Reasons why you should apply to the New Enterprise Competition- Development stage

The Development stage of the New Enterprise Competition (NEC) is open for applications until next Monday 1 March.

Considering applying for the chance of winning up to £1,000? Here are the top 4 reasons why you should take your ideas to the next level and submit an application:


The competition awards winners with up to £1,000 to go towards developing your start-up and the prize money can go towards anything. Whether it be developing a prototype, building a website, or purchasing tools and materials – whatever you need to take your ideas and turn them into a reality.

‘’The competition funding will allow our community workshop space to become a reality. We considered running a Crowdfunder, but funding from the NEC takes the pressure off and means that we have enough funds to purchase essential items that will be difficult to Crowdfund for.

We are excited that this funding will mean that all elements of our enterprise can start, and that we can start working towards developing products that can allow us to become financially self-sustaining.’’ – Precious Plastic Herzeele- 2020 winners

Develop your skills

Being able to explain your ideas and plans succinctly within an application is a crucial transferable skill, whether you can see yourself working on your start-up full time after university or not. It’s important when answering questions within an application form for a job, or even keeping to a word count within an essay. For this stage of the competition, you don’t need to develop a business plan. You just need to have an understanding on what your product/service is, outline who your market is and identify what you need the funding for.

If successful, you will be asked to prepare a pitch presenting your idea for 2 minutes. Not only will this enhance your confidence and presentation skills but communicating your plans in a few minutes is a key skill to nail.

Confidence builder

Talking to someone about your ideas is essential when developing a start-up. Not only is it important when speaking to potential customers, but feeling like your ideas are being listened too, validated and potentially funded, can act as a huge confidence booster. As well as this, the team can offer feedback on your application, so you feel ready for the next level. If you’re unsure what areas funding could go towards first, book in an appointment with the team to discuss this and feel confident when submitting an application.

‘’Pitching and being awarded funding built our confidence in our product as the team are so encouraging and helpful.’’ – Satis- 2020 winners


The New Enterprise Competition is the University of Bristol’s flagship start-up competition and will soon be entering its 20th year. It is endorsed and made possible by various sponsors including Santander and VWV. Many of our previous winners have gone on to work on their enterprises full time, hiring university graduates to enhance the start-up ecosystem. Winners join a prestigious group of start-ups and spinouts and are part of the 20-year tradition of celebrating and rewarding entrepreneurship at the University of Bristol.

‘’The funding from the competition not only motivates us to continue working as a team, but also allows us to get the ball rolling for development in the future. Having started the process of acquiring investment for future developments is really encouraging!’’- Fix My Crack- 2020 winners

The Development stage of the competition is open for applications. Get in touch with the team if you have any questions at