Student Start-up of the Year

More young people than ever are considering self-employment over employment. Why? Because it's now perfectly possible to start and grow a successful business! The competition is powered by Enterprise Trust and provides young people and recent graduates with the opportunity to win a host of business prizes and £2,500 cash investment.

Enterprise Trust is also supporting a series of free workshops in Birmingham and London that are aimed at young people interested in the start-up life. 

Enter the Student Start-up of the Year competition now:

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If you can’t see the entry form above, click here.

  • £2,500 cash investment
  • Free office space for 12 months with The Office Group
  • One year free Enterprise Nation membership and business support
  • A month's free supply of Propercorn popcorn
  • Profile on the Enterprise Nation blog and social media

  • 13 January 2018: Launch and applications open
  • 25 February: Applications close at 23:59:59
  • 26 February: 10 finalists announced
  • 9 March: Pitching takes place and final five are chosen
  • 14 March: Final five announced and public voting opens 
  • 25 March: Public voting closes
  • 26 March: Votes counted and the winner announced

  • Emma Jones MBE, founder of Enterprise Nation
  • Oli Barrett MBE, co-founder of StartUp Britain, Tenner, social innovation agency Cospa and Speednetwork the Globe
  • Michael Eder, co-founder of
  • Yani Vladimirova, Enterprise Engagement Manager at NACUE
  • Jonathan Risley, CEO of ThinAir Water and winner of Student Start-up of the Year 2017

Terms and conditions:

  • Entries must be from individuals based within the UK
  • All information submitted in your entry will be shared with the judging panel
  • All questions within the application form must be answered and submitted by 23:59:59 on 25 Feb 2018
  • All applicants must be  enrolled in some form of at least part-time education or left education in the previous 24 months as of 25 Feb 2018
  • Entrants must have an idea for a business that is not yet trading or be running a business that has been trading for no more than 24 months
  • Got questions? Email Lorna Bladen at for support

2017 Student Start-up of the Year competition:

In 2017, students and graduates at more than 50 educational institutions from across Britain entered Enterprise Nation's Student Start-up of the Year competition.

From the entries, 10 were shortlisted to pitch at Microsoft HQ in London. After an afternoon of impressive presentations, our expert judges shortlisted five to win the top prize. After a public vote, we declared ThinAir the winner! 

The 2017 finalists were:

  • Ability Access
  • Lara Intimates
  • Pretzelmarie
  • ThinAir