Funding competition

Win up to £30,000 for your business venture!

We run the LSE Generate funding competition twice a year, during the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Each competition has 3 to 5 winners, who will each take home a share of £30,000 to spend on their ventures. Entries close on Friday 12 February 2021 at 11.59pm.

Your time is now, and we’ve got your back!

We may be hurtling towards our 38495th national lockdown, but that's not going to prevent us from kicking off the Lent Term Funding Competition in style. We've spiced the process up bit to make it smoother and easier for you all. Applications will open from 31st December ('cos, admit it, we're not exactly going be partying the night away!) and here's everything you need to know...


Who can apply?

Both current students and alumni graduates, with no restriction on year of graduation, from the UK and overseas can apply.

We welcome new ventures at one of these stages:

  • Pre-launch - You have identified an opportunity and are in the process of developing your market understanding, proposition and initial team. 
  • Live - You have an initial team, minimal viable product or service, and are in negotiations with or working with your first customers.

Your venture must be a commercial product or service rather than a charity or organisation that relies on grant funding. You can articulate how your venture contributes to the SDG's and you are a current LSE student or alumni.

There is no restriction on how many team members you can have for each entry, but you will need to explain the role and contribution of each person.

Previous applicants are eligible, but we’ll be looking for evidence that your idea has developed since your last application. Previous winners are unfortunately not eligible as we want to be able to support as many entrepreneurs as possible!

Please note: Applicants to the Pre-Launch category are not expected to include as much detail in some areas as those applying for the Live category.  


How to apply

The LSE Generate Funding Competition consists of just two rounds:

ROUND 1: THE BIG SELL

This is your one chance (that's a bit dramz; there'll be plenty of others) to wow us - we want you to submit a pitch presentation and a 60-second video to sell your genius idea.

  • Deadline for Round 1 submissions: Friday 12 February 2021 at 11.59pm
  • What to includeThink of this as an investment pitch and include everything an investor might want to see. Some areas to consider:

    o   Market research and strategy (e.g. segmentation, mission statement, competitor analysis, user research, marketing strategy, social impact)
    o   Management and organisation (e.g. company description, team structure, logistics)
    o   Financials (e.g. costs, revenue projections, sales figures if available)
    o   How you’ll spend your winnings

    Please note: Applicants to the Pre-Launch category are not expected to include as much detail in some areas as those applying for the Live category. 
  • Support available: We'll invite you to workshops and masterclasses to help you prepare your application in January and to find exactly what you should include. It's really important to attend these to make sure you're on the right track and can have an opportunity to get your questions answered.                                                                                                      On Friday 5th February, our Entrepeneur-In-Residence Ramona Liberoff will be hosting a fireside chat on presenting your venture as an impact business. Sign up to attend via this link.
  • What to do: The most important thing to do to prepare for the final is practise, practise and practise again.
  • Support available: All finalists will be invited to an optional 1:1 pitching practise session and one-off mentoring sessions.

FINAL: THE BIG MOMENT

If you make it to the finale, you’ll be invited to a Dragon’s Den (or Shark Tank) style 10-minute in-person pitch. You’ll be pitching to an expert panel of investors and mentors in front of an audience of students. The 3 to 5 winners and funding amounts for each will be announced on the day.

  • Successful finalists will be informed on: Wednesday 10 March 2021
  • The Grand Finale: Friday 26 March 2021
  • What to include: Think of this as an investment pitch and include everything an investor might want to see. Some areas to consider:
    o   Market research and strategy (e.g. segmentation, mission statement, competitor analysis, user research, marketing strategy, social impact)
    o   Management and organisation (e.g. company description, team structure, logistics)
    o   Financials (e.g. costs, revenue projections, sales figures if available)
    o   How you’ll spend your winnings
  • Support available: If you’re still in the game, we'll invite you to workshops and masterclasses to help you prepare for the final.

We are currently playing around with our new app that we're beta-testing as we look to create a virtual space for our entrepreneurs to share ideas, skills and experiences. If you'd like to give it a go and join our growing community then feel free to download the app and apply for the funding competition via this channel.

If you'd rather just get on with it and submit your application without the frills then here's the form you need!

Good luck!

LSE Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

We encourage all the competition winners to apply to the LSE Entrepreneur and LSE Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards in the Summer Term. We’ll choose an overall winner for each category and award additional funding.


Visa

If you’re an international student, you could be eligible for a Start-up visa if you participate in the funding competition. Get more information on Start-up visas.


Feedback 

Unfortunately we’re not able to give feedback on round 1 applications if they’re not successful. You’re welcome to apply for the next competition, which launches in Michaelmas Term 2021.


Support

If you have any further questions or would like advice or support from the LSE Generate team, then please contact us.