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Applications are now open for the 2019 Churchill College Enterprise competition, which seeks to identify the best business ideas of current Churchill students and alumni.
Open to teams or individuals with an innovative service of product they would like to develop; the competition will award the winning entry £1,000 to develop their ideas further, together with experienced business mentoring from the panel of judges and free part-time membership of ideaSpace for a year. The competition is generously supported by headline sponsor, the Federation of Shenzhen Commerce (FSC).
There will also be a new £250 prize for the ‘Most Innovative Technology’ awarded by supporting sponsor CyberHive. All competition finalists will receive one-to-one mentoring support for the duration of the competition, together with the potential to access ongoing “in-kind” investment (advice, networking and mentoring) by judging panel members, depending on the quality and nature of their entry.
The value of the Competition
Churchill alumnus Simon Jones (U85) is the Chair of the Churchill College Enterprise Competition. He is clear about the benefits of strengthening professional links between students and alumni.
'The aim of the competition is to create an environment where Churchill students and alumni can gain knowledge and skills in whatever future direction their careers take: corporate, banking, consulting or entrepreneurship. Through the Churchill Enterprise Competition we are bringing a bit of that magic into College in the expectation that we can bolster the chances of success of specific start-up ideas and also broaden business awareness amongst Churchill students and alumni.'
Another alumnus and panel member, Richard Brockbank (U96) identifies the need to equip Churchill graduates with entrepreneurial skills to enable the transition of their ideas to businesses that will have a real and lasting impact on the world:
'Churchill is a strong College academically, but to make an impact in today’s world I believe that’s not enough and the College must also strive to produce graduates with the entrepreneurial ability to take their ideas forward and turn them into winning businesses.'
This impact has already started to take shape for one of this year's Churchill Enterprise winners, which took the form of a 'Pitch to Win' competition:
'Being one of the winners for this year's competition was a wonderful experience for me. I gained some helpful contacts who provided constructive mentorship and advice on how to refine my business plan. Additionally, the cash prize helped support my startup to participate in a KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network) partnering mission and seek international partners. These aspects have been valuable in helping my startup develop along our journey.' Dr Jacqui Poon (G12)
We invite all current Churchill students, alumni and Junior Research Fellows who are interested in developing a business idea to compete in the 2019 Competition. Entrants will need to submit an outline of their idea, with an explanation of how it will be implemented and an evaluation of the idea’s potential benefits by the submission deadline of Friday 1 March 2019. All those shortlisted will be invited to give a short presentation to the Enterprise board on Monday 29 April 2019. There will be also an open advisory session in College on Tuesday 29 January 2019 at 7.30pm, for prospective entrants to ask questions and gain some one-to-one advice on potential submissions from some of the Enterprise judging panel.
Visit the Enterprise Competition page to find out more and read the Competition rules.
About our sponsors
If you have any questions about the competition, please contact Annabel Busher in the Alumni & Development office: