Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship - IDEAFEST Business Idea Competition


IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition

The annual IDEAFEST Competition, which is for students at both the Henley Business School and the University of Reading, seeks to find the best business idea capable of being commercial and an opportunity to practice entrepreneurship.

Students can submit their business idea to a panel of judges and if the judges believe their idea has promise they can then pitch their idea for the chance to win a cash prize of £1,000, with cash prizes for the second and third places too. In addition, for the first time there will also be a cash prize for the best innovative idea.  

IDEAFEST is the perfect chance to make your business idea a reality and launch your entrepreneurship career.

You will also get the chance to learn how to build and refine your business idea at a workshop, during which you can network with other budding entrepreneurs.

The Competition is managed by HCfE at the Henley Business School and consists of two rounds:

Round One - Submit your business idea along with a short video (maximum of three minutes). Ideas will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will select the best entries to go through to the second round.

Round Two - Finalists will pitch to the panel and audience of peers and faculty members.

The key dates of the competition are as follows:

18th January 2018 - IDEAFEST Workshop for students considering entering the competition. Held at 10:30am in room 208 of the Henley Business School building, Whiteknights campus.

1st February 2018 - IDEAFEST Competition opens for entries.

23rd March 2018 - deadline for submitting entries to the IDEAFEST Competition.

25th April 2018 - IDEAFEST Competition Final. Held at 2:00pm in room G15 of the Henley Business School building, Whiteknights campus.

If you have a business idea for the IDEAFEST Competition, you can get some critique from HCfE's Executive Director, Jurek Sikorski, before submitting your entry. Jurek offers Business Idea Clinic appointments on Wednesday afternoons where you can discuss your business idea. To sign up for a Business Idea Clinic appointment, see our page here.

To enter IDEAFEST, download and complete the Entry Form here: Entry Form Ideafest 2018 

Once you have completed the above entry form, please submit it together with a short video (maximum three minutes) which is posted on You Tube or Vimeo with a link to view. Completed applications should be sent to Jurek Sikorski via email as below by no later than 23rd March 2018.

In 2017 IDEAFEST was won by BSc Business and Management student Magnus Ronning for his idea Ronning Co, an online fashion streetwear supplier targeting young consumers through social media sales channels using video medium.


On winning the Competition, Magnus said: “I sincerely enjoyed participating in the IDEAFEST competition. For me it was a great opportunity to explore and build on my current business idea and it was an amazing experience to pitch and present it in front of the judges. I think anyone who walks around with an idea should participate in IDEAFEST and similar competitions, because having an idea is great, but presenting it is amazing! It was incredible to actually win the competition, but even more exciting that the idea could turn into a career.

You can read more about the 2017 IDEAFEST Competition here.

For further information about the IDEAFEST Competition please contact Jurek Sikorski:

E: jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk T: 0118 378 8188

The IDEAFEST Business Idea Competition is co-founded and sponsored by Pitmans LLP, a long-established, locally based legal practice with a strong record of supporting entrepreneurs.