King's College Entrepreneurship Prize 2020

1st prize £20,000 

The King’s Entrepreneurship Prize aims to encourage King’s Members in developing entrepreneurial ideas and concepts, where creativity and knowhow can be converted into sustainable commercial and social benefit. Recent winners have included healthcare, engineering, media and agricultural projects in the UK and overseas.

The first prize is for £20,000, the second prize £10,000 and the third prize £5,000.  In addition, the panel of judges offers feedback on request to all competitors, and mentorship and funding advice to those who reach the shortlist.

In the first stage of the competition, entrants provide one-page summaries of an entrepreneurship project.  Approximately one quarter will be selected for the long list; these will receive a grant of £100 and invited to submit four supplementary pages of information and analysis. A shortlist of finalists will then be chosen and asked to present a comprehensive business plan in person to an expert panel of judges.

This is an annual prize, open to all King’s Members – current students and alumni. Entrants may be individuals or a team –  we just ask that the team leader is a King’s Member.

For further information and enquiries, please contact: enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk


Competition Guidelines

The King’s College Entrepreneurship Prize competition will open for applications during December 2019.

The Entrepreneurship Prize competition will be advertised online on the King’s College website, plus on noticeboards around King’s. King’s Members will be contacted by email about it.

In 2020, there will be a first prize of £20,000, a runner-up prize of £10,000, and a third prize of £5,000.

Stage one: submission of a one-page Business Idea

Grants of up to £100 will be awarded for the best business ideas that are long-listed to stage two.


  1. You may enter the King’s College Entrepreneurship Prize as an individual or as part of a team.
  2. Eligible individuals must be King’s Members: current graduate or undergraduate students, or alumni.
  3. Eligible teams may have up to 6 members. At least one person within the team must be a King’s Member and designated as the Team Leader. During the competition, communications will be sent to the Team Leader.
  4. Entrants may seek advice by emailing enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk and such requests will be forwarded to members of the judging panel.
  5. Existing businesses may be entered into the competition provided that all other entry criteria are satisfied.
  6. It is the responsibility of the entrant/s to ensure that the content of their Business Idea and Plan is not subject to any rights or permissions from any other third party.
  7. Entrants may submit only one entry per competition year.
  8. Entrants may participate in the competition in multiple years. However, no two submissions may be identical.
  9. Entrants must abide by the Health and Safety Policy of King’s College Cambridge (available on request).
  10. For current students: participation in this competition should not be prioritised above existing academic commitments and the terms of study at the University of Cambridge and in College.


  1. Each proposal must be lawful and the original work of the entrant/s.
  2. All proposals will be treated per the attached statement of ethics.
  3. When submitting your one-page Business Idea, please ensure that you complete the 2020 entry form (below). Each entry form must be signed and dated by each team member and both items sent FAO Amy Ingle to:
    - By email: enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk or
    - By post or in person: Development Office, King's College CB2 1ST
  4. The deadline for one-page Business Idea submissions has been extended to 9am on 23 January 2020.
  5. Stage one entrants will be notified whether or not their Business Idea has been longlisted by 27 February 2020.
  6. If entrants would like feedback on their Business Idea submission, they may email enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk for this by no later than 3 March 2020.

Stage two: submission of supplementary information

  1.  Entrants who are long-listed will be asked for four pages of supplementary information on their proposal, and will be awarded a grant of £100 for that purpose.

    Your supplementary information pages could include:
    - A summary of the business idea
    - Market analysis
    - Competitive landscape analysis
    - Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to include additional social impact KPIs, if relevant
    - Team
    - Financials
    - Progress to date
  2. The deadline for submission of your supplementary information is 9am on 11 June 2020*.
  3. Entrants will be notified whether or not the supplementary information on their proposal has been shortlisted.
  4. If entrants would like feedback on their supplementary information package, they may email enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk for this.

Stage three: preparation of a Business Plan

  1. Entrants selected for shortlist will be invited to prepare a full Business Plan for their Idea, to present to the judges at the Lyons Den.

    In addition to amplifying the information already provided, these presentations may also address without being limited to:
    - Strategic plan,
    - Marketing plan,
    - Operational plan,
    - Risk assessment,
    - Budgeted cash flows, and
    - Timelines

    Please use available online resources to guide you in the creation of your business plan, should you not already have one.
  2. Each entrant will be asked to submit an electronic copy of their Business Plan and any other material that pertains to their Lyons Den presentation. The deadline for submission of this material is 24 August 2020.
  3. All Business Plan submissions must relate to the Business Idea proposed in round one of the competition.
  4. Current students must obtain the written consent of their Tutors and Directors of Studies before accepting the offer to present a Business Plan.

The Lyons Den presentations

  1. The Lyons Den presentations of 2020 will be held during the last week of September.
  2. The entrant/s will give a presentation to the Entrepreneurship Panel of duration no longer than 10 minutes after which there will be questions and a discussion for a further 15 minutes.  
  3. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lyons Den presentations will be held virtually.
  4. Up to three awards will be offered following the Lyons Den presentations:
    - Top prize: £20,000
    - Runner-up prize: £10,000
    - Third prize: £5,000
  5. Competition finalists will be notified whether or not they are a competition prize-winner in the days following the Lyons Den.


