RAU celebrates 10 years of Grand Idea with bumper prize pot
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) in Cirencester is celebrating 10 years of its Grand Idea business competition, with a special £10,000 prize pot for the winner.
Students will pitch their business ideas to a panel of expert judges on Thursday 8 June, in the hope of winning a prize fund worth £10,000, made up of cash and in-kind prizes which they can invest in to their business. These include: membership to the Institute of Directors and Enterprise Nation, a lunch for two at the Kings Head Hotel, and a marketing consultancy meeting with RAU alumnus and founder of Agro Mavens, Adrian Bell. The cash prize has generously been supported by DCS Group, Christine Cross Ltd, Amersi Foundation, Inclusive Ventures, and Harrison Clark Rickerby solicitors.
This will be followed by the 10th RAU Enterprise Awards Dinner in the evening, where the winner and runner-up will be announced.
Grand Idea 2017 is proudly sponsored by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.
The judges for the Grand Idea panel have now been announced: Denys Shortt OBE (Chair), CEO and Founder of DCS Group; Professor Jo Price, RAU Vice-Chancellor; Ian Wilkinson, Managing Director of Cotswold Seeds; Christine Cross, global retail consultant; and Gillian Higgins, RAU alumna and founder of Horses Inside Out. Visit the Grand Idea website to find out more about our judges.
We will be inviting an RAU alumnus and previous Grand Idea competitor back to the RAU each year, to sit on the judging panel and add an extra dimension to the expert team. Last year, we welcomed back RAU graduate Charlie Hancock, 2010 Grand Idea winner and founder of Vermtek. This year Gillian Higgins, RAU graduate winner of the Knowledge West Awards in 2008, will be joining the panel.
Launched in 2008, the Dragons’ Den style business planning competition, aimed to inspire students to start their own business. Fast forward 10 years and Grand Idea has received 91 business ideas, and enabled many entrepreneurial students to launch and grow a successful business. In 2015/6, nine student businesses were launched, thanks to the help and support of the RAU’s dedicated Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme.
Apply for Grand Idea
RAU students are encouraged to enter their business idea for the Grand Idea competition before 3pm on Wednesday 24 May. The plan should be no longer than 20 pages, and include a finance and business forecast section. This should be a business idea you are serious about launching, or have launched in the past two years. Please email your business plan to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A maximum of eight finalists will then be invited to pitch their idea to the judges.
‘Try it’ Award
The RAU has continued to grow its enterprise offering with the ‘Try it’ Award, open to students who are considering setting up a business, and have already received First Steps Funding of £250 to test their business idea and prove their concept. The ‘Try it’ winner will receive £500 funding to help them further their business idea. To enter, please send no more than one side of A4 explaining: what you have used your First Steps Funding for, how you’ve proved your business concept, how you’ve adjusted your business concept as a result of this, and where you are now, to email@example.com again before 3pm on Wednesday 24 May.