City Hall, the competition delivery team and all judges will keep your ideas confidential unless you’ve given written permission to, or if they’re required by law to, reveal the information. Titles of winning entries and brief descriptions approved by finalists and semi-finalists may be used in publicity. You should agree who owns the idea with anyone you discuss it with. If you’re entering as a group you should agree who owns the idea before you submit. The intellectual property of any submitted ideas remain the applicant/s.
The prize fund must be spent to help bring the idea to market, for example, on legal advice, website development, and prototypes. It can’t be used for any other expenses like living costs. The money has to be spent within a year of winning. It will be released as you need it and you must give us copies of receipts to show how you’ve spent it.
Yes. All finalists will be given training to help them in their pitches and a mentor to help them take their idea to market.
Yes you can apply for more than one award as long as you are entering different ideas. Each idea can only be entered into one award. If your idea links to the themes of 2 awards then please submit it to the one that most closely matches the main aims of your business idea. If you are still unsure please contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to help.
In order to apply you need to be:
- A current student or a recent graduate (December 2020 onwards) from a London university
- At least 18 years old in March 2022
- Legally able to conduct business activity in the UK from autumn 2022.
- Be eligible to open a UK business bank account
If you do not currently have a suitable visa or citizenship/status to set up a business in the UK from October 2022, you will need to be able to apply for a start up visa in June 2022 (more information here)
We accept ideas from concept stage onwards and really encourage you to apply no matter how early on you are in developing your idea. Ideas do need to have the potential to become commercially viable so you do have to identify who your customers will be and how your idea will make money as part of the application form.
No. To enter the competition all you need is an idea and to fill out the application form, you don’t need a full business plan to enter.
For each award, applications will be judged by a panel of experts who will select 35 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will receive training in how to pitch their ideas before submitting a 2 minute video pitch the panel of judges. The expert panels will then select the 6 finalists from each award.
The 25 finalists will then get additional pitching training and support before the final where, COVID-19 restrictions allowing, they present Dragon’s den style to a panel of celebrity judges who will choose the 5 award winners.
Ideas will be judged on:
- originality: what makes your idea new for London? How is it better and smarter than what’s already out there?
- capacity for commercialisation: how will your idea make money?
- clarity: make sure you describe your idea really clearly
- relevance to the aims of the award/challenge: make sure you link your idea to the award
- positive impact on the environment: what are the environmental benefits of your idea?
We have actually removed the ability to submit additional documents with the application form this year. Unfortunately we found that in many cases the additional information was not actually helping an application and was actually distracting people from spending as much time as they could on the core questions. Additional information will be able to be included at later stages of the competition.
Funding made available to each successful applicant will not exceed £20,000. The payment of funding amounts is considered a grant rather than a payment for services and is outside the scope of VAT. Therefore, the grant is not subject to VAT. It is important therefore, that successful applicants do not incur gross costs in reliance of such funding which exceed £20,000. As an example (subject always to their compliance with the conditions on which funding is awarded) it is:
- acceptable for a successful applicant to make claim for £9,600 on the basis that this figure is VAT inclusive, i.e. the applicant has incurred suitably evidenced eligible costs on services of £8,000 plus irrecoverable VAT payable by them on such services, i.e. gross costs of £9,600; but
- unacceptable for a successful applicant to make claim for the same £9,600 plus VAT, i.e. £11,520 (as the Mayor’s Fund is not making payments for services or supplies).
* The Mayor’s Fund for London does not, by the above statement, hold itself out as a provider of tax advice, applicants should satisfy themselves in this regard and successful applicants will be required, as a condition of the award of funding, to acknowledge and agree that, if at any time such payment by the Mayor’s Fund is held by HMRC to be subject to VAT, the funding paid shall have included any and all applicable VAT.