About the Innovation Award

Your time to shine

If you have an innovative idea for a business you’d like to get off the ground, this is the competition for you.  As long as it’s something new and original you’ll have a chance to win a cash prize to make your idea happen. 

How do we define "innovation"?

 I'm glad you asked! We have a couple of definitions that the judges will have in mind when evaluating your idea and your business model.

  • Innovation can refer both to the whole process of introducing something new to the world, including products, processes, organisational forms and ways of working, and to the outputs of these processes. Often combined with other words to form variants, such as technological innovation.

  • Stanford Business School defines Social innovation as the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress.

How to enter

To enter the competition you’ll need to pitch your idea in a short video and submit it alongside a business model canvas.  When you’re ready, click on the 'Next' button below.  You’ll be shown the competition rules and terms and conditions of entry, then simply enter your personal details, upload your video and your business model canvas.

Your two-minute 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, why it is innovative 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 innovation idea
  • briefly explain the benefits and rewards of the innovation
  • tell us who you are, where you are with your innovation idea and why you are passionate about this innovation.

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 will 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:


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 the highlights of your idea. 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 two 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)

Download your template here: 

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

We can keep a secret

If your idea is something that no one else has thought about yet, don’t worry.  Your video and business model canvas 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, 12:21