Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) run one of the most successful business creation competitions in the world. Since 1999 CUE has evolved to being a key part of the University's ecosystem for supporting and accelerating entrepreneurship and innovation.
Congratulations to our CUE Grand Finale Winners 2016!
The CUE Silicon Valley initiative was started in 2014, with the idea to enrich the experience of the CUE £5K competition winners. In addition to the £5K prize, the winning teams participate in an (all expenses paid) intensive oneweek tour of the Bay Area, where they get to meet Silicon Valley-based startups, multinational corporations, as […]
Come join us for the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs Grand Launch. We’ve got an exciting agenda with the announcement of our business creation competition, speeches from business leaders and then some networking over wine and cheese to finish! You’ll get to meet: Toby Norman – CEO & Co-founder of Simprints, which has been funded by ARM and the Gates […]
The new committee for 2016-17 is excited to bring more wonderful workshops, events and competitions to you this year! You can find all our popular events, particularly our Ideas Take Flight business creation competition and the Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition on our term card below, but remember to keep an eye on your emails […]
Ideas Take Flight
Ever had an idea that you thought could turn into a cool business, but wondered how? Looking at other successful start-ups, have you ever wondered "How do they do it?" The fact is that most successful entrepreneurs have, at some point or other, had a helping hand. With CUE's annual Ideas Take Flight competition, we can help turn your idea into commercial reality. The competition is open to entrants in three areas: Science and Technology, Social Enterprise and Software (Full Rules in the Competition Handbook 2016). Although each area is run in three phases, you can enter any one or more at any stage before the respective closing date:
£100 for 100 words
"Write 100 words and convince our judges that your idea has legs"
Your entry can be in any of the three areas described above. Simply write 100 words describing your idea and enter for a chance to win one of twenty £100 prizes. At this stage the requirements are the same for each area.
Entering at this early stage will give you ample time to discuss your ideas and to access training and mentoring opportunities offered by CUE.
Competition is OPEN! The deadline to submit your entry is 6 November. The 100 words award ceremony will be held on 21 November. Submit your Ideas HERE.
"Write a 1500 word executive summary to show your idea has wings"
Write a 1500 word executive summary of your idea for a chance to win one of ten £1k prizes before the final stage of the competition. At this stage the requirements are the same for all areas.
If you do not win this or the previous phase, you still can enter the final phase of the competition.
Competition is now closed. Congratulations to all our £1K winners and runner-ups 2016! We will reopen this competition in December 2016.
"Convince judges and investors that your idea can fly!"
In the case of Science and Technology or Social Enterprise you will be required to produce a 3500 word business plan. In the case of Software you will need to present slides, a demonstration video and a 2000 word business plan.
If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited to pitch your idea to a panel of investors and business angels for a chance to win one of the £5k prizes, the angel prize as well as potential investment in your business.
Competition is now closed. Congratulations to all our £5K winners 2016! We will reopen this competition in March 2017.
The competition is run in three areas and each has three stages. You can enter the competition within any area, at any of the three stages and can have as many entries as you wish. Note however that entering the competition earlier will give you a better chance of “fleshing out” your idea by taking advantage of our mentoring and networking events. Please read our Competition Handbook 2016.
If you wish to discuss your entry or are not sure where your idea fits best contact the respective CUE directors (please note that the directors can not accept entries directly). You should submit your entry through the online form for that competition, found on the Competition page
Training, mentoring and sponsorship
By entering the Ideas Take Flight competition, a range of opportunities to improve your business skills will become available to you. If your idea is selected at the early stages, you will receive training and mentoring to help you progress to the final stages. This help can come in the form of:
- Training: Helping you get the most out of your idea through business and commercial training
- Mentoring: We can provide a dedicated mentor to you and your team to help you reach your goals
- Sponsorship: If your idea is considered to be of special interest, you may receive early sponsorship to put it in the fast track
Join the committee
Here at CUE we are always looking for ideas to keep us fresh and appealing to budding entrepreneurs. If your feel that we could benefit from a new point of view or simply wish to help with organising and running the numerous events and activities please contact the CUE President to discuss how you can become involved!
CUE runs a series of events during the year to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem here at Cambridge University ranging from informal networking events to our Ideas Take Flight competition, culminating in the Grand Finale later in the year!
At CUE, we believe that even the best idea will fail if it is not exposed to the right audience. One of our main strategic goals is to be the leading support body for entrepreneurial activities by building a credible innovation ecosystem. Such ecosystems grow organically through individual involvement of inventors, innovators, established companies and funding bodies. We support this through a number of networking events over the course of the year.
The CUE Organisation
As an investor, there are various ways you can support CUE.
- Attend the networking and other events to give budding entrepreneurs the chance to talk to and interact with seasoned veterans
- Become a Judge for our flagship Ideas Take Flight event
- Invest directly in CUE to support us in growing the ecosystem
Needless to say, by becoming involved you will:
- Gain access to a growing body of early stage entrepreneurs and peers
- Grow your presence amongst the next generation of business leaders
- Be exposed to early stage technologies
- Gain an early “in” on investment opportunities
To discuss how you would like to be involved, please contact the CUE President.