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Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Win - Entrepreneurship Awards 0: Introduction

Are you a student or graduate from one of our partner universities? Recently started a new business that could use some guidance and extra cash? Then don't miss your chance to win one of our Entrepreneurship Awards. Please note that the 2016 awards have now closed. Details of the winning businesses can be found here. Details of the 2017 awards will be released later in the year.

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is an annual business pitching competition. We reward student and graduate entrepreneurs by offering cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support. Since the competition’s launch, we've given away more than £265,000 to start-ups and small businesses. In 2016 we had £48,000 to offer, as well as a range of other great prizes.

2016 competition categories

Category 1:
New technologies and mobile applications

We're looking for innovative new mobile apps or disruptive technologies.

Category 2:
Important day-to-day products and services

We're looking for businesses that benefit society or have a creative background, as well as those that provide customers with important day to day products and services.


Each partner university is eligible to submit 2 entries per category; one application at idea stage and the other should be an established startup. The criteria for both of these sub-categories is outlined below:

Idea stage criteria – the idea outlined in the submission should be supported by a full business plan. The business must not have commenced trading at the time of the submission but should be ready to launch within the year.

Startup stage criteria – the business outlined in the submission must have launched but have been trading for no longer than 5 years from the date of the submission.


How does the Competition Work?

1. Our partner universities run their own internal competitions or shortlisting process to choose their best business ideas and start-ups to enter into the competition. If you’re from one of our partner universities and would like to take part then please contact your university's enterprise department.

2. Each partner university submits an executive summary and business plan for the ideas and businesses to Santander Universities.

3. For the first round of judging, the Santander Business Banking and Corporate Banking teams will review all of the submissions based on their executive summaries. The business plans will be used as supporting material if needed, but they won't be marked at this stage.

4. A longlist of 20 entries from each category (10 ideas and 10 start-ups) is identified from the submissions and their business plans are sent to our external panel of judges for shortlisting. The panel is made up of academic leaders, successful entrepreneurs and previous competition winners.

5. The panel will score the plans to identify a shortlist of 10 applicants from each category (5 ideas and 5 start-ups). These applicants are invited to Santander UK’s head office in London to pitch their ideas/business to the panel.

6. After hearing all the pitches, the judges choose 2 winners and 2 runners up from each category to receive the Awards. The result is announced by a Santander executive at an awards ceremony in central London.

The prizes and judges

In 2016 we teamed up with our friends at Talent Cupboard to bring you a great set of prizes. We gave away £48,000 as well as mentoring and support from senior Santander UK teams.

To see a full breakdown of the prizes available in 2016, download the information pack (pdf).

Terms and Conditions

Competition timeline

Please note that the 2016 awards have now closed. Details of the winning businesses can be found here. Details of the 2017 awards and the associated timeline will be released later in the year.

Previous Winners

Want to know more about some of the other businesses that the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards have helped? Take a look a more of our previous competition winners.



Yonder – London School of Economics - 2016 winner

The world’s first travel search engine which prioritises price, not destination.

Universal Resource Trading

Universal Resource Trading - University of Birmingham – 2016 winner

An award-winning asset resale service for UK universities.

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