Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Can you write an award-winning business plan?  Would you like to win up to £20,000 to make that plan a reality?  Read on!

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards application process is now open. This national initiative invites applications from 72 UK universities to submit business plans from one Undergraduate students and one Postgraduate student.  The winners of the overall competition in the UG and PG categories can win up to £5,000 and £20,000 respectively.

The first step towards this is a shortlisting process by the university to identify our two institutional entries.  If you think that you have what it takes to submit a winning entry for Lancaster, then please download the information pack here.

The deadline to submit your business plan to the shortlisting process is 24th March.  A panel of Enterprise Champions from across the University will then review all the entries and select one from each category to be put forward into the competition.

All enquiries and submissions should be sent to Please ensure that you state whether you are applying as an undergraduate or postgraduate in your covering email. Business plan submissions should arrive no later than 12noon on Monday 24th March.

The 2014 China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge is now open

The China UK Entrepreneurship Challenge aims to encourage new business ventures between China and the United Kingdom, and is intended to simulate the real-world process of entrepreneurs seeking start-up funds from early-stage investors and venture capital firms. The competition is part of the PMII (Prime Minister Initiative II) Connect project, supported by the British Council and the Confucius Institute programme funded by Hanban.

For further information and to register see here.

Enterprise challenge with npower!

How do we put the energy back into energy companies?

Energy is the lifeblood of modern society and the foundation of our economic and personal wellbeing. However, the relationship between energy providers and customers is changing: from being a supplier of ‘invisible’ power or gas, we now offer energy services, products and energy efficiency measures. It is a dynamic industry making daily decisions that directly affect the economy; it’s complex and diverse, making it a fascinating place to work.

However, Energy companies are now seen as less trustworthy than bankers and politicians and stand accused of profiteering, even though the facts don’t match the media hype. We know that customer service levels need to improve and increasing prices need to be explained. Levels of trust have decreased across the industry and particularly for npower – with our customers, the general public, media and Government.

What can npower do to positively engage everyone whilst still managing to remain profitable in a competitive market?

We want you, in 500 words, to tell us ‘How do we put the Energy back into Energy Companies?’


The winning team will receive

  • £500 cash per team member
  • A paid internship with npower (£16k pro rata)
  • The chance to meet important npower employers and managers

The deadline to enter this challenge is the 10th February 2014.

More details here.

Battle of the Colleges 2014

Sunday, 9th February 2014, 1pm – 5pm, Pendle Rooms (Pendle Bar)

Want to win the title and trophy for being the most enterprising college while developing some job winning skills and learn some of the fundamentals of business?
Want to represent Lancaster at a national competition that will look great on your CV?

Then, pick a team and book your place now on TARGETConnect!

Battle of the Colleges is an inter-college pitching competition open to everyone who wants to meet new people, support their college and gain valuable employability skills, such as team work, presentation skills, self-confidence, commercial awareness, and self-motivation. Last year many students came dressed to impress!

“Flux was challenging, stressful and tiring: however, it was the most amazing and fun experience that I would DEFINITELY do again!”.

What will you compete on? You will have 90 minutes to work on a business idea with your team and deliver a pitch to a panel of business minded staff, alumni and local entrepreneurs!

Free lunch is provided and you will have amazing networking opportunities.

But, it doesn’t stop there!

Other than being awarded as the most enterprising college for your college, the winning team will then represent Lancaster University at the National FLUX competition on 1st and 2nd April 2014 with the chance to WIN £500 CASH. FLUX is the largest national competition for the UK’s hottest young business brains.

The competition has seen over 30,000 students take part from over 100 universities.  You will meet top-class recruiters and definitely enhance your CV!

Get your team and book you place on TARGETConnect now!
You know your college is best, now prove it!

Download flyer here: BATTLE OF COLLEGES – A4 poster

Environment Agency Innovation Competition

Are you a student or post doc studying in the North of England? Have you got an idea on how we can help communities at risk of flash flooding?

You will have seen over the last few weeks how devastating flooding can be and how the impact can be, and is, being felt by communities for weeks and months after the rain has finished falling and the tides have receded.

Whether it be flooding from rivers, the sea or from flash flooding, the risk to communities and businesses is often significant. Across the country around 215 communities have been identified by the Environment Agency as being at risk of flash flooding, with 125 in the North of England alone.

This years’ University Challenge competition is your opportunity to present your innovative ideas or solution to the issue of flash flooding to the Environment Agency and CIWEM. We are always keen to improve our ability to mitigate the impacts of flash flooding and both the Environment Agency or our partners may look to help develop or deliver your idea within a local community or suitable area.

The competition is open to students and post-docs within the North of England. As well as being a great experience and addition to your C.V. the competition and following presentation ceremony is great opportunity to present your idea to industry professionals and possibly attract interest or funding to your idea and provides an excellent networking opportunity for your future careers. This could be your opportunity to directly help local communities using the ideas you present, but be quick, the competition closes on Friday 14 February.

Please visit for more information on the competition, and details on how to enter. If you have any specific questions, please email

Kind regards,

The Flash Flooding Challenge Team

Tech Strategy Board opens competition to find UK’s most “digitally innovative” start-ups

A national competition giving digital start-ups the chance to win a share of £225,000 funding and work with some of the country’s leading brands has launched today.

