Entrepreneurs wanted

Oxford University is launching its 2004 Business Plan Competition – the UK’s largest science- and technology-focused competition offering £30,000 in prize money – on February 16th.

Open to entrepreneurs of any age and from any country, the competition has already kick started a number of new high-tech businesses.

Last year’s winner, Peterborough, UK-based Surface Generation, has developed a novel rapid tooling process for manufacturing large engineering components such as aircraft wings and yachts.

Surface Generation is about to launch its prototype and is currently negotiating a round of investment.

The competition itself seeks out the best new business ideas, as judged by a panel of specialist investors. Entrants have until May 12th to enter their business plan and to take advantage of the help and advice that is offered by the Oxford Science Enterprise Centre. The six teams with the best plans will be invited to present at Venturefest, Oxford’s fair for entrepreneurs, on June 29th.

The most ‘fundable’ business plan will earn its writers the Apax Prize: £20,000 in cash and two runners-up will take home £5,000 each.

All finalists will receive mentoring from PricewaterhouseCoopers. The competition is supported by new sponsors this year: Apax Partners, Infineum, Oxford Instruments and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

More information about the Oxford University Business Plan Competition is available <a href=’http://www.science-enterprise.ox.ac.uk’>here.</a>