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, take part in the LSE Generate funding competition!

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

We run two separate competitions in Michaelmas and Lent Terms, giving you 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 to 5 businesses are selected for funding from each competition.


icon - idea-launch-stage


How it works

The Funding Competition consists of three different rounds:

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Round 1: The Big Picture - We want to get a clear idea of the problem you try 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). 

Round 2: The Big Sell - We like your idea and want to hear more about it, so we ask you to put together a basic pitch deck along with a 60-second film pitch and proof that you 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.

Round 3: 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 winning entrepreneurs. 


How to apply

Applications for the 2019-2020 Funding Competitions have now closed. New dates for 2020/2021 will be announced later in the year. 

You can see a past example of the online form and business model canvas which are submitted for Round One of the competition. If you need help with the business model canvas, click here for a guide on each segment.

Timeline 2020

Generate funding application timeline
Mon 21 September And we're off!
Competition opens and we begin accepting entries
Sun 18 October Pens down!
Deadline for first round applications
Mon 2 November Crack open the champagne!
Results of acceptance to second round released
Sun 15 November Annnnd stop!
Deadline for second round applications
Fri 27 November You SHALL go to the ball!
Results of acceptance to final round released
Fri 11 December Drum roll.....
The Pitching Final!

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 be chosen and awarded additional funding.


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.

How to apply for a visa
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, visit the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) website.