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Santander Entrepreneurship Awards 2014 call for entries

  • Up to £20,000 awarded to most entrepreneurial idea presented by undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • Total prize pot of £44,000.
  • Deadline for submissions: 28 March 2014.
  • Awards ceremony to be held in London later this year.

London, 14th February 2014-. Enterprising undergraduates and graduates in the UK are being invited to enter the fourth Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards, which offer a top prize of £20,000 to the best idea presented to an expert panel of judges.

The awards aim to support and encourage university students to pursue their business ideas and are open to students from all participating UK universities currently partnering with Santander Universities.

Santander is committed to encouraging and promoting enterprise at all stages of the business cycle.  One area that needs more support is marketing brilliant ideas, which in a good deal of cases are born in the classrooms of many UK campuses.

Ana Botín, Santander UK’s chief executive, says: “The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards have become an aspiration for university entrepreneurs in the UK. The quality of the entries grows year after year, which is testament to the drive and inventiveness of our university students.

Most of the previous winners have already launched their ventures into the market with great success, and at Santander we are proud to be supporting their projects at the time they most crucially need that support.”

How it works

  • Two categories: Undergraduate and Postgraduate.
  • Applicants must submit a business plan of no more than five double-sided pages plus a cover sheet and maximum of two appendices.
  • Participating universities then begin the selection process.
  • The university will choose one application per category.
  • The deadline for universities to submit their entries to Santander is 28 March.
  • Once Santander has received all submissions from each category the business plans will be reviewed by representatives from Santander’s Business and Corporate Banking Divisions.
  • The top 10 business plans will be selected for review and submitted to 10 judges, selected mostly from the universities partnering with Santander, who will then mark the business plans.
  • Santander will announce the five final entrants for each category on 11 June 2014.
  • Candidates will then be invited to present their idea to the panel of judges on 30 June 2014.
  • Winners announced at an awards ceremony in London with a date yet to be confirmed.

Prizes
-Postgraduate fist prize: £20,000.  Second prize: £10,000.  Third prize: £5,000.
-Undergraduate first prize: £5,000.  Second prize: £3,000.  Third prize: £1,000.

Previous winners
Last year’s Postgraduate category winner, i-Solarlite’s Rahul Pushp, won the accolade for his idea to provide electricity to developing countries by harnessing solar renewable energy and ultimately to eradicate the usage of kerosene fuel.

Rahul said: “It has been a great experience with Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards last year. The fact that it acknowledged our team's hard work in bridging the gap between rich and poor by bringing affordable solar lighting into their lives is very overwhelming. The entries were so competitive and diverse. I hope Santander, very successfully, continues to motivate young entrepreneurs like me and many others for many years to come".

The 2013 Undergraduate winner was Victoria Hamilton, Product Design student at the University of Strathclyde.  She won this category with her innovative knee protector aimed at reducing the risk of osteoarthritis of the knee.

Victoria said: “When I entered the competition it was still really all an idea in my head. I was amazed at how the association with the competition quickly propelled me from idea to the set up of VH Innovation Ltd in three short months. I got a lot of interest from many influential people, who were all able to help me get things moving. Without the help of Santander Universities I would be nowhere near where I am today, the association with such a prestige competition has been a massive benefit.”

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