March 19, 2018, by The Ingenuity Lab

Ingenuity18 Blog: Final Tips for your Competition Applications

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later – Og Mandino

As you begin to finalise your Ingenuity18 submission I thought it would be useful to provide you with some high-level advice based on my own experiences producing credible business plans and successful bids and competition entries.

My Top 5 points below are all obvious and you will have heard them before.  This doesn’t mean they aren’t worth saying and reading again though.  Getting this stuff wrong will (almost certainly) lead to failure.  Getting it right will not only give you a chance of progressing to the later stages of Ingenuity18 but will also reinforce “good practice” that will be of direct benefit to your future activities outside of the competition.


  1. Understand the rules of the game you are playing.  Please make sure you absolutely know what information you are being asked to provide and why.  If you are unsure about anything, then ask one of the organising team to clarify things for you.
  2. Make sure you answer every section or question (don’t miss any out).
  3. Follow any guidelines on word limits (please use all of the words you have available but don’t go over).
  4. Answer questions simply and clearly.  Ask a friend, relative or colleague, who has never read about your idea before, to look at your submission.  Without you helping them or verbally clarifying anything, see if they can understand what you are proposing based on your submission alone.  Is it convincing? If they cannot understand what you are proposing, or fail to be convinced that it “makes sense”, then consider re-writing some of your answers until your story works first time.
  5. Back up all your claims or assumptions with as much real-world evidence as possible.  In the brief time available before submission you may not be able to go and engage in depth with the market or suppliers yourself, but you should still use credible online and other relevant sources to support your case.  Failure to do this will almost certainly weaken your chances of success.

Obviously, there are lots of other factors that may influence your chances of success in Ingenuity18, but actively considering and embracing the 5 simple tips above will provide you with a better chance of convincing someone to support your idea.  Whatever the outcome, I also guarantee that you will be better prepared for when you do this again in the future.

Best of luck!

David Park, Director, Newzpark LTD

You can also access all the slides and other resources from the Ideas Summit and the Develop Sessions here. Make sure you attend the final Session on Thursday, 22nd March, 6.30-8.30pm, in B52, Business School South, Jubilee Campus.

The deadline to apply for Ingenuity18 is Friday 23rd March at midnight (GMT). Only teams who have had at least one member attend both days of the Ideas Summit and the Ingenuity18 Develop Sessions will be qualified to apply.

If you have any queries about the competition application, please contact

Posted in Competition