About the New Business Challenge

Time to get serious

So your ideas have been formed (either for your existing business or a new idea), you’ve reviewed the market, strategised and you are ready to make your first million. Now you want to make things happen, and this competition could be just the way to get things moving.  By entering this competition you’ll have a chance to win a cash prize and put your business on the map. 

How to enter

To enter the competition you’ll need to send us a two minute video pitch along with a business model canvas and accompanying notes using the template provided for download below.  When you’re ready, click on the Next button at the bottom of the page.  You’ll be shown the competition rules and terms and conditions, then simply enter your details and upload your documents before the submission deadline on 31st January.

Your video pitch

Give us two minutes and we’ll give you an opportunity to bring your ideas to life.

Simply film a two-minute video telling us about your business idea and how you intend to take it forward.  You don’t need to be an experienced filmmaker and you won’t be judged on the picture quality of your video – it’s all about your message.  So pick up your mobile phone, tablet or any other recording device you have to hand and put your best foot forward. 

You need to:

  • introduce and describe your business idea
  • briefly explain the benefits and rewards of the business
  • tell us where you are with your business idea and why you are passionate about this project.

Video file formats that are acceptable are MPEG-4 (.mp4 or .m4p), Quicktime (.mov), AVI (.avi) and Windows Media (.wmv).  The maximum file size we can accept is 110 Mbytes.

References and materials

This is a fantastic resource that can help you develop your pitch: https://technovationchallenge.org/curriculum/pitch-1/

You can learn how to build a personal pitch on this free online course:


Your business model canvas

Now to expand on your ideas.  What is your value proposition? In other words, what are you providing to your customers? What do your customer segments look like? What is the cost structure of your business and what are your predicted revenue streams?  We'll want to see some realistic figures to have an idea of your potential for success. The canvas is for mapping out your ideas. In the accompanying notes you'll be able to give further details on each of the nine components. Here's an example of a business model canvas for an online shopping platform:

Example of a business model canvas

Download an enlarged view of this image.

Top tip: Try to keep your business model canvas simple, relevant, and intuitively understandable, while not oversimplifying the complexities of how your enterprise functions. (Osterwalder, 2010)

The structure of your submission should reflect the Powerpoint template provided below, which is based on the business model canvas.

The template is articulated in three parts:

  • A business model canvas. 
  • Executive summary. A short piece about your project that is meant to introduce the key aspects of your idea and explain how you think it would make money. Give some detail about the team and your motivation to pursue the project. (300 words)
  • Further details on each of the nine business model canvas components.

Refer to the instructions in the template for guidance on what information should be included in your submission.

References and materials

To prepare a sound business model canvas we highly recommend you spend some time on this free short course that will introduce you to the topic:

Business Model Canvas

Here's the template for you to work on:

Download button

We can keep a secret

If your idea is something that no one else has thought about yet, don’t worry.  Details of your business idea will be stored securely and only accessible by the shortlisting panel and judges.

Help is at hand

We will be hosting a Student Hub Live event focusing on starting your own business and working through the business model canvas. Please join us on 7 January 2019 at 1pm.

So, if you’re ready, click the button below and let’s go…


Osterwalder, A, and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation : A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers,  Chichester, John Wiley & Sons Incorporated. Available from ProQuest Ebook Central. [13 November 2017].

If you have any questions or need alternative formats to the materials provided here, please get in touch with us at  RAS-student-programmes@open.ac.uk

Last modified: Wednesday, 5 Dec 2018, 12:23