Spark Ideas Challenge

The Idea Competition for Cardiff University Students

NEW SUBMISSION DEADLINE – 7TH MARCH 2014

WHAT IS SPARK

Spark is the annual Ideas Competition for Cardiff University Students and graduates. With overall prize money of £10,000 available, Spark will give seven Cardiff University students* financial and a range of support to develop their ideas. Spark is part of the business start-up and ideas development support available through Cardiff University Enterprise which also includes business workshops and individual support. The competition is open to ALL Cardiff University students and entries from all sectors and subject areas are welcomed (Including not for profit organisations and social enterprises).

*Cardiff University alumni are eligible to enter the competition in the ventures category for up to five years after graduating.

WHAT IS INVOLVED

The competition is split into 3 different categories based on the level of development of the idea being entered. The categories are IDEA, PLAN and VENTURES. A winner and runner up will be selected from each category, making seven winners all together. All entrants are expected to make their submissions using the forms provided before the deadline date. All received applications will go through a shortlisting process and those shortlisted will then have the opportunity to present their applications to a panel of judges.

CATEGORIES EXPLAINED

There are 3 categories, or entry levels, to pick from to allow entries at different stages of their development.  These levels are IDEAS, PLAN &VENTURES.

  • The IDEAS level is for those with a potential idea that may have commercial potential but not investigated it in a structured manner as yet. You will be expected to include a 2minute video describing the idea along with your application. Submitted videos will be judged separately for the chance to win an additional £250.
  • The PLAN level is designed for those who may have performed a reasonable level of research or possibly some level of testing for the idea or product.
  • The VENTURES level is open to those already running businesses, projects, or even freelancing. Two (1 undergraduate and 1 postgraduate entry) applications from this category will also be shortlisted for the annual Santander Universities Award 2014.

The entry level is self-selective, but if you would like to discuss this before entry, please contacts us.

PRIZES & BENEFITS:

IDEAS CATEGORY PLAN CATEGORY VENTURES CATEGORY
1st Prize:     £1000 1st Prize:    £2000 1st Prize:    £3000
2nd Prize:    £750 2nd Prize:   £1000 2nd Prize:   £2000
Access to ongoing guidance and support Access to ongoing guidance and support Access to ongoing guidance and support
Access to developmental funds Access to developmental funds Access to developmental funds
Access to a business mentor for a year Access to a business mentor for a year Access to a business mentor for a year
Access to FREE office space for technology based ideas Access to FREE office space for technology based ideas Access to FREE office space for technology based ideas
An additional £250 will be awarded to then entry with the best video pitch. £500 worth of marketing services from an external sponsor
Opportunity to be shortlisted for Santander Universities Award worth a share of over £40’000.

*Note criteria, T&C may apply

 

HOW TO ENTER

To enter,

  • Simply select a category a category
  • Download an application form from the resource section
  • Complete and submit application to enterprise@cardiff.ac.uk with SPARK2014 as the subject
  • You can have you application reviewed as often as you like and make updates before submitting

HOW IS SPARK 2014 JUDGED?

The applications will be judged by an independent panel of judges who will consider the application in terms of both the business idea and the ambition and drive of the person making the application.  The judges will consider a number of factors when making their decisions including:

  • the viability and feasibility of the business idea
  •  any evidence of a researched target market
  • the drive and ambition of the students involved
  • the creativity and innovativeness of the idea.

AVAILABLE SUPPORT

In supporting students to demonstrate clarity of their ideas and entry, Cardiff University Enterprise offers a development programme that consists of workshops, meeting an advisor, providing thought provoking in-house guidance and support in establishing a formal plan.

 

IMPORTANT DATES & TIMELINE

October 8th 2013: Challenge launch

March 7th 2014: New submission deadline

March 26th 2014: Filming, Pitching & Judging (During Inspiring Enterprise Week)

Early May (TBC) : Award evening.

RESOURCES / APPLICATION FORMS

Ideas Stage Application Form

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venture_stage_application

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Spark 2014 Terms and Conditions

 

 

Ventures Stage Category supported by Marketest.co.uk

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