I'm worried about confidentiality and idea ownership. How will this work?
City Hall, the competition delivery team and all judges will keep your ideas confidential unless you've given written permission to, or if they're required by law to, reveal the information. Titles of winning entries and brief descriptions approved by finalists and semi-finalists may be used in publicity. You should agree who owns the idea with anyone you discuss it with. If you're entering as a group you should agree who owns the idea before you submit. The intellectual property of any submitted ideas remain the applicant/s.
Who gets the prize money for a team idea and what can we spend it on?
The prize fund must be spent to help bring the idea to market, for example, on legal advice, website development, and prototypes. It can't be used for any other expenses like living costs. The money has to be spent within a year of winning. It will be released as you need it and you must give us copies of receipts to show how you've spent it.
If I reach the final, will I get a mentor?
Yes. All finalists will be given training to help them in their pitches and a mentor to help them take their idea to market.
Can I apply to more than 1 award?
Yes you can apply for more than one award as long as you are entering different ideas. Each idea can only be entered into one award. If your idea links to the themes of 2 awards then please submit it to the one that most closely matches the main aims of your business idea. If you are still unsure please contact the team on [email protected] who will be happy to help.
Who is eligible to apply?
In order to apply you need to be a current student or a recent graduate (December 2018 onwards) from a London university and be at least 18 years old in March 2020.
How far along does my idea need to be?
We accept ideas from concept stage onwards and really encourage you to apply no matter how early on you are in developing your idea. Ideas do need to have the potential to become commercially viable so you do have to identify who your customers will be and how your idea will make money as part of the application form.
Do I need to have a full business plan?
No. To enter the competition all you need is an idea and to fill out the application form, you don't need a full business plan to enter.
How does the judging work?
For each award, applications will be judged by a panel of experts who will select 30 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will then come to City Hall to receive training in how to pitch their ideas before presenting them to their panel in 2 minute pitches. The expert panels will then select the 5 finalists from each award.
The 20 finalists will then get additional pitching training and support before the Final where they present Dragon's den style to a panel of celebrity judges who will choose the 4 award winners.
Ideas will be judged on:
- originality: what makes your idea new for London? How is it better and smarter than what's already out there?
- capacity for commercialisation: how will your idea make money?
- clarity: make sure you describe your idea really clearly
- relevance to the aims of the award/challenge: make sure you link your idea to the award
- positive impact on the environment: what are the environmental benefits of your idea?
Do I have to submit supporting documents?
As part of the application form you can submit supporting documents but you they are not required. Applications without supporting documents are fine. Please do note that all key information must be included in your answers to the main questions of the application form. Supporting documents can be helpful for the judges to visualise your idea in more detail but they will only be looked at after your main application has caught the interest of the judges.