January 6, 2017, by The Ingenuity Lab

5 top tips for a great Ingenuity17 application!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Running your own business can be incredibly rewarding. It gives you the power to be flexible about when and with whom you work, and provides you with the chance to turn your passion into your career.

With small businesses accounting for over 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK, Ingenuity17 hopes to inspire the next generation of SME owners and help transform The University of Nottingham into a hotspot of entrepreneurial opportunity. You could be part of that…

17 is open to all University of Nottingham (UoN) undergraduates, postgraduates, alumni and early stage researchers in the UK, Malaysia and Ningbo.

With a prize fund of £100,000+, and fantastic networking opportunities with a range of industry leaders, it is a great opportunity to grow your business idea in a supportive and exciting environment. Plus, it’s the biggest entrepreneurship competition in the UK – one you don’t want to miss out on!

Applications are open up until January 27th 2017. If you’re considering applying, but not sure where to begin, read our five top tips on making a great Ingenuity17 application…

Think ‘Elevator Pitch’

If you only had a 20-second elevator ride to convey your business idea, how would you do it?

In your Ingenuity17 application, you will have 200 words to outline your business idea. Consider the Unique Selling Point (U.S.P.) of your idea, and try out various ways of conveying it in the most effective and efficient way. What makes your business idea different to potential competitors and existing businesses? How can you leave a lasting impression about your business idea?

Make a change

The core values of The University of Nottingham speaks of ambition, engagement, partnership, civic responsibility and longevity. As a student or alumni of the University, you have the opportunity to put this vision into practice through your business idea – so take it and run with it!

We are looking for exciting, innovative business ideas that have the potential to make a positive change in the world and #IgniteTheMind – no matter how big or small. When you’re considering your Ingenuity17 business idea, think about what benefits your idea could bring to society and the environment.

Be brave

You can enter Ingenuity17 with a business idea at any stage of development, as long as the business is under three years old. If you have zero entrepreneurial experience and your business idea is nothing more than an idea currently, please don’t feel nervous or apprehensive about applying!

The mentoring you will receive during the free Ingenuity17 Conference will allow you gain much more confidence about your business idea, and provide you with the knowledge and skills to develop your idea further.

Be honest about the obstacles

As you may have seen, one of the questions in the Ingenuity17 application is “What do you think are the biggest obstacles your team faces in building your business?”. In this, we want you to be honest about what you feel most challenged by, as the responses will shape the structure of the seminars and mentoring sessions delivered at the Ingenuity17 Conference.

We won’t be judging your applications based on this response, and chances are there’ll be numerous applications with similar obstacles to yours!

Don’t miss the deadline!

This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of people who missed out on Ingenuity16 as a result of missing the application deadline. You have until 27th January 2017 to apply, but make sure you plan ahead!

As Juma Ikangaa once said, “The will to succeed means nothing without the will to prepare”. Write up a draft copy of your responses before adding them to the application form. Get someone you trust to proof read it. Save it on a memory stick. Do everything in your power to ensure that you have the opportunity to be part of the biggest and most exciting entrepreneurship competition in the UK.

Who knows where it could take you…

If you would like to find out more about Ingenuity17, or fill out the application form, please visit the competition’s website.

Why not take it a step further and also consider becoming a Venture Member of The Ingenuity Lab? We will be moving to our stunning new space – The Ingenuity Centre – in the new year, and allows you to continue developing your business in a fun and supportive environment once the competition ends. 

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