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£5k Challenge Entry Checklist & Submission

- Deadline Friday 19 February 11.59pm -

In order to enter your business idea into phase A of the £5k Challenge, please make sure that all the following steps are completed:

1. Write an extended executive summary of no more than 3500 words (Technology & Clean Tech, Social Enterprise and Consumer Product Challenge) or no more than 2000 words + up to 12 Slides (Software & Web stream).

CUE Winners on BBC Global Business

For the BBC programme Global Business, Peter Day visited Cambridge University to find out about entrepreneurship. At the CUTEC conference, he spoke to CUE Chairman Cong Cong Bo, as well as competition winner MagicSolver.com, a start-up company developing mobile phone applications and angel prize winner Meta Alternative, which is developing a tool to help software companies optimise and protect software products.

Click here to listen to a podcast of the programme.


Winners of the Entrepreneurs' Challenge 2009

A new treatment for Angiogenesis, a mobile pharmacy for rural Jordan, an iPhone application that lets users solve Sudoko puzzles and a programming optimiser. These are the winners of the 2008-2009 Entrepreneurs' Challenge. AngioSplice, Pharmawheels and iSolve were awarded £5k each and Meta Alternative walked away with the Angel Prize. All of this took place at the CUE Grand Finale on the 10th of June.

The Grand Finale

£15,000 of prize money was awarded to the most promising Cambridge start-ups, who were judged on the quality of their business plans, the potential for growth of their businesses and the skills within their team. In addition, an Angel Prize was awarded to the team presenting the most compelling case on the night to a distinguished panel of Cambridge Angel investors comprising:

  • David Cleevely, founder and former Chairman of Analysis
  • Sherry Cotou, founder, former CEO and Chairman of Interactive Investor International
  • Ewan Kirk, former Partner in charge of the Goldman Sachs Quantitative Strategies Group in Europe
  • Jonathan Milner, CEO of Abcam

The ceremony was held on the newly renovated premises of the Cambridge Union Society, which has hosted a wide range of famous speakers ranging from Henry Kissinger to Desmond Tutu and, more recently, the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani.

Before the winners were announced, selected finalists had a chance to present their business to the audience and the panel and an exciting addition to the event this year was the Live Pitch Contest, where three guest entrepreneurs were invited to pitch their ventures for the honour of audience recognition. These brave leaders were:

With a roaring applause Pocket Pubs was appointed the winner, taking home a much-coveted Golden Pitcher as their prize. Upon their return, the Angels announced Meta Alternative as this year's winner of the Angel Prize. Simon Ford from ARM, Steve Battersby from Philips and Neil Davidson from Red Gate awarded the prizes in the Technology & CleanTech, Social Enterprise and Software & Web streams.

The winners


Technology & CleanTech Prize
Team: Dawid Nowak, James Harmsworth King and Sam Hall

AngioSplice is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics that modulate angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels.  Existing therapies pursue a “shotgun” approach that silences naturally occurring anti-angiogenic signals along with pathologic pro-angiogenic signals and has the potential for significant off-target toxicities.  AngioSplice has identified a novel approach to modulating angiogenesis based on specifically controlling the balance of pro- and anti-angiogenic isoforms of the major angiogenesis signaling molecule, VEGF-A (VEGF).  The AngioSplice approach will produce safer, more effective therapies that address the >$8 billion market opportunity for anti-angiogenic therapies in oncology and ophthalmology


Social Enterpreneurship Prize
Team: Amal Ismail, Ashley Wessendorf, Arjun Goyal, Daniel Ooi and Musrefa Hossain

PharmaWheels is a not-for-profit mobile pharmacy and health screening unit which will address the unmet basic healthcare and pharmacy service needs in rural Jordan. Over 1.2 million people lack of these essential services, without a single pharmacy outside the main cities. PharmaWheels mission is to deliver essential medications and provide innovative healthcare services that will lead to improved health. PharmaWheels will build a sustainable social enterprise by: (1) fulfilling underserved healthcare needs; (2) creating revenue generating schemes to fund project expansion and sustainability; (3) having a strong founding team and board of advisors with extensive philanthropic and local experience.


Red Gate Software & Web Prize
Team: Emmanuel Carraud, Oliver Lamming and Leon Palm

MagicSolver.com is a start-up company developing mobile phones applications. Our first application, Sudoku Magic Solver, provides solutions to Sudoku players who get stuck half-way through a Sudoku puzzle in a newspaper or book. By simply taking a photograph of the puzzle using their phone, an instantaneous hint or solution can be displayed. The rapidly growing market of iPhone applications is just beginning to be tapped and our novel use of computer vision will set the standard for future developers, whilst providing a fun and unique service.

