How to enter


To be eligible to win the New Enterprise Competition applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

New Enterprise Competition - Start-up Ideas

You can enter the Start-up Ideas stage of the competition in term 1 for early feedback and awards between £50 and £500. 

Ideas can be edited on the site right up until the deadline.

New Enterprise Competition - Start-up Development 

You can enter the Start-up Development stage of the competition open in term 2 for early feedback and awards of up to £1000. 

Ideas can be edited within the form right up until the deadline.

New Enterprise Competition - Start-up Growth 

After the two early feedback rounds comes the main event. With up to £20,000 in prizes this is the highlight of the New Enterprise Competition.

To enter the Start-up Growth stage of the competition, you must write a 10-page business plan and video pitch. Cover page, contents, and appendices will not count towards the 10-page limit. Whilst there is no set format for your plan we suggest, at a minimum, covering: your market research, financial projections, team, the competition, and need for your business. You will then be notified if you've been shortlisted to pitch to our panel of judges.

The competition has been updated to ensure that applications based upon intellectual property gained from University research will be judged through a separate application process to those based on personal IP.  This will result in two funding awards of equal value.

Pitching Stage

Only ten of the Business Plans will be shortlisted by the judges and those entries will go into the pitching process. The finalists will deliver a 10-minute presentation before the judges make a final decision.

For those who are unfamiliar with a standard business plan format then the University’s Business Basecamp enterprise support service will be available to provide advice through the summer.


What the judges look for

Entries are judged equally, and we look for:

The more evidence you can assemble to prove your product, market, business model, and team the better. It might be that you don’t currently have that information or possess the right skill-set, if so, make it clear how you will remedy this over time.

Ultimately, we will always judge well-evidenced business plans better than unproven concepts, but a great concept can go a long way and we will advise you on how to gather the evidence and build the business case.

In the last few years, the winners have included social and commercial enterprises in quantum cryptography, desert bars, funeral directing and ultrasonic technology.

The competition is for staff, graduates, or students, so make sure to apply. As you can see we welcome a broad range of enterprises!