About NACUE’s Varsity Pitch Competition

The NACUE Varsity Pitch is the UK’s biggest business competition for students and graduates, attracting the most innovative startups exploding out of college and university campuses.

Students and recent graduates can enter into two categories by submitting a 60 second video pitch. The six winners from each of the categories will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas live at the semifinals.

The six finalists will be joined by the winner of the people’s vote, and put through rigorous enterprise training at the Varsity Pitch Bootcamp in preparation for the Grand Final on 15th November. Each finalist will have two minutes to pitch their concept to an esteemed panel of industry experts. The winner will take home £10,000 for their startup.

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This category is for the companies that are truly changing the way things are done. If your product or service is improving the market in an unexpected way, this is the category for you.


Is your business making the world a better place? This category is for social enterprises and ethically conscious businesses.


This category is all about new ideas and more effective ways of doing things. If your product or service is unique or improving something that already exists, enter this category.


From crafts and music to marketing and publishing, the creative industries are exciting and varied. This category welcomes entries from those whose businesses require a creative flair.


Some of the fastest growing businesses in the global economy in the last 5 years have been apps and online ventures. If you think that your app, hardware or online product has the potential to change the status quo, then we want to see your application.


Do you believe that your idea will be the next ‘big thing’? Want the chance to develop that idea into a thriving business and to gain the valuable support, mentoring and investment through the NACUE Varsity Pitch Competition? Then you should apply for our brand new ideas category. 

PEOPLE’S VOTE with Lloyds Banking Group (ONLINE VOTE)

We are giving one team the chance to be fast-tracked from the application stage straight through to the final. This team will have the highest number of digital votes  by the application deadline, and will be announced along with our other shortlisted candidates. You do not need to opt into this category as every team will be automatically eligible, you just need to get those votes!


Get your friends, family, teachers, the next door neighbour… anyone you can think of to vote for your application. They can do this by heading to your application page and clicking the thumbs up icon.

If you share it on social media, remember to use the hashtag #VarsityPitch2016.

The application with the most votes will enter the final. Simple.

Entry criteria:

Any current student who runs their own business (solely or as part of a team) is eligible to enter the Varsity Pitch competition. In addition to this, anyone who has left further or higher education anytime after 2011 is also able to enter.

Businesses can either be at an ideas stage or a fully fledged company.

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions apply to the NACUE Varsity Pitch Competition 2016 grand prize of £10,000. Without acceptance of these terms we will be unable to process your prize and therefore require that no Directors of the company:

  • Work for or have any formal connection with (other than as winners of the Varsity Pitch Competition) NACUE (registered charity number 1139550) or NACUE UK Limited (Company number 6885463)
  • Have been disqualified as a director or barred from owning or managing a company
  • Have not been involved in or convicted of any fraudulent or criminal dealings
  • Have not been made or declared bankrupt in the last 5 years

Should you be successful in reaching the semi finals, we suggest you prepare to provide a business plan in preparation for the boot camp.

Further to this all of the £10,000 prize money must be re-invested in the business and must not be used for personal use or gain.

The winners of the NACUE Varsity Pitch 2016 will need to hold a bank account in their company name. If you don’t hold one already that doesn’t stop you from entering, but if you win you will need to set up a bank account before we can pay you the prize money.


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©2017 NACUE UK Ltd. Company Number 06885463 - Registered in England & Wales. Registered Charity: 1139550

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