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Belfast Business Idea Award

This competition, powered by Belfast City Council and supported by Danske, Pacem, Ulster University and Innovation Factory, is designed to unearth, recognise and help to fast track the best business ideas in Belfast. It is the strength of the idea that will be assessed rather than the achievements of the venture so far which means that those who have yet to set up a business have as much chance of winning as those who have already started trading.

You can enter online by completing the online application form. The deadline for applications is noon, Thursday 31 October.

Why enter?

The prize pool is outstanding and will make a real difference to early stage businesses and those thinking of taking the next step with their idea. The overall winner will receive £2,500 cash plus a support package worth over £3,000.

Two runners-up will receive a support package worth over £3,000 which includes:

  • nine months Innovation Factory membership which entitles the winner to work in any open plan co-working area, access to masterclasses and on-site bespoke business mentoring
  • nine months free accountancy services (inc software) from Pacem Accounting and Tax Advisory
  • free place on the Digital Marketing Communications course at Ulster University

Who can enter?

You are eligible to apply if:

  • you have a business idea but have not yet acted on it
  • you are in the process of starting-up
  • you are in business and have been trading for less than one year (businesses showing sales income before 1 September 2018 are not eligible for the Idea Award)
  • you reside within the Belfast City Council area or a have a business registered there
  • you are over 16 years of age (if aged 16-17 applicants must have parental approval)
  • you are available to attend Finalists’ Night on Tuesday 19 November when the three winning ideas will be announced with each winner being given 120 seconds to pitch for the £2,500 cash prize.

When are the key dates?

The deadline for applications is noon, Thursday 31 October. All applicants will be invited to Finalists’ Night at Danske Bank, Donegall Square West on Tuesday 19 November. The winner will be announced on the night and all attendees will hear from Lara Morgan, one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs. Applicants will also get the chance to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and experts who can help progress their idea.

Enter now

To enter you should complete the online application form. The application process is straightforward and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. 

Terms and conditions

  • Applications must be submitted before 12noon, Thursday 31 October 2019.
  • All applications must be submitted using the online application form. If you have any queries relating to the online form, or any other aspect of the initiative, please contact Jessica Cullen by emailing jessica.cullen@podiem.com or by phone on 028 9076 1030.    
  • Applicants must be based in the Belfast City Council area.
  • Applicants must be available to attend Finalists’ Night on Tuesday 19 November (5.30pm – 7.30pm, venue TBC) when the three winning ideas will be announced with each winner being given 120 seconds to pitch for the £2,500 cash prize.
  • The prize breakdown is as follows: 
    The overall winner will receive £2,500 plus a support package worth over £3,000.
    Two runners-up will receive a support package worth over £3,000 which includes:
    Nine months Innovation Factory membership. This entitles the winner to work in any open plan co-working area, access to masterclasses and on-site bespoke business mentoring.
    Nine months free accountancy services from Pacem Accounting & Tax Advisory. Please note the service includes access to accountancy software.
    Free place on the Digital Marketing Communications course at Ulster University. Please note the course will take place in February 2020 and winners will be enrolled on the non-accredited version of the course.
  • All applicants will be invited to Finalists’ Night where they will hear from one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and network with like-minded entrepreneurs and experts who can help progress their idea.
  • Belfast City Council cannot take responsibility for entries which are lost or delayed.
  • Belfast City Council reserves the right to publicise the competition and the winners. (Including photography and images of participants – for promotional use on website, social, etc.)
  • Belfast City Council’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • All applications will be considered by a panel of independent, professional business leaders.
  • All information provided in the application is strictly confidential and will not be shared beyond the organisers and sponsor. By entering the award, you agree to your information being shared with these organisations.
  • Please do not exceed the word count limit when completing this application. Doing so will disqualify your submission.
  • Due to the anticipated number of applicants we will be unable to provide feedback on applications. Organisers reserve the right to alter award details, including the deadline.
  • Please contact Jessica Cullen at jessica.cullen@podiem.com or on 028 9076 1030 with any queries you may have in relation to the Belfast Business Idea Award.
  • By entering this competition, individuals agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  • This competition is governed by the law of Northern Ireland.