The first part of the competition is the ‘Elevator Pitch’. Applicants are given two minutes to pitch their idea to independent judges which will then be followed by a short Q&A session.The judges will make their decision following the pitch so there will be no delay in finding out! Successful candidates will progress through to the next round.
Advice for the perfect pitch:
The first step is to have a good hook grab the attention of the judges. Maybe a hard hitting fact or figure.
Talk about the problem you are trying to solve. People buy solutions to problems so define the problem and be clear as to who it impacts.
Explain your idea and how it solves the problem by discussing the benefits you create for others and what differentiates you from the competition.
Talk about your target market and explain how many people experience this problem and who your key competitors are in this space.
Once you have convinced the judges there is a market for your idea, they will want to know how your idea will make money or drive improvements.
6. The Ask
Make the most of this opportunity and be clear on what you want. Is it money? Introductions? Feedback?Those unsuccessful candidates at this stage are invited to attend the final and form part of the audience. This gives the opportunity to network with other contestants, judges and a variety of local businesses and dignitaries.
In the second stage of the competition, contestants who successfully progressed from stage one are offered workshops and support to develop their business ideas. There will be four two-hour workshops held at Middlesex University and hosted by experts from Santander (more details to come)
Contestants will be encouraged to use a Business Model Canvas to work on their business. The Business Model Canvas is a great tool to help you understand a business model in a straightforward, structured way. Using this canvas will lead to insights about the customers you serve, what value propositions are offered through what channels, and how your company makes money. You can download a copy of the canvas here -
https://www.strategyzer.com/canvas/business-model-canvas The candidates will be also asked to send a detailed plan and explanation for their business with information taken from the working canvas document.
The submitted Business Model Canvas and business plans will be reviewed and assessed by independent judges and three finalists will be chosen.
The successful contestants go head-to-head and pitch in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges at the grand final. Each finalist is allocated five minutes to pitch their idea and then face a series of probing questions about their business by the judges.
The judges will then deliberate in private and select their winner, who will be announced on the night. There is a cash prize fund of £10,000 and a selection of other business enhancing prizes on offer.
In advance of the final, each contestant will be offered support which includes, one-to-one mentoring, pitching workshops and practice to ensure they are ready for their Big Idea Pitch!
The final will be on Thursday 02 April 2020. The audience always consists of an eclectic mix of supporters, family members and fellow competition contestants. There are also an array of entrepreneurs and businesses who attend, both local to Barnet and from large multi-national organisations. All of whom make the most of networking opportunities and create a supportive and fun atmosphere. Food and drink will be supplied for guests on the night.
“I have never won anything before, so I am very happy. I am so happy with all the support I have received tonight, but also over the past year from parents locally. It has just been amazing, so thank you.”
“I’m so pleased to have won, the prize money and ongoing mentoring will really help develop my business idea further. The support you receive throughout the process is wonderful. It gives you an extra boost of confidence and will validate your idea.”
“It feels absolutely incredible to win the prize. I’m glad people are really seeing that mental health in universities is an issue.”