.

Over 100 business and community leaders serve as judges for the Austin Under 40 Awards. Each nominee’s application and supporting materials will be scored in two separate judging rounds, not only on their leadership in their industry, but also on their service and impact in the greater Austin community. Each nominee is scored by multiple judges in the first round of judging and 5 finalists in each of the 17awards categories will be selected. The second round of judging is completed by the winners-selection committee, which selects the award winners who will be announced at the Austin Under 40 Awards gala.


Who can be nominated?
Nominations may be made for any community leader under the age of 40 at the time of June 1, 2023* The exceptions are the Mentor of the Year awards category, where nominees should be over the age of 40, and those that were unable to be nominated in 2022 due to the rescheduling of the 2020/2021 awards.

For those applying due to the rescheduling, you must have turned 40 between June 2021-June 2022. Please note that your application will only be judged on your accomplishments before turning 40. Upon being nominated the nominee will receive a link to complete their application. The application must be completed to be selected for an award.

Who cannot be nominated?
Board members and/or committee chairs must be one (1) year removed from their seated positions within the Young Women’s Alliance or the Young Men’s Business League. For the purpose of clarity, past board members and committee chairs from 2020-2021 are now eligible.

I received an email that I was nominated. Now what?
In order to be considered for an award, nominees must fill out the full application process, which is linked in the nomination email.

Will the number of nominations I receive impact my score in any way?
No, we will only be judging and scoring your application. The number of nominations will not impact your score.

What all is required in my application?
Applicants will be asked to submit a resume and at least one letter of recommendation. Mentor of the year applicants will need at least one letter of recommendation from a mentee. Applicants will also have to fill out two short essays about their career achievements and community involvement.

How are applications scored? What is the judging criteria?
Each application is scored by multiple judges using a rubric that weighs all application materials. Nominees are scored based on 60% for career achievement and 40% for community involvement.

Who are the judges? Can I become a judge?
Over 40 judges are selected to judge the nominees and each judge uses a rigorous unbiased rubric to ensure fairness. They must be industry leaders and are often executives or past winners. To submit your application to become a judge, please email [email protected].

Can I be nominated in more than one category?
Yes. However, nominees can only be judged in one category which will be chosen by the nominee at the time of application.

What about Austinite of the Year? Do I apply for that?
Austinite of the Year is an award for the top candidate for the awards season. They will be chosen by our finalist judges out of the 17 category winners and will be announced on May 13, 2023.

Can I be nominated if I have been nominated in years past, or if I have been a finalist in years past?
Yes. Past finalists and nominees may be nominated again. However, past winners are not eligible for an Austin Under 40 Award.

Does being nominated multiple times in one award year help my chances of winning?
No. The number of nominations for an individual is not considered in selecting the winners. The judges will only consider one nomination per nominee.

When is the deadline to submit an application?
The application deadline has been extended to January 15, 2023 at 11:59PM. Nominations could be made up until this point, but a person must finish their application by this time to be considered.

I was told I was nominated but never received an email.
If you were told you were nominated but never received an email notifying you of your nomination, double check your spam folder. The email will come from [email protected], to help you with your email search. If you still do not find the email, please contact the email above.

If I have been nominated, can I also submit a nomination for someone else?
Yes. Nominations are open to the general public, and there is no limit on the number of nominations anyone can submit.

When will finalists be announced?
Finalists will be announced in early spring.

When will winners be announced?
Winners will be announced at the Austin Under 40 Gala in 2023.