Postdoc Business Plan Competition

The 2020 Postdoc Business Plan Competition, sponsored by international law firm Taylor Vinters, opened for entry on Wednesday 29th April.

Each year, Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge host a business plan competition for postdocs of the University of Cambridge. Whether it’s a social enterprise or ground-breaking new invention, whatever your academic expertise, we want to hear from you.

Prizes to be awarded include:

*£20k & £10k investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise
*£5k investment sponsored by Cambridge Innovation Capital
*One year membership at ideaSpace for all finalists

To enter, postdocs must submit a business plan outlining their idea (even if it is not related to their research at the University). Full details of what the plan must include can be found within the competition handbook.

The market research we had to do for the competition helped us accelerate our start-up tremendously. We were also put in contact with the most amazing mentor. The connections we made with Cambridge Enterprise will take us beyond what we have achieved in the competition alone..

Simon Baker, Versed AI founder and 2019 winner

Competition timeline

Please click the graphic below for a detailed breakdown of the competition process, including upcoming dates and deadlines.

Timeline graphic

Competition sponsor

Taylor VintersTaylor Vinters is an international law firm supporting the businesses which drive the innovation economy, and the entrepreneurs and private wealth that underpin them.

Online drop-in surgeries

To help with applications, Cambridge Enterprise is hosting online surgeries between 1000-1200 on Fridays (other than the final Friday, 10 July, which will be 1000-1600). If you would like to talk through your business idea, send us an email and we will schedule a session for you.

Professional business coaching webinars

All postdocs were invited to attend an online session on business modelling as a means to untangle their initial business idea; to see if it has real market potential. The second session on how to write up your first stage business plans takes place 2 June to include details on what the competition judges will want to see in their application and why. If shortlisted as a finalist, applicants will also receive expert one-to-one pitch training to hone their business pitches.

High quality mentor matching

After the first selection round, each semi-finalist is matched with a mentor: a seasoned academic entrepreneur from Cambridge Enterprise’s network. The mentors help to improve the business plans.

Grand Finale pitching event

Finalists will go on to pitch their business ideas to a panel of expert judges at the Grand Finale event, that will take place this year at Downing College. You can find out who the winners were last year by clicking here.

Important documents

*Please note: 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. For an informal chat about your entry, please contact Senior Investment Associate, James Thomas.