Cambridge Entrepreneurs on a Quest for Success

Cambridge’s student entrepreneurs are about to compete for £50,000.


Cambridge’s student entrepreneurs will tomorrow begin battling it out in one of the world’s most prestigious student-run business creation competitions.

The competition, led by Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE), has cash prizes of £100, £1000 and £5000 up for grabs. In total, a whopping £50,000 is available for the moguls who most impress the judges.

Students will compete in one of three categories: Technology, Software or Social Enterprise. Their past experience and future plans will be considered to determine whether teams are committed enough to make their startup worthy of wonga.

The accolade of Entrepreneur of the Year is also on offer to the competitor who manages to outshine the rest with their coveted combination of boffin and business-mindedness.

The competition kicks off tomorrow evening at 6.30pm in the West Road Concert Hall. Speakers such as Lord Mitchell, shadow business minister and founder of Syscap plc; Dr Billy Boyle, co-founder of Owlstone Nanotech and runner-up of the CUE competition in 2004; and Dr Darrin Disley, CEO of personalised medicines trailblazer, Horizon Discovery, will attempt to inspire the watching wannabes.

Founded in 1999, CUE is the UK’s oldest student-led entrepreneur society. Its annual competition aims to nurture ideas and turn them into a reality in less than a year.

Past winners have gone on to achieve vast success. Wedu, which won last year’s Social Enterprise Startup of the Year award, has begun operations in Asia, where its sustainable business model will finance mentors and university fees for underprivileged students.

Last year’s Technology Startup of the Year, CamBattery, has shown huge promise for the future. The high-energy density of its rechargeable batteries could prove invaluable in the fields of consumer electronics and electric vehicles.

Nick Tan, CUE President, told The Tab what he’s hoping to see in this year’s entrants: “The right entrepreneurial spirit – passionate individuals with a can-do attitude that will go on to put their business plans into practice and hopefully build successful, self-sustaining companies”.