Generate funding competition

Win up to £30,000 for your business venture

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 alumni? If so, why not take part in the LSE funding competition run by LSE Generate!

With two 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.

How the LSE Generate funding competition works

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.

The Big Sell - We like your idea and would to hear a bit more about it. Enter 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.

The Big Moment - 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 little longer to see if you are one of this year's Generate's winning entrepreneurs. 

Launch-IT or IDEAS

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.

Application timeline

generate funding competition timeline
Monday 6 January

Competition opens and we begin accepting entries

Sunday 9 February

Deadline for first round applications

Monday 17 February

Results of acceptance to second round released

Sunday 8 March

Deadline for second round applications

Friday 20 March

Results of acceptance to final round released

Wednesday 25 March

Pitching Final

UK Start-Up Visa

The funding competitions are the mechanism through which LSE students and alumni can seek endorsement for a Start-Up 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. Simply apply for the first round of the competition and clarify you are looking to apply for a visa. If you make it through to the second round of the Funding Competition, you will be invited for a Visa application interview with LSE Generate and the ISVAT team. For more details see the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) website.

Infographic on Funding Comp & Visa