Postdoc Business Plan Competition

Every year Cambridge Enterprise and the Entrepreneurial Postdocs of Cambridge (EPOC) run a business plan competition for postdocs of the University of Cambridge. It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a passion for entrepreneurship and an idea to explore. The 2018 competition is now closed for entry.

The business plan competition offers University of Cambridge postdocs the chance to win early funding for their business ideas. The prizes to be awarded this year are:

*£20k investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise
*£10k investment sponsored by Cambridge Enterprise
*£5k investment sponsored by Cambridge Innovation Capital
*One year membership at ideaSpace for all finalists
(including tailored support and office space)

To enter, postdocs must submit a business plan outlining their idea. Full details of what the plan must include can be found within the competition handbook.

My journey through the competition was a great experience and allowed me to have a taste of the real business world. The mentoring and the pitch training helped me to shape my idea into a realistic business plan.

Hanbin Ma, ACXEL founder and 2017 winner

Competition timeline

Please see the below graphic for a detailed understanding of the competition process, including dates and deadlines taken from the 2018 competition.

Drop-in surgeries

To help with applications, Cambridge Enterprise hosts weekly informal surgeries at both the West Cambridge site and at the School of Clinical Medicine. During the competition, if you would like to talk through your business idea, you can drop by the Hauser Forum, West Cambridge or at the Clinical School. To schedule an informal chat at a different time, simply contact Tania Balsa via email.

Business plan writing, canvas modelling & pitch training

University members can make use of our professional business plan writing workshops, business model canvas sessions and expert 1-2-1 pitch training appointments throughout the competition process.

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 eventually pitch their business plans to a panel of judges at the Grand Finale event, at one of the prestigious colleges within the University of Cambridge. The winners will be announced on the same evening.

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, contact Tania Balsa.