Competitions and events

Student Enterprise competitions help you clarify your enterprising ideas and assist you to turn them into viable opportunities and start-up your venture. Competitions can be good sources of small amounts of funding and contacts to expand your network.

Converge Challenge is the leading, Scotland wide company creation and entrepreneurship competition for staff, students and recent graduates of Scottish Universities and Research Institutes, aimed at creating a new generation of entrepreneurs in Scotland through a £150k+ prize fund of cash and in-kind support. There are three categories: Converge Challenge, a company creation and training programme for new start or early stage projects that are likely to incorporate within 12 months; KickStart Award for early stage ideas for a new product or service; Social Enterprise Award for businesses focused on social problems.  The deadline for entries is 29th March 2018.


LifeStart from Virgin Money and Virgin StartUp 

Take real business challenges, learn, win mentorship, internships and prizes from major brands.  We are taking part in piloting LifeStart in Scotland and encourage all students to give it a try. We will hold workshops and support sessions for those taking part.

LifeStart is a new challenge platform that helps you gain real experience, improve your skills and win rewards. We present real-life business challenges that all students can respond to with their proposals – the best proposal for solving the challenge will win cash of up to £1000, learning experiences, gadgets and internships with the great companies that we work with.

Virgin LifeStart and on Facebook



The following competitions are run by the University of St Andrews, supported by Santander Universities.

I'm changing the world - Social Enterprise Challenge 2018

  • Take action
  • Implement an idea
  • Make a difference


What is this competition about?Social enterprise challenge

We are looking for teams with the drive and energy to implement an idea, in support of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Who can apply?

The competition is open to all students - undergraduate and postgraduate of the University of St Andrews

How to apply

  1. Download the Social Enterprise Challenge 2018 entry form (Word, 248 KB)
  2. Submit your entry and attach your completed Social Enterprise Challenge 2018 entry form. Please ensure you've filled in all the information requested, as incomplete entries will not be considered.
  3. Once registered, you will be able to apply for funding‌ of up to £100 to put your idea into practice. Social Enterprise Challenge 2018 funding application form (Word, 248 KB). You must attend a one to one meeting to be eligible to apply for funding and the funding will be reimbursed on production of receipts.
  4. With your team, implement your social enterprise idea
  5. Showcase your success on 5 April 2018


The deadline for registering to take part in I’m Changing the World Social Enterprise Challenge is 5:00pm on Friday 2 March 2018. Good luck! We look forward to receiving your entry.

Idea Explosion 2018

Idea Explosion 2018 is now closed. Up to twelve finalists are being selected from the entrants to pitch their ideas on Thursday 15 March.


What is this competition about?

We are looking for twelve finalists, with serious intentions to make their idea happen.

There are no particular rules on the ideas accepted. Non-profit or social enterprise ideas are equally acceptable. Furthermore, we don't mind about the background or industry in which your idea is framed - as long as you can explain to us how it works - we want to hear about it. Our experts will be looking for ideas with potential to become successful ventures and your commitment to making that happen.

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018

It's time to compete with the best!

  • Pitch your idea
  • Submit a Business Model Canvas
  • Win up to £25,000

What is this competition about?

We are looking for the best students and graduate businesses to take part in one of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions.  Winners receive cash prizes, mentoring and start-up support.  Since 2011, the Awards have given more than £260,000 to starts-ups and small businesses.  Entrance to the 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is via a local pitching competition.  The university can submit a maximum of two entries - one technology business, where hardware and/or software are central to the value proposition and one non-technology business, where the value proposition is not primarily based around hardware and/or software.

Who can apply?

2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards are open to all students - undergraduate and postgraduate of the University of St Andrews and alumni who graduated within the last 2 years


How to apply

  1. Familiarise yourself with the 2018 Santander Universities Entreprenuership Awards info pack (PDF, 2,647 KB) , including the Judging Criteria.
  2. Download the 2018 Santander Universities Entreprenuership Awards registration form (Word, 96 KB).
  3. Register to take part and attach your completed 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards registration form - outlining your idea or business, the problem you are solving and how your business does that. You must register to take part by 23rd March 2018.
  4. Ensure you are familiar with the 2018 Santander Universities Entreprenuership Awards Business Model Canvas guide (PDF, 653 KB) and 2018 Santander Universities Entreprenuership Awards Business Model Canvas (PDF, 38 KB) and are able to develop a Business Model Canvas for your idea or business. Attend the Business Model Canvas workshop on 9th March 2018 if you can.
  5. By registering, you are committing to pitching your idea on 5th April 2018 if shortlisted AND if selected as one of the two university entries, to develop and submit a two minute video pitch and business model canvas by 20th April 2018.

The deadline for registering to take part in the 2018 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is 5:00pm on Friday, 23rd March 2018.