The Astra Awards

Toucan Ventures, Blooming Founders, and NACUE have come together to bring you The Astra Awards!

The Astra Awards is a competition to recognise and champion the creative community, the very best students and female businesses that our country has to offer. The awards ceremony will be this Spring, on May 16th, and there are three categories – ‘Creative Innovator of 2018’, ‘Female Founder of 2018’ and ‘Student Breakthrough of 2018’ with a winner chosen from each.

If you would like to apply, you can do so via this link.

Onwards and upwards!


-Co-working space at Blooms London

-Fast-tracked straight through to NACUE’s annual pitching competition

-Dedicated support from NACUE with access to its ecosystem of mentors and like-minded individuals

-Exclusive access to Toucan’s extensive ecosystem of mentors

-Presented to Toucan Venture’s June 2018 Investment Committee


16th January 2018: Launch of the The Astra Awards

26th March 2018: Applications deadline at 23:59:59

30th April 2018: Judges to decide on finalists. Finalists will be contacted.

16th May 2018: The Astra Awards. Finalists pitch for the chance to win!


– The focus of the business should be within either Toucan, Blooming Founders or NACUE’s priority sectors. For Toucan, this is the Creative Community (F&B, Lifestyle & Retail), for Blooming Founders, this is Female Businesses and for NACUE, this is Student Entrepreneurs (and recent graduates of up to five years).

– The business must be based within the United Kingdom.

– The business must be scalable to a commercial level.

– The business must have proof of concept at time of application.

– The business must be able to clearly articulate its funding need and how that funding will be used.

– Ability to be ready for investment in 3-4 months, the founder must be at a point where they are able to concentrate their time and energy on their business and project.

For any initial enquiries regarding eligibility and business concept, please contact Charlotte Dugdale:



Rasha Khawaja: Founder & CEO of Toucan Ventures


Lu Li: Founder & CEO of Blooming Founders


Holly Knower: CEO of NACUE


David Landsman: Executive DirectorTata Limited


Bindi Karia: Founder, Boutique Advisory Firm