Business Creation Competition
The Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University is one of the largest concentrations of environmental experts in Europe. At the heart of our mission, is a commitment to work in partnership with the commercial community to drive innovation in the development of new environmental products and services. We are therefore pleased to announce our 2007 business creation competition, which will see Four winners, picked by a panel of business experts, receive free:
- 12 Months accommodation in our prestigious new on campus and fully equipped business incubation and co- location facility, which is accessible 24/7
- Training and mentoring to develop and refine your business plan.
- £500 of technical consultancy by LU researchers and help establishing links with them.
- Advice on protecting your intellectual property.
- Help with the costs of legal incorporation.
- Help identifying and accessing collaborative grant funding.
- Assistance with e-commerce and website development.
- Training on preparing a funding pitch.
- Exposure to potential investors.
- Use of a PC with MS Office, broadband and discounted printing/phone.
- Preferential consideration for transfer into your own office after 12 months.
- The comradeship of other winners.
The new home for your Business in 2007?
The Gordon Manley Building, part of the Lancaster Environment Centre, provides purpose-designed facilities for the co-location of businesses and incubation of new businesses, made possible by investments from the North West Regional Development Agency and European Regional Development Fund. More information on this facility can be found here.
Our Partners in the Competition
We welcome our partners in this years business plan competition, who will provide expertise and support in both the judging and mentoring the successful winners in 2007.
The competition will look to find creative and realistic environmentally focused business ideas, to create new North West-based business, which identify:
- A clear product / service within the environmental technology sector.
- The opportunity, timing, strategy to capture it, and benefits over competitors.
- A scalable business, not just serving a very local area.
- How barriers to entry can be overcome and placed in the way of others.
- The resources needed and a strategy to provide these.
- The team, why the opportunity is right for them and additional skills needed.
- The potential rewards via a P/L account, cash flow forecast and balance sheet.
- The major risks and investment required.
Funding requirements necessitate that entries lead to businesses that:
- Are new and have not previously traded under the same name, although its previous registration only is OK.
- Will have a branch and ideally a registered office, based in the North West.
- Include significant activities other than retail (buying and selling goods without modification) e.g. manufacture, providing a service, consultancy, or research & development.
- Do not just serve customers in North and West Lancashire.
- Are not in receipt of significant NWDA funding or assistance (worth more than £1000) to establish.
- Are able to begin trading within approximately 12 months of entry to the business hatchery.
- If established by a sole trader, result in you registering or maintaining your registration for Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.
- If established as a limited company, will voluntarily register for VAT on commencing trading.
- Should any of these criteria be a problem, we are happy to discuss our potential for flexibility.
We are acutely aware it is essential to keep any plans for launching a new business confidential. Therefore, a confidentiality agreement has been put in place between each of the organisations involved in evaluating the competition entries, to protect your interests. We will also ensure the confidentiality of all entries is respected.
Please contact Chris Holroyd via email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact details or contact Chris via telephone on 01524 510228, to register your interest in the competition and to obtain a copy of the Application Form and Guidance Notes. Once completed this should be emailed back to Chris on or before the closing date (to be announced).
Applications will then be judged by an expert panel drawn from our partner organisations. The winners will be announced in mid September for mid October entry. We appreciate that at first glance the application form may appear long. However, we do not expect you to use all the space in each section and realise it is likely that you may not have had time to fully consider / research each section in the detail that will eventually be required in a full business plan.
However, it is important that you can explain your idea, provide some evidence a real opportunity exists and that you are able to capture this. We also do not expect perfect accounts; it is more important you can outline your expected income and major costs to show your business is sustainable.