Intended to support University students looking to start a business, The Grad Factor will visit numerous locations nationwide starting in Cardiff and ending in Edinburgh, all throughout October.
In exclusive partnership with RBS & NatWest, The Grad Factor is back this year bigger than ever as the UK’s only Government endorsed national business pitch contest for University students. Designed to showcase the best student entrepreneurs and start-ups nationwide, the enterprise campaign kicks off with a bang having announced it will go on tour using NatWest’s iconic 1966 Routemaster bus (normally the ‘NatWest Mobile Business School’) to meet with students and encourage them to enter.
Co-sponsored by Innovify and officially supported by StartUp Britain and Journolink, The Grad Factor team will visit a number of University locations across the UK and engage with thousands of aspiring student entrepreneurs nationwide.
The Grad Factor is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Keith Chaplin-Mabbutt, who says:
“Apparently 1 in 4 students within Higher Education now want to start a business or have already done so. Knowing the importance that entrepreneurs have for economic growth, innovation and job creation we want to fully harness this fantastic potential and support budding entrepreneurs to provide them with the skills and resources they need to help build their ideas into successful and sustainable businesses. I’m looking forward to The Grad Factor showcasing the very best student entrepreneurs and start up talent across the UK.”
This crucial support is further championed by The Grad Factor contest teaming up this year with value driven product management company, Innovify.
Maulik Sailor, Founder & CEO at Innovify, said: “The high failure rate in the UK start-up scene is primarily due to the fundamental problem many founders face – finding the right technical co-founder, or chief technology officer to effectively create the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for launch. We want to make student entrepreneurs more aware of this problem and help them create the next multi-million pound company.”
Last year the competition was won by a duo from The University of Cambridge so standards are high, but now operated by a new parent company, StartUp Factor, an overhaul of the format sees four separate Awards up for grabs.
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at official partners NatWest, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting The Grad Factor competition. We’re using the NatWest Business Bus to get out and help entrepreneurial talent and start-ups in universities across the UK. By collaborating with experts from The Grad Factor team, StartUp Britain, university enterprise societies and business incubators and accelerators, we hope together to provide a broader range of support to entrepreneurial students, help them realise their business ambitions, and support them to become investor-ready through The Grad Factor contest.”
Starting at the University of South Wales on Tuesday 6 October, The Grad Factor bus tour will cover a number of major cities including Exeter, Bath, London, Birmingham and Manchester, before finishing in Edinburgh on 30 October. Each event will run from 12 Noon to 4pm and provide University students the opportunity to speak directly with the organisers of the competition and refine their pitch prior to entering.
The Grad Factor competition opens for first round video entries from 9am Monday 28 September and closes at Midnight on Saturday 31 October. Students can enter for free via the official website, www.gradfactor.tv. Successful entrants will be handpicked by a Judging panel to progress to the invitation-only Regional Finals.
A total of 12 of the very best student start-ups will attend the Grand Final at RBS’ London HQ on 10 December to face a judging panel of industry experts who will ultimately choose the 4 category Award winners and announce those classed as the best UK Start-Ups with The Grad Factor.
To enter and find out more about the tour, dates and University locations, the Award categories, Eligibility criteria and the fantastic Prizes on offer visit the official website: www.gradfactor.tv.