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Calling College entrepreneurs 

The Hughes Hall Enterprise Award 2023 is back!

Do you have an idea that addresses a current issue through a sustainable solution? Do you want to learn how to pitch business ideas from a team of industry experts and entrepreneurs? Do you want to be part of an exciting competition with cash prizes?

The Hughes Hall Enterprise Award 2023 is back and we are inviting applications from teams of entrepreneurs who wish to propose an innovative solution to a problem or challenge we are currently facing in our society. This year, the theme of the competition open so we are looking for proposals from any field; from alternative energy and AI, to sustainable fashion and digital education. The 1st prize is £1000 to support your innovative idea and is kindly sponsored by Cambridge Digital Innovation, one of our Bridge research and innovation centres.

The competition is open to any team of 3-5 people as long as at least one team member is a Hughes Hall student so feel free to team up with your friends. And remember, ultimately, this is an IDEAS competition more than a business competition – as long as your idea is innovative and your passion comes through, you don’t need business expertise or experience to take part, or make an impact.

We are looking for proposals from any field, from alternative energy or AI to sustainable fashion or digital education. Join our alumni entrepreneurs to find out more about enterprise at Hughes Hall.


The judges for the Enterprise Award 2023 will include:

  • Liisa Van Vliet – senior researcher, entrepreneaur and mentor – is passionate about bringing technology and science to market for the benefit of all. She had given “How to start a spin-out” workshops for several EU network consortia and since facilitates and mentors for programmes run by the Judge Business School and for i2i (Ideas to Innovation) at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University.
  • Rupert Pearce-Gould – Hughes Hall By-Fellow – has worked for some of UK’s leading companies before starting his own corporate finance consultancy. He set up the venture capital arm of a major UK bank and played a key role in turning round a listed Cambridge technology consultancy company. He started and was chair of the UK’s largest independent newspaper printer. He has been a mentor on the Ignite programme at Cambridge Judge Business School for over 10 years.
  • Stephen Axford, Hughes Hall Fellow and Bridge Director, spent 21 years in Whitehall, most recently in the Business Department overseeing the science and innovation budget and the work of Research Councils and Innovate UK, and supporting the transition to the new single funding body, UK Research and Innovation.  He was responsible for support and funding for the UK’s National Academies, including the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Judges to includes, from left, Liisa Van Vliet, Rupert Pearce-Gould, Stephen Axford.

How to find out more and get involved

If you have exciting ideas but don’t have a team yet, don’t worry, you can sign up via the google form below and we will match you with other participants with similar ideas and complementary skills so that you can refine your plan together and submit as a team: enterprise team matching form.

If you think it sounds interesting and would like to find out more before applying, you are warmly invited to join us on 2nd of March, 6pm to 8pm in the Pavilion Room to learn more about the competition, meet other participants, and hear from a panel of Hughes Hall alumni entrepreneurs. Free food and drinks included!  Click here to sign up.

If your team is ready to submit an application, please submit details via the enterprise award application form.

Good luck to Hughes Hall’s budding student entrepreneurs!