Do you have a great idea but need a bit of funding to get it up and running? Are you already working on a business venture but need help getting it to the next stage? Are you a current student or recent alumni (within two years of graduation)? If so, why not take part in the LSE funding competition run by LSE Generate! With five separate competitions running in Michaelmas and Lent Terms, you have a chance to compete with fellow LSE entrepreneurs to win up to £30,000 towards your venture.
We are looking to award money to interesting projects at both IDEA and LAUNCH stage of maturity to support venture development. In each case, we award an amount that makes a significant impact to the business. Typically, around 3-5 businesses are selected for funding from each competition.
Let's break this down:
Part 1: The Big Picture - we want to get a clear idea of what problem you are trying to solve, a basic overview of how exactly you plan to do that and a little bit about you and your team (if you have one). We also have a business model canvas for you to fill in, for tips on this, you can download our advice document here.
Part 2: The Big Sell - Congratulations! You're through to the next round! We like your idea and would to hear a bit more about it. Enter centre stage: the pitch deck! We are asking our entrepreneurs to put together a basic pitch deck along with a 60-second film pitch and proof that they have tried to sell the idea, service, or product to a potential target audience. We'll invite you to workshops and masterclasses that will help you prepare for this ahead of your deadline.
Part 3 - The Big Moment - Yes! You are through to the final! The last part of the competition consists of a Dragon's Den pitch. In front of a lively student audience and panel of alumni investors, experts and mentors, we will ask you, in 15 minutes, to sell us your idea, answer questions from the panel and audience, and then wait just a tiny bit longer to see if you are one of this year's Generate's winning entrepreneurs.
The competition is open!
To apply, fill in our online form here. Please also attach a completed business model canvas, the template of which you can download here. Our business model advice document can be found here.
In Summer Term, the winners of each competition are invited to apply to the LSE Entrepreneur and LSE Social Entrepreneur of the Year competitions where an overall winner of each category will also be chosen and awarded additional funding.
generate funding competition timeline
|Friday 28 September
Competition opens and we begin accepting entries
|Friday 19 October
Deadline for first round applications
|Friday 26 October
Results of acceptance to next round released
|Monday 19 November
Deadline for second round applications
|Friday 30 November
Results of acceptance to final round released
|Friday 8 December
Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa
The funding competitions are the mechanism through which LSE students and alumni can seek endorsement for a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa with no restriction for applying with regard to the time elapsed since your graduation. While funding awards are restricted to current students and recent graduates, sponsorship can still be granted to those who do not win the competition. For more details see the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) website.