New enterprise competition

New enterprise competition      


Information for entrants


Past winners

NEC 2014 update

On the 21 May 2014 eleven of the most exciting new business ideas generated by University of Bristol students, staff, and recent alumni were selected to progress to the final round of the annual New Enterprise Competition in October 2014 and a chance to win grant funds of up to £35,000. The shortlisted finalists were:

Balance Stationery (Alumnus Jon Lewis), Cancer Detection RS (Research Fellow Dr John Day), Contolo (UG Theo Ricketts), Create Hub (Alumnus Sam Fry), EatEase (Alumnus Mark Gibbons), Fidelis Technology (UG Oliver Spragg), Inductosense NDT (PhD student Cheng-Huan Zhong), Options (PhD student Nigel Newton),  MB Cleats (UG Oliver Spragg and UG Aidan Wickham), SMALprint (Alumnus Muzz Lakhani).   

About the New Enterprise Competition

The New Enterprise Competition (NEC) is our flagship business idea challenge. The competition is open to students, staff, and alumni who have graduated within five years of the competition year. 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.


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NEC 2014 introduced the New Enterprise Fund which takes the form of two new early-stage feedback panels for ideas in autumn and spring terms. These are essentially feedback opportunities to help ideas develop in readiness for the main competition in May. However, we are also have some small grants available to help develop and prove business ideas in readiness for the main competition. Attendance at either early-stage panel is not required to enter the main competition in May and success or failure in gaining a grant has no bearing on success in the main competition.

(Further dates to be confirmed)

The New Enterprise Fund: Round One

Oct 2013

Launch round one of the New Enterprise Fund, calling for undergraduate, postgraduate, alumni and staff submissions.


4 Dec 2013

Round one panel review awarding packages of support and funding (grants of up to £500 max).


The New Enterprise Fund: Round Two

Jan 2014

Launch of round two, calling for undergraduate, postgraduate alumni and staff submissions (deadline 5 March).


13 Mar 2014

Round two panel review, awarding packages of support and funding (grants of up to £1000 max).


The New Enterprise Competition 2014

Mar 2014

Launch of the New Enterprise Competition 2014, calling for business plan submissions from students, alumni and staff.


21 May 2014

Panel review to shortlist finalist and award packages of support and funding (grants of up to £1000 max).


29 Oct 2014

Final pitch to judging panel ahead of the annual enterprise dinner.


13 Nov 2014

The Enterprise Dinner 2014, at which all finalists showcase projects followed by awards ceremony.


Information for entrants

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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 2008.

Find out how to enter the competition.


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This year the New Enterprise Competition is generously sponsored by:

Past winners

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In 2013 the Competition was won by Postgraduate student Tom Carter and his business 'Ultrahaptics'. You can read about all the winners on the University news pages.

If you need even more inspiration, see our list of past winners!