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Applications for 2024 are now closed. Please keep an eye on our channels for more information for our 2025 competition.

 About the Competition 

The aim of the competition is to foster a spirit of enterprise by encouraging students/graduates who may have an idea for a business but have not yet had the time to develop it, or has an early stage business that they want to get off the ground! You do not have to be seriously thinking of taking the idea forward commercially, but instead look at this as an opportunity to consider your idea in a bit more detail and gain valuable early feedback. Although should you want to take your idea forward then we will help you to do that. 


We are looking for innovative and unique business ideas that have real potential - a great opportunity for you to explore your creative side, develop your ideas and think outside of the box!


£10,000 Cash pot up for grabs!!

The key points to remember here are:

- It’s all about the idea.​

- There is no requirement to actually start a business.

- You can enter on your own or as part of a group.​

- Applicants complete a short application form outlining their business idea.​

- You must submit a 3-minute, pre-recorded video pitch.

For those of you who are currently developing a business that is more than just

an idea,  you can apply for our new UWS Business fund which will help to support you through that

process with grants of up to £5,000 to get you started. Please make sure to check the dates as funding

may only be available at certain times (batches) throughout the year.


Find out more information, eligibility and apply on our funding page.


 Any Questions? 

Get in touch

Competition Applications Open: Monday 12th February, 9am (GMT)

Competition Applications Close: Friday 5th April, 12pm (GMT)

 Who Can Apply? 

The Kick Start Business Idea Competition is open to any student currently enrolled at the University of the West of Scotland, at any level and at any campus (this includes our London Campus). Recent Alumni who have graduated within the past two years are also eligible to enter. You can apply as an individual applicant or as part of a team. If you are participating as a team entry then you can only have a maximum of 4 team members.

Participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Connection to UWS: Applicants must be a current student or alumni of the University of the West of Scotland. If you are entering as a team, then one member of the team is required to be a student/recent graduate from UWS.

  • UK Based: Participants should be located in the United Kingdom (UK).

 Application Process 

Before you apply to our competition please ensure that you have read all of the information provided on eligibility, requirements and the competition rules. You can read all of our terms and conditions below by downloading our Terms and Conditions PDF file. You can also download our FAQ's (Frequently asked questions) PDF file which may answer some of the questions you have.


(Step 1) Before you submit your application, please register your details for the competition by completing the registration form - this is essential to be able to participate in the competition. By completing registration, this will let our team know that your are interested in participating. Please note this is not your application for this competiiton.

(Step 2) Filling in the application form and attaching your video pitch completes Stage Two. For this competition, you will be required to record a short 2-3 minute video pitch telling us more about your business and attaching this to your application. Whilst recording your 2-3 minute video pitch you must be visible on camera, however you may include short clips and images too if this will help to present your business. Please remember that videos must not be longer than 3 minutes long.

*You may enter our competition with more than one business idea, however you must register and submit a new application form for each idea.* 

All judging will take place between April/May. The judging process will consist of two rounds from both our internal and external judging panels. All participants are invited to attend our Kick Start Celebration Event on Wednesday 29th May at our UWS Paisley Campus, where we will announce all winners live.


Register here: 


 Terms and Conditions 

This document highlights all of the Terms and Conditions associated with our Business Idea Competition.

Please ensure that you carefully read all information.


 FAQ'S - Frequently Asked Questions 

This document highlights all of the frequently asked questions about our competition. If you have any further questions then please get in touch at

Vlogger looking at camera

 3-Minute Video Pitch   Guidance 

This document provides guidance of what to include in your video pitch. If you have any further questions then please get in touch at

 Competition Benefits 

This competition offers participants a range of benefits including:

  • Share your businesses and business ideas with professionals

  • Develop your business idea

  • Gain valuable feedback

  • Drop-in sessions/business support

  • Turn your ideas into action

  • Big cash prizes

  • An invitation to join an accelerator programme with Elevator UK

  • Attend future Kick Start events/activities

  • Funding for your start-up business

 Competition Prizes 

  • Big Cash prizes (£10,000 Cash Pot)

  • Awards

  • Trophies

  • Entry into fully funded Academic Accelerator Programme run by Elevator UK

  • A place in one of our available UWS Incubation Spaces

 NOTE: Although you will receive a direct entry into the accelerator, you will still be required to submit an application to Elevator UK). 


Applications Open

Monday 12th February 2024, 9am.

Applications Close

Friday 5th April 2024, 12pm.

Recorded Pitches

Video pitches are required to be submitted alongside your application form by 12pm on Friday 5th April. These will be reviewed by our final judging panel.

If you are experiencing issues with attaching your video, then please use WeTransfer to send over to our team at


 NOTE: Pitches will be pre-recorded and   there will be no requirement to give a live   pitch. 

Live Event

Kick Start Awards Event:

Wednesday 29th May, from 1pm.

The Hive, UWS Paisley Campus

(Winners Announced Live!)

Register here:

 Competition Timings 

 Drop in Sessions 

Our team will be offer drop-in sessions for those who have any questions about the competition process, application process, and video pitches. If you have any questions you would like to ask, then please drop into these sessions. See the drop-in schedule, link and registration details below.

Drop-in Session Schedule:


Drop-in Session Link: 


Competition Overview

Feedback From Past Participants

 Kick Start Awards Event 

As part of the Kick Start Programme, we host our annual celebration event, where our team invite all of our competition finalists, students, alumni and staff to celebrate entrepreneurship! This event includes a Live Awards show (to announce our competition winners), game and activities, refreshments, goody bags and much more...


You can browse our photo album below to view some of our previous award events.

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