Business Challenge

A business plan competition for students and alumni of the University of Plymouth

Business plan competition

This Business Challenge is a programme for students or recent graduates who are seriously considering starting their business in the next year. We are looking for innovative business ideas that create a new or improved product or service in order to satisfy a customer need.

We’ve created seven categories for this challenge, to focus and encourage the most exciting ideas with potential to create impact. Each category is open to both commercial and social enterprise business models.

You can enter any category, as you are not restricted by your programme or year of study. You are also encouraged to consider collaborating with others to form a team with a strong breadth of skillsets.

Last year’s winners were Megan Owens, Lorna Markillie and Nick Wade. Could you join them in our award-winning incubator by winning a prize in this year’s Challenge?

Megan, of Geometric Recruitment, won both the Digital &Technology category and the overall prize for the highest scoring plan. Megan’s business, Geometric Recruitment, is an innovative new way for employers and potential employees to navigate the jobs market. Lorna, of L&D Training, won the health category with her business offering a range of services that help employers deal with sensitive issues. Nick, of Nikomus Games, won the creative category with his games development business focussing on mobile virtual reality content.

The Business Challenge in a nutshell

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  • idea development
  • marketing
  • finance
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Business plan

  • professional services 1:1s
  • draft plan feedback
  • constructive, detailed, judges' feedback
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  • category winner - £650
  • overall winner - £1,000
  • 6 months Formation Zone package

Santander Universities

The University of Plymouth enjoys a longstanding partnership with Santander Universities. Santander Universities Scholarships are worth more than £50,000 per year and, alongside sponsorship of competitions like the Business Challenge, enhance the Plymouth student experience, employability and internationalisation.



“Winning the FZ business challenge gave credibility to my product and I think that being able to say that you operate out of a business incubator gives a good impression of collaborative innovation.”

Tom Pavelle, Challenge winner

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