Venture 2022 - £43,000 Business Idea Competition

Published on 17 January 2022

At the end of February every year, at the culmination of our Entrepreneurship Week, individuals and groups drawn from University of Dundee students, staff and recent graduates have the chance to win funding that could kick-start their business idea.

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The Venture competition is your opportunity to pitch your idea to our panel of expert judges with decades of experience between them in their various industries. You don't need to be a business expert yourself to apply, all you need is a business idea that you want to pursue. The Centre for Entrepreneurship on the University of Dundee campus can offer support and guidance to help your idea succeed. This year, we have raised a record-high £44,000 to support the winners of our various awards. Additionally, winners will be offered a place on Elevator’s Dundee accelerator programme. As part of our live final, four iPads will be awarded, thanks to Converge Challenge, to the best pitches as voted on by our public audience.

The first stage is submitting an online application form. You will have to decide what award you will be applying for. If you are a current student or a recent graduate (our application form details what timescale defines a recent graduate of each school), this will be dependent on your educational school.

The following prize funds are available for these selected schools:

  • The School of Business Award (£2,500, sponsored by the School of Business)
  • The School of Life Sciences Award (£3,000, sponsored by the School of Life Sciences)
  • The School of Art and Design Award (£2,500, sponsored by the School of Art and Design)
  • The School of Science and Engineering Award (£5,000, sponsored by the School of Science and Engineering, and the Engineers in Business Fellowship)
  • The School of Medicine Award (£2,500, sponsored by the School of Medicine)
  • The Postgraduate Researcher Award (£3,000, sponsored by the Doctoral Academy, University of Dundee)
  • The Wildcard Award – for students and recent graduates of all other educational schools (£2,500, sponsored by James Keiller Investments and the Centre for Entrepreneurship)

If you are a member of staff, you may apply for:

  • The Wildcard Award (£2,500, sponsored by James Keiller Investments and the Centre for Entrepreneurship)
  • The Research Staff Award – for all staff that are research-related (£11,500, sponsored by Research and Innovation Services, Talent and Development, School of Science and Engineering, and the Centre for Entrepreneurship)

We can award additional funding to businesses that the judges decide could use the extra funding from our discretionary pot of £11,500.

However, time is of the essence! Applications will close at the end of Tuesday, February 1. If you have any questions about the application, you can always email Although we cannot yet welcome you back into the centre in person, we are open every weekday 9am-5pm and can quickly address your questions online.

Once you have submitted your application by February 1 and you are (fingers crossed!) chosen to progress to Stage 2 as a finalist in your category – then you will be notified on the same day (February 4) before 6pm about your selection, and the list of finalists will be published on our website thereafter. Stage 2 will see you go more in-depth with your proposal which will be submitted by Thursday 17 February before 12 noon. Again, there will be a chance to ask questions and receive support as we will host a workshop in this period between the submissions of Stages 1 and 2.

Upon the submission of your Stage 2 application, your hard work, research, and dedication will lead you to the really exciting bit: The Live Pitching Final! On Friday 25 February 2022 4-6pm, you and your team will have 3 minutes (yes, only 3 minutes) to pitch your ideas using 5 PowerPoint slides (yes, only 5). This will be followed up by a 5-minute Q&A session by our external judging panel.

All the relevant files and forms including the judging criteria can be found on our Venture pages.

Entrants to Venture Competition 2018 gathered for a group photo with Centre For Entrepreneurship staff

So, you have reached the end of this blog and you might feel you would like more time to develop a business idea - why not try the Enterprise Challenge? Applications for this semester are open until January 24 but will open again after that in September 2022 and if you win the challenge you will be shortlisted for the Venture Competition!

For those who are definitely applying for the Venture Competition: good luck and remember that our doors are always open!