Issue date: 15 October 2003

ISSUE DATE: 15/10/03

Prizes worth £20,000 are on offer to help build the best new business of the year in the University of the West of England’s Business Plan Competition.

Teams can consist of UWE staff or students. They will be competing for a top prize of £12,500 plus a year’s rent-free place – worth £2,500 - in UWE’s city-centre business incubator, Innovate. In addition to the first prize, students also have a chance to win their own £2,500 cash award for the best student-led entry. The student winners will also receive rent-free space in the high-tech incubator.

Everyone who enters will benefit from advice on how to turn a business brainwave into reality during the competition. During the run-up to the final judging in April next year, there will be a series of workshops to help build a good business plan. The sponsors - Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants, Business West, ICON Corporate Finance, Royal Bank of Scotland, Osborne Clark Solicitors and UWE - also provide mentoring during the competition’s later stages.

The competition is organised by the Centre for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies. Last year’s winning plan – software to reduce costs for building large-scale projects - was the brainchild of a team of computer scientists and engineers.

Dr James Scanlan, of the winning team, praised the Business Plan Competition for getting their idea off the ground, saying:

“The competition and particularly the final prizegiving was extremely well organised and inspiring. The process stimulated us to get our ideas on a business footing quickly. Meeting with the sponsors helped us focus enormously."

The deadline for entry to the competition is 1 December 2003. For further information, visit the competition website on www.uwe.ac.uk/business/comp or email enterprise@uwe.ac.uk.


Editor’s notes

Timetable for the competition is as follows:

Competition launch - 5 November 2003
Deadline for initial entries - 1 December 2003
Round 1 shortlist announced - December 2003
Deadline for detailed plans - February 2004
Winners announced - May 2004

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