Our pals over at NACUE (that’s the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) are once again on the hunt for student / graduate entrepreneurs who reckon their business has the potential to hit the big time.
The motivation behind the competition’s creation is a simple one; to showcase and celebrate the best early-stage enterprises being created within colleges and universities across the UK. But for the winner, a more comprehensive reward lies in store with a cash injection, as well as plenty of other business support.
Over the past 6 years the Varsity Pitch Competition has grown into one of the country’s flagship entrepreneurial events, and has shed light on some truly amazing student / graduate run businesses, which are leading the way in innovation and growth.
This year’s competition will build to a grand final, taking place (quite fittingly) during Global Entrepreneurship Week this November, where finalists will battle it out in front of an audience and expert panel of investors and entrepreneurs to win the national title.
Last year, the Varsity Pitch Competition saw its highest ever level of entries, with over 400 applications from all corners of the UK, this year they hope to push the ceiling further still.
The Application Process
As in previous years, the application process is divided into industry categories, which are; Tata Social Impact, Tata Disruptive Business, Genuine Innovation, Lloyds Creative, Apps and Online with Xero, Product Design, Entertainment, and Young Founders (16-19). The best applicants from each category will battle it out within their industry, before entering the final stage to compete in front of hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors, public figures, and members of the media.
Contestants can enter by submitting a 60 second online video pitch related to any of the eight categories outlined above.
The closing date for applications isn’t until October 21st, so you’ve got plenty of time to polish and refine your offering!
During their time since the competition, the last 4 winners have grown continuously and now have a combined value well in excess of £10m; an indication of how high the standard of applicant is!
Last year’s winning entry was a mobile payments app called Wyre which aims to make mobile payments more simple and accessible through the use of bitcoin. Co-founder of Wyre, Ed Moyse had this to say about taking part.
“The Varsity Pitch was an amazing opportunity we’re really proud to have been part of. It’s a rapidly growing competition that’s opened up plenty of doors for us. We’re looking forward to what’s next.”
Tata LTD UK are one of the event’s major supporters. Here’s what their executive director had to say.
“We are delighted to continue our work with NACUE over the next three years, including on the unique Varsity Pitch. Tata’s participation in the event is just as rewarding to us as I’m sure it is to the talented finalists. I personally look forward to seeing what a new generation of entrepreneurs have to offer to the fast-changing business landscape.”