Tata Varsity Pitch Competition 2021 will launch and open for applications, inviting innovative student and graduate business owners the chance to win £15,000 to help fund their early-stage businesses.
Tata Varsity Pitch Competition 2021, powered by NACUE (The National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs), is a national initiative dedicated to both current students and recent graduates (post-2016) celebrating high potential, early-stage ventures coming directly out of colleges and universities across the UK.
NACUE and the Tata Group have worked together over ten years through this competition and ‘Powering the Enterprising Generation’ to support talented and ambitious young people, committed to innovating their own career through enterprise and entrepreneurship.
The competition has grown dramatically over that time and Tata Group has become a well-known leader in the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the UK as a supporter of the competition from its inception. Alongside the £15,000 prize fund, there will be other benefits too – finalists will have access to significant in-kind support such as expert advice on business plans, pitching skills and how to professionally network.
To date, the competition has received over 3,000 outstanding entries from ambitious and aspiring entrepreneurs from educational institutions throughout the UK with an increase in quality year on year. Exceptionally high calibre startups have been actively involved in social enterprise, from repurposing waste chicken feathers into sustainable housing materials, reducing the number of injuries of cyclists through projecting laser lights to avoid blind spots, to the development of aids to improve water sanitation in under-served communities, to the creation of revolutionary itch-management products that aid children suffering from Eczema, and pushing the perception of sustainable fashion further by offering sustainable textile microbial dyeing and coating services to designers and brands.
Tata Varsity Pitch Competition will release a national call for innovative business solutions to submit a 60-second video elevator pitch to all current students or recent graduates from any UK education institution. 30 startups will be invited to pitch to a panel of esteemed judges in October to compete for one of the seven finalist spots. The finalists will have the opportunity to attend a two-day boot camp a couple of weeks before the Grand Final with a lineup of industry professionals who will ensure they are well-prepped for the big day. The finalist entrepreneurs will compete at the Grand Final in November 2021 during Global Entrepreneurship Week for the opportunity to take home a national title and £15,000 equity-free funding.
Tim Jones CBE, Executive Director at Tata Limited commented: “Tata Varsity Pitch is a phenomenal opportunity for business-minded students and recent graduates to develop their potential. The global challenges we all continue to face have shown that we must be ready to adapt to our situation and champion innovative ideas. We are proud to continue our work with NACUE to support today’s entrepreneurs as they strive to become the future of tomorrow’s ever-changing world.”
Timothy Barnes, Chair of NACUE’s Board of Trustees, welcomed the launch of the 2021 programme, saying “The Tata Varsity Pitch Competition is now in its twelfth year. You don’t get to keep going in an area as fast-changing as this without offering real value for participants and partners. It is the UK’s leading inter-varsity programme for exceptional new business ideas – ideas we all need to see as we rebuild the post-covid economy. Each one is led by driven, talented students from across the country and we are here to recognise their achievements and celebrate their work.
The best new businesses among them will receive support from NACUE’s network and Tata Group companies as they launch and grow. This will help create new jobs and new solutions for the post-Covid-19 economy.”
Tata Varsity Pitch Competition 2021 will showcase the phenomenal talent of young people amongst the UK’s education system and raise the awareness and profile of this exceptional talent.
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