Santander is offering early-stage startups across the UK the opportunity to win up to £25,000 equity-free funding and business support through the Santander X UK Awards 2023.
This year’s programme has two categories: university (for new businesses looking to launch) and startup (for growing businesses ready to scale). Traditionally a competition for university entrepreneurs, this year, applications in the startup category have been extended to include all UK businesses.
100 businesses (65 in the university category and 35 in the Startup category) will be shortlisted by 20 October and will be invited to attend a two-day in-person business bootcamp with expert-led sessions, networking, and pitch support. Following the bootcamp all 100 businesses will pitch their business plan during Global Entrepreneurship week (13 – 17 November), where 12 finalists will be selected (six per category). The finalists will then pitch live at the National Final in London on 7 December to a panel of high-profile judges, including Mike Regnier, Santander UK Chief Executive and William Vereker, Santander UK Chairman.
Six winners (three per category) will receive up to £25,000 funding and secure an automatic place in the Santander X Global Awards, the bank’s international entrepreneurship competition, where they’ll have the opportunity to compete against the best early-stage startups from across Europe and Latin America in Spring 2024.
James Markey, founder of UNI SIM, which offers affordable haptic and VR training solutions for universities, clinics, and hospitals worldwide, was one of the winners of the Santander X UK Awards 2022 and went on to successfully represent his business and win in the Santander X Global Award.
Commenting on the impact of the programme James said “Starting a business with the support of Santander has changed my life beyond all recognition. From getting valuable feedback on the initial idea, to finding our first client in Spain, right through to being one of the winners of the Santander X Global Award final in Valencia. We’ve gone from a student business from The Open University with an idea and a pencil drawing, to today, a fully-fledged business with offices in Portsmouth and a product that is having an impact on global education and has already been exported to countries including Spain, Chile, Peru and Morocco!”
If you are interested in emulating the success of James and UNI SIM, visit the Santander X UK Awards 2023 web page for more information on eligibility and how to apply.
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