The New Enterprise Competition Ideas stage- Now open!

The New Enterprise Competitionthe University of Bristol’s flagship start-up competition hosted by the Basecamp Enterprise team, is soon to be entering it’s 20th year. 

Comprising  three stages: Ideas, Development and Growth, every year we award £35,000 plus pro-bono support over the stages to support start-up businesses, charities and social enterprises.  

The Ideas stage of the competition is now open for applications! 


Why apply for the Ideas stage? 

The competition is designed to inspire and encourage you to develop your business and think about your long-term career plans 

Over the years, applicants’ ventures have varied between sustainable clothing businesses to security software, from apps to enhance mental wellbeing to vegan snacks. Whether you have started to think about a product or service that could solve a problem over the summer, or you have a business venture you have been working on for the last few months, no idea is too small or too big for this stage.  

What do people say about this stage? 

As well as helping you start to develop your business with the chance of winning up to £200, this stage of the competition equips you with lots of skills to help you along your entrepreneurial journey. Past applicants credit the competition for helping build their confidence and ability to pitch and build their network.  

‘’I would never have been able to afford to get the idea off the ground without the funding from the New Enterprise Competition. It was also a massive confidence boost to have a team supporting me and believing in my idea after pitching to them. Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, so it’s important to get people alongside you who believe in what you’re doing too.’’-Focks Socks, 2019. 

What have previous winners gone on to do?

Above: The Basecamp Enterprise Team announce the good news to Kaedim in May

Previous winners have gone on to apply for the Development stage of the competition which will open in January 2021. Last year’s winners of the Growth stageKaedim, completed all stages in one year. 

The Development stage of the competition awards up to £1,000 in prize money to well researched solutions to a defined problem which demonstrates good market fit. 

If you don’t feel up to the next stage, you can develop your start-up idea by applying to the Enternship Scheme later in the year. This scheme provides you and your team with money to support your business idea by pairing you with an experienced mentor, helping you to take your idea further.  

Am I eligible? 

The Ideas stage of the competition is open for all University of Bristol current students and recent alumni (up to three years after you graduate). Don’t feel put off if you’re an undergraduate, there’s no limit to what counts as a start-up for this stage. It’s suitable for all and can enhance your entrepreneurial skills and can inspire you to get where you want to be when you graduate.  

Sounds great! Where do I sign up? 

Applications for the Ideas stage of the New Enterprise Competition are now open take a look at our resource to make a note of key dates and to check out our application process.  

If you have any questions, contact the Basecamp Enterprise team at can book a 1:1 appointment to discuss your business plans, ensure you read up on our resources and fill out a pre meeting form.