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IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition


With cash prizes up to £1,000 and expert mentoring up for grabs, students that enter IDEAFEST have the opportunity to present their business ideas and gain support that could lead to the business idea being commercialised. You don't need prior knowledge of entrepreneurship or business experience to enter IDEAFEST - all that's required is a genuine passion for developing a business idea.

IDEAFEST comprises of two rounds, with the first round involving submitting your idea to a panel of judges. The best entries will move onto the second round, where students get the chance to pitch their idea to the judging panel in front of a live audience.

Students can enter IDEAFEST either on their own or as part of a team and prior to submitting it's recommended that students arrange an appointment at the Business Idea and Start-Up Clinic to help refine their idea. To book a slot at the Clinic, contact Alex Baker on

The winner of IDEAFEST receives a cash prize of £1,000 to spend on developing their business idea, with mentoring from HCfE and sponsors. There are also cash prizes for second and third places and an additional cash prize of another £1,000 for the best innovative idea. On top of this, there is a special China bursary open to all MBA students for the best idea capable of being commercialised in China. This bursary is sponsored by Savio Kwan, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Alibaba.

The full timetable for IDEAFEST 2022 is outlined below:

21 January 2022, 10:00am to 12:00pm, online via Microsoft Teams - Introduction to IDEAFEST Workshop (register to attend the workshop here)

24 January 2022 - IDEAFEST 2022 opens for entries

28 March 2022 - IDEAFEST 2022 closes for entries

27 April 2022, 2:00pm to 5:00pm, online via Microsoft Teams and in person in room G10 of the Henley Business School building, Whiteknights campus - IDEAFEST 2022 Final

Please visit this page again once IDEAFEST 2022 submissions have opened to download the entry form.

IDEAFEST 2021 was won by won by CryptoBusy, a start-up that teaches people how to trade and invest in cryptocurrency, who collected £1,000 for winning the Best Business Idea category. The prizes for the Best Innovative Idea and the Best Business Idea for China categories were both awarded to Alva Power, an environmentally focused business that works to repurpose electric vehicle batteries into green energy systems. Read the full news release of the IDEAFEST 2021 Final here.

In 2019 IDEAFEST also launched internationally, with a finals held in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. To find out more about the first international IDEAFEST competitions, read the full stories here and here respectively.

IDEAFEST is sponsored by both Savio Kwan, the former President and COO of Alibaba, and Stefano Ciampolini, founder and Managing Partner of Healthcare Capital Partners.


Contact us

For more information please contact Alex Baker.

Telephone: 0118 3788691