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If you’ve been toying with a business idea based on your research, or wondering how to commercialise a solution to a problem you’ve spotted, entering the Cambridge Postdoc Business Plan Competition might be your best move yet.

For the past four years Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) have joined forces to run an annual business plan competition for University of Cambridge postdocs. Today the competition opens for entry and we hope you’ll take part.

The competition gives postdocs the chance to win early stage funding for their business ideas. There are three prizes: £20,000 investment for the first place winner, £10,000 investment for the second and £5,000 for the third.

It’s not just about the prizes. Entering the competition teaches you about academic entrepreneurship. You’ll get expert advice on shaping and refining your business plan. Semi-finalists are coached on how to pitch to investors and matched with a seasoned mentor from Cambridge Enterprise’s wide network.

To enter, postdocs submit a business plan outlining their idea. The details are all in the competition handbook and further information can be found on the competition webpage. Projects must be led by a current postdoc of the University or have a majority of team members who are current postdocs of the University.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to write a business plan or just want to talk through your idea, please come to one of our weekly surgeries. Drop by the Hauser Forum any Friday morning between now and 6 July, from 10 to 12, and ask for my colleague, Tania Balsa, at reception. For an informal chat about your entry at another time, drop Tania an email.

The deadline for all entries is 6 July 2018 and the semi-finalists will be announced 27 July.

The semi-final round is 24 September to Friday 5 October. Finalists will be announced 8 October.

On 17 October the finalists will pitch to the judges in preparation for the Grand Finale on 1 November 2018 at Peterhouse College. The Grand Finale gives contestants the experience of pitching before the judges and an audience.

Make your next move today.