  1. King’s College asks the final three prize-winners, as decided at the Lyons Den:
    - To provide a team photograph, to be used by the College in King’s communications and potential future Entrepreneurship Prize marketing.
    - To write an impact statement in the 30 days following an award presentation.
    - To provide a 6-month progress update statement, to include an appraisal (and, if necessary, adjustment) of KPIs and acknowledgement of key points of learning thus far.
    - To provide an 18-month progress update statement, in line with that produced at 6-months.
    - To be willing to return to College in subsequent years to talk to other potential entrepreneurs about the Entrepreneurship Prize competition.
  2. Prize-winners will be publicised on the College website and in College communications to its Members and Friends.
  3. The College will make available to winning entrants opportunities to apply, without obligation, to members of the Entrepreneurship Panel for funding, mentoring or financial introductions.

Additional items

  1. The Lyons Den is named after the Founder of the competition, Stuart Lyons CBE.
  2. The College is not obliged to accept submissions at any round if they are received after the respective deadline.
  3. Members of the Entrepreneurship Panel are chosen at the discretion of the College.
  4. All grants and prizes are awarded at the discretion of the Entrepreneurship Panel. The Entrepreneurship Panel decides the specific values of the funding awarded during the competition, the date at which the funding is disbursed, and any conditions attached to its use. All judging decisions and their conditions are final and not subject to appeal.
  5. The College may choose to feature any participating business in future PR and marketing for the Entrepreneurship Prize.
  6. King’s College reserves the right to withdraw funding if it is not used for the purposes for which it was intended or if the Entrepreneurship Panel believes the use of the funding brings the Entrepreneurship Prize, King’s College or the Entrepreneurship Panel into disrepute.

If you would like any further information, please email enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk



The judges of the 2020 Entrepreneurship Competition are as follows:

Jonathan Adams (KC 1986, Economics)
Jonathan has been a Sector Portfolio Manager at Investec Asset Management since 2006; previously at Citigroup, he has over 17 years experience in asset management. Prior to that, he led European Wireless research at JPMorgan having worked in advisory roles in the telecommunications sector. Jonathan has also been an angel investor for many years, but more recently he has focussed his efforts on companies delivering social impact and is a founding member of the Clearly Social Angels Network, the UK’s largest impact investor group. In addition he is a member of the Admissions Panel of the Social Stock Exchange. Furthermore, Jonathan is a trustee of the Irene Taylor Trust, which promotes music in prisons to break the cycle of reoffending and a member of the Finance Committee of the Wates Foundation. He has an M.P.A from Princeton University where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.

Mike Bate (KC 1991, Developmental Biology)
Fellow of King’s and Emeritus Professor of developmental biology in the University Department of Zoology. His research is concerned with the way in which the machinery underlying coordinated movement is genetically specified and assembled during embryonic development.  

Gemma Chandratillake (KC 1997, Natural Sciences)
Trained as a molecular geneticist and Genetic Counselor, Gemma was an early employee of the Stanford spinout company Personalis, where she developed a clinical genomic sequencing test for the diagnosis of individuals with rare disease. Since moving back to the UK, Gemma has focused on healthcare professional education in genomics; she is the Course Director for the Masters programme in Genomic Medicine at the University and the Education & Training Lead for the East Midlands and East of England Genomic Laboratory Hub. Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Rare Disease Network, Gemma is passionate about the potential of genomics to improve healthcare, and works creatively to facilitate the mainstreaming of genomics within the NHS.

Tim Flack (KC 1995, Electrical Engineering)
Fellow of King’s and Senior Tutor; in the University he is a member of the Electrical Group in the Electrical Engineering Division and works particularly on electric machines and drives, and on numerical simulation of electromagnetic fields.

Hermann Hauser KBE (KC 1973, Physics)
An Honorary Fellow of King's, Hermann is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist who has been described as a "grandee of the British computing industry" (The Engineer, 11/03/2013). He has founded several companies including Acorn Computers (and a spin-out company ARM Holdings), Active Book Company, Virata, Net Products, NetChannel and Cambridge Network Ltd. In 1997 he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners, an investment firm. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society and of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’ in 2001 and a KBE in 2016. Hermann was awarded an MA in Physics by Vienna University; he took his PhD in Physics at Cambridge and in addition holds honorary degrees from several institutions. From 2013 to 2016 he was a Development Board member.

Lorraine Headen (KC 2016)
Fellow and Director of Development. Formerly Senior Associate Director (Principal Gifts) at Cambridge University, and prior to that Lorraine worked in fundraising for a variety of institutions including both Kent and Durham universities.

Stuart Lyons CBE (KC 1962, Classics)
Fellow Commoner of King’s. Stuart has been a business leader in the consumer product, retail and service industries, and was awarded a CBE for services to the china industry. His public roles include chairmanship of the British Ceramic Confederation and the West Midlands Development Agency, and membership of the Monopolies & Mergers Commission. He has an LLB degree from the Open University, an honorary DLitt from Keele University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Wharton, USA. He chaired the King’s College Development Board from 2010-13.