Meta Alternative

Angel Panel Prize
Team: Lyudmila Lugovskaya and Vitaly Lugovskiy

Meta Alternative is developing a tool  to help software companies optimise and protect their Microsoft .NET products. Being a popular platform, .NET increases programmers' productivity, but at the cost of suboptimal performance and making it possible for others to reverse engineer those products. Meta Alternative has a solution to both of these problems in the form of a software transformation tool that generates an equivalent, but improved program by automatically reducing code redundancies of various types. By passing their applications through this tool, companies will obtain refined versions of their products that will run faster and have better IP protection.

The CUE Grand Finale

10 Jun 2023 - 18:00
10 Jun 2023 - 22:00

Mark your calendars now!

On the 10th of June the CU Entrepreneurs £5k Challenge grand prize winners will be announced. This event always proves to be a thrilling conclusion to the CUE contest so don’t miss it!

Register for your place now via http://cuegrandfinale.eventbrite.com/

£5k Finalists - 2009

On Monday 16th March, Cambridge University Entrepreneurs announced the Finalists for the £5k phase of its annual Entrepreneurs' Challenge. Entrants had to convince the judges about the merits of their idea and the quality of their teams via an Extended Executive Summary.

A total of 25 entries were judged across three streams of the competition and 12 of those have have persuaded the judges to find out more. These lucky teams will spend the next 6 weeks writing their Business Plans for the final stage. The Finalists are:

AngioSplice, Foresight Pharmaceuticals, Gemstone, HivioSense, InDerm, iSolve, Magenta, MedTech, MetaAlternative, Operation Solar, PharmaWheels and Winter Willow.

We would also like to thank the generous support of our sponsors that makes this competition possible. They are ARM, Red Gate Software, Philips, Taylor Vinters and Cambridge Science Park.

Please click read more to learn about the Finalists' Cocktail Party and the winning teams.

£5k Finalists Cocktail Party

16 Mar 2023 - 18:00
16 Mar 2023 - 22:00

Venue: Cambridge Union (see a map here

Register here to guarantee your place

The entries have been judged! Come to the £5K Finalists Cocktail Party to see if your favourite team will get to continue to the final stages!

We are very proud to announce that we have Matt Schofield, CEO of Cambridge Network speaking this evening! Matt was the founding President of CUE and it is fantastic that he is back with us to help celebrate 10 years of the competition. The venue will be the Cambridge Union, between Sidney Street and Round Church Street. Come eat, drink, network and see if you agree with the judges!

— Programme —

The format of the evening is a networking session punctuated with a short talk and the Finalist Pitches. The timings are as follows:

  • 18:00 – Registration
  • 18:30 – Matt Schofield (CEO Cambridge Network)
  • 19:30 – Finalist Pitches
  • 21:00 – Close


Institute for Manufacturing

The IfM brings together expertise in management, economics and technology to address the full spectrum of issues and enable:

  • improved management of business opportunities, resources and networks
  • a clear understanding of the policies needed to support innovation and enterprise
  • successful development, application and commercialisation of technologies

Red Gate Software

Red Gate Software produces ingeniously simple tools for over 500,000 Microsoft technology professionals worldwide. We are renowned as a great place to work and the Sunday Times agrees, calling us one of the top 100 places to work in the country and the best small company to work for in Cambridge. We recruit the best talent for a range of roles, from technical to sales and support. We believe that we offer the best graduate careers for anyone not wanting to be a diving instructor in the Maldives.

£5k Challenge

- CUE £5k Challenge Part 1 -

Deadline: Monday 23 February, 13:00. To submit your entry, please follow the checklist. You will need to email your extended summary to once you have registered your entry via the checklist.

This is it. CU Entrepreneurs is now in the final phase of its competition.  We will be awarding prizes of £5000 to businesses in the categories Technology & CleanTech, Social & Environmental, and Software & Web. This is the opportunity in Cambridge to gain recognition and establish your venture as the one to watch!

As with the £1k challenge, prior entry is not required, although each team must have at least one member of the University. Read the Competitions Handbook for more information. To help you write the best possible entry, the Resources page has guides and slides from our training events and workshops.

Winners of the £1k Challenge 2008-2009

Last Friday, Cambridge University Entrepreneurs announced the winners of the £1k phase of its annual Entrepreneurs' Challenge. Entrants submitted a 1500 word Executive Summary for their business, which was reviewed by three panels of expert judges with a background in entrepreneurship and early-stage investment.

A total of 7 teams took home a prize of £1000 and presented their business in front of the audience. The winning teams are:

Automatic Gearshift, CamMicrobicide, Gemstone, Magenta, Operation Solar, iSolve and Vortex-MRAM.

We would like to thank the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning for their kind assistance in organising the judging meetings, and acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors that makes this competition possible. They are ARM, Redgate Software, Philips, Taylor Vinters and Cambridge Science Park.

A big well done to all of who entered, we look forward to seeing your ideas develop in the £5k phase of the competition!

Please click read more to learn about the prize giving ceremony and the winning teams.