Hosted by IC Tomorrow, a division of the government’s Technology Strategy Board, the “Digital Innovation Contest: Cross Sector Exploration” aims to support the development of early-stage businesses with new ideas to grow the digital industry.

Made up of nine challenges across three themes; retail, events and analytics, the competition invites entrants to provide creative solutions for a range of real-life digital strategies.

The nine winning businesses will be awarded up to £25,000 each and will be granted the opportunity to partner with major companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, SYCO Entertainment, Procter & Gamble, and Argos, to help implement their business models.

The competition will run in London with the finale held in April.

Matt Sansam, programme manager at IC tomorrow, said: “This competition is an exciting opportunity for start-ups looking to see their ideas come to life.

“Our main objective is to pair today’s burgeoning tech-talent with established businesses and organisations so they can share insights on adapting to, and making the most of, a continuously developing digital economy.”

Digital operations director of SYCO Entertainment, Jim Leedham, added:

“We believe that there is a real opportunity to build a product which can pick out and monitor potential talent in the plethora of digital content that is created every day – we can’t wait to see the results of this challenge!”

The deadline for entries is Wednesday 26 February, to find out more about the “Digital Innovation Contest” click here.

Innovations Skills HC 2014

Innovation Skills at HC 2014 Manchester, 19th-20th March

‘Models’ and ‘Prototypes’ and ‘Part-solutions’ – A focus on genuine socially-driven support for early stage healthcare solutions with further development potential.

1. Innovation Education Mornings

FORMAT: Enterprise Education Drop-in Clinic

On-the-hour, 10 minute high level presentations on key skills, followed by 50 minutes of mentoring support from 2 subject-matter experts – experienced entrepreneurs and pro bono mentors.

Three themes per morning:
10 am. Financial Modelling – Valuing and presenting your service – to users, partners and investors.
11 am. Marketing Planning – Understanding the customer – and the buyer. Building a robust route to market strategy.
12 pm. Building the team – Finding timely help to turn your idea into a full product and business.

2. Technology Development Afternoons

FORMAT: Total ‘User’ Feedback Gathering

2-4 pm.

Three tables of stakeholders ready to give input to developers in short 15m doses:
Scope: Up to (8 x 3 =) 24 business ideas.

Three sorts of panel input:
Patient panel – test your idea on patients to assess appeal and useability issues.
Technology specifier panel – determine where your technology will need to integrate and connect to be able to scale.
Compliance panel – discover what legal and process hurdles your technology will need to jump to be useable within the NHS, and who might be able to help.

3. Investor Demo Sessions

4.15-5.15 pm

Up to 6 business concepts per day will be invited to give 5 minute pitch, with 5 minutes feedback,
Panel to include a Clinician, a Patient advocate, a Technologist, an Investor and an NHS ‘Buyer’.
Each to give 1 minute feedback to each idea.

Three ideas will receive BCS-mentored development support, The overall winner each day receives a small cash grant/award for commercial technology development.

4. Follow through

Option to access presentations and materials after the event, and to contact and receive peer feedback on developments and ideas.

Many thanks much more on this subject soon

Wendy Dearing
Head of Workforce & Organisational Development

Gweithlu a Datblygu Trefniadol/Workforce & Organisational Development
GIG Cymru Gwasanaeth Gwybodeg/ NHS Wales Informatics Service
Ffon/Phone: 07795503316

Calling hungry entrepreneurs – 2014 Cupcake Challenge!

You are invited to the next Lancaster ‘Young’ Professionals Network (LYPN) on Thursday 13th February 2014 at the Storey in Lancaster.

Join in the LYPN’s the first event for 2014 and get creative with our Cupcake Challenge, back by popular demand! It will be a great way to meet new people and ultimately gain new business in relaxed environment. You will also be enjoying drinks and tasting the delightful NICE deli boards.

Venue & time – NICE Bar & Restaurant, The Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Cost: Members £12 +VAT, Non Members & Guests £12 +VAT.

Don’t miss out, book now by emailing or visiting to meet like-minded young professionals working in the district and be provided with the opportunity to gain new social and professional business contacts.

Micro-Tyco competition prepares to launch

Starting with just £1, how much money could you raise in 30 days? 

This is the Micro-Tyco Challenge, aimed at harnessing and developing entrepreneurial spirit in students.  Teams of five will receive a micro-loan of £1 and using their ingenuity and creativity work against the clock to transform it into as much money as possible.

What happens to all the money raised?

The money is converted into more micro-loans for entrepreneurs in the developing world, aimed at helping the world’s poorest people work their own way out of poverty with dignity, giving them a hand up, not a hand out.  Typically, a micro-loan of just £150 can transform over 20 lives in a  meaningful way by starting new businesses that create employment.

What can my team win?

Apart from the warm feeling of helping to make the world a better place there are a number of incentives in place for those aspiring to take their entrepreneurial skills further, including internships, private dinners with influential business owners and networking opportunities at key employers such as Deloitte’s.  And of course t-shirts, trophies and badges for runners-up!

How do we raise money?

The only limitation really is that all your activities should be legal.  Other than that, it’s down to your team’s skills, experience, creativity, contacts, powers of persuasion and bartering abilities!  Prior to and during the competition you’ll be sent video links from the global Micro-Tyco Mentors who will provide tips and advice for the challenge.

How do I register?

You need to find a team of five and register quickly as the clock is ticking.  The deadline for registration is 24th January.  The challenge will start on 1st February.  To register, visit  For more information, contact