Gerard Mizrahi (KC 1970, Economics)
Managing partner and chief executive of Charles Street Securities Europe LLP, a private investment firm which he founded in 1984. The firm specialises in the financing of early stage growth companies and manages the CSS Alpha Fund. He has had an extensive career in investment banking and private equity investing and at the beginning of his career Gerard was employed by the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1973 to 1983 in the bank's international, institutional and investment banking departments.

Michael Proctor (KC 2013, Applied Mathematics)
Provost of King’s College since 2013, after 39 years as a Fellow of Trinity College, where he was successively Tutor, Dean and Vice-Master. After two years on the faculty of MIT in the mid-seventies, he returned to Cambridge in 1977 as a university lecturer. Until his retirement in 2017, he was the Professor of Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 2006.  His research is concerned with the generation and dynamics of magnetic fields in the sun and other astrophysical bodies.

Adrian Suggett (KC 1985, Electrical Sciences)
Co-founder and Director of Acano, which united previously incompatible audio, video and web technologies; it was bought by Cisco in late 2015. He was previously employed by Tandberg, a manufacturer of videoconferencing systems, which was also acquired by Cisco Systems. Since 2017 Adrian has been a business angel and serves on the boards of several technology companies either as a director or advisor.

Shailendra Vyakarnam (MBA and PhD Cranfield), Associate of the Senior Combination Room at King's
Shai has been an enterprise educator and mentor for 30 years. He was founding director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at the Judge Business School. He has been a pioneer in developing education for entrepreneurship and many of his courses and methods are extensively copied and developed by Universities and Institutions around the world. He is passionate about science and technology based new venture creation and scale ups and has recently co-authored two books on the topic. Shai has also founded several companies and actively mentored dozens of young businesses. His current project is to develop a Cambridge Innovation History Group to create an archive of evidence of all the innovation that has arisen in and from Cambridge since 1881, enabling future research and publications. He continues his affiliation with Cranfield as a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship.

Sarah Wood OBE (KC 1992, English)
Following an academic career, Sarah Wood co-founded Unruly in 2006, scaling a global video advertising marketplace that was acquired by News Corp in 2015. A former board member of Superdry plc, she currently sits on the boards of Tech Nation and City Ventures, and is an ambassador for The Prince's Trust Women Supporting Women Programme. Sarah has been named Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year, City AM Entrepreneur of the Year, and has been awarded an OBE for services to technology and innovation. Sarah is also an active angel investor in the tech and wellbeing space, and author of best-selling career handbook Stepping Up: How to Accelerate Your Leadership Potential, which calls for more diverse and empathetic business leaders.



December 2019
Entrepreneurship Prize opens for Business Idea submissions

23 January 2020*
9am deadline for one-page Business Idea submissions

By 28 February 2020
Entrants notified whether or not their Business Idea has made the longlist.

From this point in the competition, and in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and associated restrictions, the Entrepreneurship Panel appreciates that it will not be possible for the previously advertised competition schedule to apply. Those who have been long-listed in the competition will be kept informed of key dates as and when they are decided.

By 11 June 2020* (revised date)
9am deadline for submission of supplementary information (4 pages).

Longlisted entrants notified whether or not they have been shortlisted.

Shortlist invited to prepare a full Business Plan to present to the Entrepreneurship Panel during June 2020.

Business Plan paperwork, presentation slides, and any presentation needs to be submitted for pre-presentation administration.

Lyons Den presentation times confirmed with entrants.

The Lyons Den: presentation of Business Plans to the Entrepreneurship Panel

Lyons Den finalists notified whether or not they are prize-winners (prizes of £20,000, £10,000, £5,000)

Winners to send in a general follow-up statement

Winners to send through a 6-month progress update statement

Winners to send through an 18-month progress update statement

*Extended deadline date


Enter the Competition!

The deadline for the competition entries has been extended to 9am on 23 January 2020.

Your one-page Business Idea, plus the competition entry form (see below), should be sent to Amy Ingle in the King's College Development Office. You can submit your entry in two ways:

  1. By email to enterprise@kings.cam.ac.uk. The subject of your email should be 'Entrepreneurship Prize' followed by the first name and surname of your Team Leader.

  2. By post or in person to: Amy Ingle, Development Office, King's College, Cambridge CB2 1ST

Please ensure that you have read the competition guidelines before submitting your entry to the Entrepreneurship Competition.

Good luck in the competition!

Alumni are encouraged to stay involved with the life of the College however they can, and many generously donate their time and expertise.
Find King's graduates in your area, make connections with alumni in your industry, and find out about our Entrepreneurship Competition.
We welcome donations of all sizes to important causes such as our access programme, graduate scholarships or our renowned Chapel and Choir.
Find details of all upcoming reunions, donor events and alumni gatherings, and check the reunion schedule for future events.

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Contact Details

Development Office

King's College
King's Parade
Cambridge CB2 1ST

Tel: (+44) (0)1223 331313
Fax: (+44) (0)1223 331347

Email: members@kings.cam.ac.uk