Top 100 Overview

Since 1996, technology industry executives, investors, and strategists have valued the Red Herring 100 lists as an instrument for discovering and advocating the most promising private ventures from around the world.

The Red Herring Top 100 award highlight the most exciting startups from Asia, Europe and the Americas. Hundreds of companies from each region are reviewed in a rigorous 3-step process that looks at all aspects of the company.

The quality of Red Herring Award winners is proof of the thoroughness of the selection process.

Applicants must be:

  • A technology/life science company
  • Headquartered in the specific region of the corresponding Red Herring 100 award program
  • Privately held and not listed on any exchanges anywhere in the world

Red Herring 100 Awards are widely recognized as one of the industry’s more prestigious recognitions, with hundreds of candidates from each continent competing for a Top 100.

Red Herring uses more than 20 criteria to analyze the companies. Some criteria are scale-based and some are absolute numbers.

Criteria for the selection include, but are not limited to:

  • Level of specialty
  • IP in the solution created through internal R&D
  • Social contribution
  • Disruptiveness of the solution in its respective markets
  • Venture investment
  • Market maturity
  • International footprint (including international employees)
  • Revenues and the company’s overall globalization
  • Startup growth stage
  • Growth rate
  • Industry awards and recognitions
  • Market size
  • Execution index
  • Technological advantage
  • Number of customers and users
  • Regional considerations
  • Branding
  • CEO/Team experience and track record
  • Team quality and experience

All companies that have attended past Red Herring events have gone through this process. The event presentations help to verify the quality and the business model as much as the vision of the entrepreneur.  Choosing the winners is not just an internal process. Red Herring interacts with individual companies at several times prior to granting them an award. Also, all companies are examined by at least four judges before the conference, and by one or two judges during the event.

All companies submit a thorough report to help Red Herring judges reach a decisions.

Reports are read and vetted before a senior Red Herring representative  validates the data in a phone conversation with the CEO and determines if their business model deserves further attention. In some cases, the Red Herring team will advise the company to submit at a later date because the company may not have reached the critical mass required to give it chance of becoming a Red Herring 100 winner.

Once companies are validated and graded, a short-list is established representing the most qualified companies.  Companies making the short-list are asked to be part of the final phase of the award process, a live *presentation at their respective regional Top 100 event. The invitation is formal, done both verbally and via official email notification.  Costs and logistics of attending the event are all disclosed.


*Red Herring does not accept sponsorship of its events to avoid conflict of interest.  As a result, all  participants wishing to attend and present at the regional Top 100 Forums are required to purchase a membership to the event. The fee to attend an event (normally 2,900), which is run independently from the publication, is fully disclosed and agreed upon by all companies. The Red Herring Top 100 membership fee is applicable to all participants and companies participating in the final phase. The fee covers conference membership and materials, lunches, evening cocktail receptions, and the award dinner.


No one outside of a select few members of the Red Herring team have access to a company’s submission information.  It will never be used for any other purpose than to understand, analyze, review and judge the companies.  Absolutely no information is shared, published or in anyway compromised.  It is a de-facto confidentiality agreement.

Submit for 2017 Top 100 Europe
Submit for 2017 Top 100 North America

Top 100 Speakers

Red Herring welcomes speakers for all its events. Here are some of our past and future highlighted guests:


Elliot Geidt

Vice President,
Redpoint Ventures


Craig Sherman

Managing Director,
Meritech Capital Partners


Paul Deninger

Senior Managing Director,
Evercore Partners

“It was a great event, organized very well. Gave us an opportunity to meet with wonderful people & innovative entrepreneurs. Red Herring has created an amazing platform for learning & sharing and recognizing entrepreneurial spirit. …a great event!”

Anurag Mehra, IACT GLOBAL