The initiative is sponsored by a private benefactor and supported by the Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin. Last year’s scheme saw start-up funding shared by a company producing photography software, a business selling advertising space on telecommunication boxes, an online service bringing together investors and installers of green energy projects, and a company specialising in nutritional supplements.
In addition to a share of the £35,000 of funding, successful applicants will also receive mentoring support, specialist training and development, legal support and advice, and access to the StartupLab, the new business incubation centre at Anglia Ruskin.
Lester Lloyd-Reason, Professor of International Enterprise Strategy at Anglia Ruskin (pictured above) said: “Cambridgeshire is a hotbed of entrepreneurship – and not just in the traditional technology sector. Here at Anglia Ruskin we are passionate about driving enterprise and entrepreneurship because we recognise that it’s the lifeblood of our economy, and we hope this scheme will help more local entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality.
“Last year’s scheme was a great success and we saw four excellent business ideas receive funding and support. Someone could bid for the whole £35,000, but it is more likely we would look to split the money between two or three budding entrepreneurs.”
The first phase, which closes at midnight on Saturday, 30 June, involves applicants submitting one page about their idea and another page about themselves. Successful applicants will get the chance to expand on their ideas in front of the judges, and those who proceed to phase three will formally pitch to the panel in the grand final.
The judging panel consists of Professor Lloyd-Reason, Julie Horne (business leader, coach and consultant), Mark Layton (Chairman and owner of Incomes Data Services), Dr Geoffrey Butlin (CEO of TranscenData Europe Ltd), James Barlow (chartered accountant), Ben Mumby-Croft (Senior Lecturer at Anglia Ruskin), Peter Taylor (Managing Director, TTP Group plc), Dr Walter Herriot OBE (Director of the CEDAR Entrepreneur in Residence network) and Roger Mumby-Croft (Professor of International Management Practice at Anglia Ruskin).