How to enter

Eligibility

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

New Enterprise Competition - December Feedback Panel Open in November

To enter Round One of the NEC, for early feedback and a 'try it' grant of up to £500, register yourself on the Basecamp website and respond to the 'New Enterprise Competition - Round One' Challenge with your idea using their form. The deadline for Round One is 23:59 on the 30th of November and successful applicants will pitch to a feedback panel on December 8th.

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

For team applications you each need to register yourselves individually and then one of you can enter the others to participate in your idea.

New Enterprise Competition - March Feedback Panel – NOW CLOSED

To enter Round Two of the NEC, for early feedback and a 'try it' grant of up to £1000, register yourself on the Basecamp website and respond to the 'New Enterprise Competition - Round two’ Challenge with your idea. The deadline for Round Two is 23:59 on the 7th March and successful applicants will pitch to a feedback panel on March 28th.

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

For team applications you each need to register yourselves individually and then one of you can enter the others to participate in your idea.

New Enterprise Competition - Main Competition – Open Now

After the two early feedback rounds comes the main event. With £20,000 still to be claimed in prize grants this is the highlight of the New Enterprise Competition.

To enter the Main Competition of the NEC, you must write a 10-page business plan and submit it by the 22nd September. 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. The Shortlist will be announced on the 13th October and pitching will occur on 1st November.

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.

Apply through the Basecamp website.

Finalist round

Only ten to twelve of the Business Plans will be shortlisted by the judges and those entries will go into the pitching process. The finalists will deliver 10 minute presentations 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.

Everyone involved in the online application system has signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement so can be trusted.

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!