How to enter

First, have a read through the competition rules to make sure that your team is eligible to apply and you understand how the competition works.

If you're happy to proceed, write a one-page document outlining your business idea. This must be word-processed and must not exceed one side of A4 in a reasonable sized font. The one-page plan should cover the following topics:

  • Business idea
  • Market analysis
  • Competitive landscape analysis
  • Team
  • Financials
  • Progress to date

If you would like any more guidance on what should be included in your one-page plan, email Downing Enterprise for additional support.

Download a competition entry form here and fill it in, listing the full names of all team members and their affiliations (e.g. Downing student, alumnus, student of another College etc), along with their subjects, years and the names of tutors and directors of studies and full contact details (home and College).  Remember to designate a Team Leader with a Downing affiliation, and to get each member of the team to sign and date the entry form.

Attach your entry form to your one-page business plan and send an electronic copy to by noon on Wednesday, 6th January 2016.


Welcoming a Downing Member - Pairing-up Scheme

If you are a start-up looking for a Downing member to join your team, please fill out this form to enter our databases.
Once your entry has been recorded, you will be able to access the list of Downing members looking to join a startup and will also be put on the list shown to Downing members looking to take part in a new business.
All contacts between start-ups and Downing members on the lists will be made through the Downing Enterprise Chief Operating Officer.
If you find a Downing member that you would like to welcome to your team, please email with the reference number and we will put you in contact.

The Next Step

So what happens once you've submitted your business plan?

If the judges like your idea, they might offer you a prize of up to £1,000. They might also invite you to submit a full business plan to be considered for investment, with the help of a mentor from the Downing Enterprise board. The deadline for full business plans is in April 2016 (date TBC) . A hard copy should be sent to Susan Esden, Development Office, Downing College, or an electronic copy to

Once your full business plan has been submitted, the judges will invite you to present it to the Board. If the team is comprised exclusively or mostly of undergraduates, this presentation will be in September. If not, the presentation will be in April, shortly after the business plan submission date.

The Board will then select one or more winning teams to receive investment up to a maximum value of £25,000 per team.