New enterprise competition

New enterprise competition      



The New Enterprise Competition (NEC) is our flagship business idea challenge. The competition is open to students, staff, and recent graduates. Whilst there are different stages to the competition all you really need is an original idea for a self-sustaining business.

It’s open to both commercial and social enterprises, and includes everything from simple conceptual ideas through to businesses in their first year of trading.

Throughout the competition we provide educational events, opportunities to get feedback and support, and the chance to meet all kinds of useful contacts.

Each year the total prize pot is around £35,000, all kindly donated by our sponsors. This includes cash prizes, packages of legal support, and business acceleration services.

Timetable (2014-2015)

The NEC consists of three rounds. The first two rounds are feedback opportunities to help ideas develop in readiness for the third round, which is the main competition. Some small grants are available at Round 1 & 2. Attendance at either early-stage panel is not required to enter the main competition and success or failure in gaining a grant has no bearing on success in the main competition.

Timetable for academic year 2014-2015:

New Enterprise Competition: Round One
26/09/14 Round one opens
21/11/14 Round one closes
05/12/14 Round one panel review, awarding packages of support and funding (grants of up to £500 max).
New Enterprise Competition: Round Two
26/01/15 Round two opens
27/02/15 Round two closes
12/03/15 Round two panel review, awarding packages of support and funding (grants of up to £1000 max).
New Enterprise Competition: Final Round
23/03/15 New Enterprise Competition opens
01/05/15 New Enterprise Competition closes
14/05/15 Panel review to short-list finalist.
01/10/15 Final pitch to judging panel ahead of the annual Enterprise Dinner.
15/10/15 The Annual Enterprise Dinner 2015, at which all finalists showcase projects followed by awards ceremony.

Information for entrants

The opportunity to get professional advice, feedback, and mentoring is valuable to all those who take part, arguably more so than the prizes. Even those who don’t go on to win gain a lot from simply being involved in the competition.

Eligible entrants must be a current student or staff member at the UoB or have graduated from the University of Bristol since 2010.

Find out how to  enter the competition.


This year the New Enterprise Competition is generously sponsored by:




Past winners

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In 2014 the Competition was won by Postgraduate student Cheng-Huan Zhong . You can read about the winner and runners up on the University news pages.