The new partnership between the University of Aberdeen and banking giant Santander is offering current students and recent graduates the chance to develop and take a business idea to market.
A total prize fund of over £10,000 is on offer to help realise the dreams of budding business entrepreneurs.
The competition is now open for all current Aberdeen students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and to all alumni who graduated within the last two academic years.
The best ideas submitted to the competition from individual entrants and teams will compete to win attractive prizes to help turn the idea into a thriving business.
The closing date is Friday 7 March and entrants who have been shortlisted will be notified by 14 March. Pitches and interviews will be during the week of 21 March, and the winners will be announced on 25 March.
Launching the competition, University Principal Professor Sir Ian Diamond said: “We are confident that this new partnership with Santander will bring many benefits and great opportunities for our students as part of this growing international network. The nurturing of entrepreneurial skills in our student community is an important priority we share with international universities in the Santander network, along with internationalisation and the transfer of knowledge.
“I hope many of our students and recent graduates will be inspired to enter this competition, and I look forward to hearing about their creative and innovative business ideas.”
The judging panel for the Business Ideas Competition will include representatives of Santander and the University’s Business School, experts from the energy industry and from University spin-out companies, and an investor in life science research.
The overall winner, or winning team, will receive £3,500, with the runner-up receiving £1,500, and a third place of £500. Prizes will also be awarded for the best idea for a social enterprise and for the best pitch, with further prizes awarded at the judges’ discretion.
There will also be a prize of £2000 for the best energy-themed idea with the winner receiving a further benefit through support with incubation space.
Advice will be available to applicants at all stages of the competition from experts in the University’s Research and Innovation team. Applicants can attend one of our drop-in sessions for bespoke advice for their idea.
The University will select two of the best applications (one each from the undergraduate and postgraduate categories) to go forward to the national Santander Entrepreneurship Awards competition.
The Business Ideas Competition is part of a package of benefits from the partnership signed in September last year between the University and the Santander Universities global network. Also launching this spring will be a new package of scholarships and travel grants, and an internship programme which will give students the benefits of working on real-life business scenarios through placement with an SME organisation.
For details and application form see www.abdn.ac.uk/santander-competition