Meet this year's Varsity Pitch Competition, Category Sponsors!

The Varsity Pitch Competition wouldn't be able to be the success that it is today without its impressive line-up of sponsors and for this reason we've dedicated this blog to our amazing category sponsors. We will reveal their motivation for getting involved in the competition and you'll also be able to find out what they're looking for in the ideal application.  

How have start-ups and young entrepreneurs influenced or shaped your business/ company/ organisation? 

Tata: Even though Tata is now a $100bn global group, we know that our future depends on innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset. That's why we see our support for young entrepreneurs as a two-way process from which everyone can benefit. 
University of Westminster: Startups and young entrepreneurs are the core users of the program of activities and services we deliver. We are constantly monitoring feedback from students and graduates on whether the support we provide is effective in developing their enterprise skills and or supporting young entrepreneurs to build viable and sustainable businesses. 
Ideas Patch: I started my first business in my early 20's and this experience has shaped my whole career/ work life. Ideas Patch is the vision of some young entrepreneurs combined with the execution from some experienced entrepreneurs. 
NatWest: For us it's the growth mindset, about getting things done, articulating a message in a quick simple way (pitch). Learning from entrepreneurs has helped us design our very own accredited programme to allow our staff to think creatively and differently.  

What are you looking for in an ideal application to the competition?

Tata: Remember, applicants only have 60 seconds in their videos, so it is important to have a clear ?elevator pitch? which sets out the main idea and provides just enough information to intrigue us to find out more. 
When we review the applications for Disruptive Business and Social Impact we look for pitches which show the sort of passion, ambition and direction, investors want to see in a startup. A disruptive business must show how it will make a positive, and unexpected, difference in the market, to the customer. Social impact means that you can show how your business can make the world a better place for the part of society, or the environment, it is aimed at.    
University of Westminster: Strong combinations of creativity and viability. I am pleased that there is a Creative & Design category; creatives are innately innovative and entrepreneurial but often struggle pairing this with viable and sustainable business models. 
Ideas Patch: We are looking for ambitious, game changing ideas that are achievable from a startup. 
NatWest: The idea is one thing but how big of a problem are they trying to solve - fall in love with the problem rather than the solution, have the passion.  

What are you most excited to see in this year's competition? 

Tata: I'm absolutely sure that there will be some brilliant finalists this year as before. I'm sure some will be able to make a real difference in entirely unexpected ways. I know I'll learn something new for myself during the process.  That?s what makes it exciting. 
University of Westminster:  Authentic daring ideas; and inspired and motivated young entrepreneurs! 
NatWest: The passion and enthusiasm, people having great ideas and able to pitch it in a clear way.  

Which industries or trends do you expect to see featured in applications this year? 

University of Westminster: I expect that the majority of applications will focus on tech-enhanced applications or services. However, I do hope to see more design, hardware 'maker' or manufacturing based ideas because not only are they cool but this aligns with upcoming shifts in wider national industry strategies. 
Ideas Patch: Whilst we expect to see information technology highly featured we are also hoping to see 'bricks and mortar' ideas that are really different and creative. 
NatWest: Tech is growing, so for me I expect lots of tech maybe even some AI or block chain related! 

Why did you choose to get involved in the Ideas category for Varsity Pitch Competition? 

Ideas Patch: We believe ideas are the new currency and students are at the right stage of their life development to be open to creating new ideas that can change our lives. 

Tata has been a long-standing supporter of the competition. What trends have you witnessed over the years?  

Tata: We've seen some excellent pitches - not just the winners but many of the finalists and semi-finalists too.  Many of the businesses have gone on, in some form or other, to be really successful. I have a feeling that the standard is improving year-on-year. I'm also genuinely impressed by how many good pitches there are: I have no doubt that there are more inspired and passionate young entrepreneurs in the UK now than when I was their age. 




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  1. Our Impact
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We've achieved a great deal in a short number of years, though there's much more too do in supporting our mission of 'Powering the Enterprise Generation'.




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Powering the Enterprising Generation

Our mission is to support the development of education and student engagement throughout college and universities by championing student enterprise societies and peer-to-peer learning. NACUE started from an extraordinary movement in student entrepreneurship, providing young individuals with a platform to be experimental, creative and inspiring in their approach to enterprise and entrepreneurship, encouraging a bottom-up approach to inspiring the next generation.

Today, we see over 200 enterprise societies, powered by peer-to-peer groups, who are championing the success of young people throughout their interactive programmes by forging collaborative relationships with their institutions to provide greater experience and development opportunities for their peers. Establishing regional links with locals SME’s who are keen to open their doors to emerging talented, proactive and enthusiastic graduates perpetuates this.

Our work is dedicated to supporting the development and encouragement of entrepreneurship amongst young individuals and forms the sole purpose of NACUE. To learn more about NACUE and the services we produce, click here.

As a not-for-profit, we raise charitable donations that allow us to widen the opportunities available to young people in relation to enterprise and entrepreneurship, strengthening student engagement, the quality of education and connecting and representing student enterprise societies and student entrepreneurs worldwide.

NACUE is a charitable organisation that supports 32,000 students and young people every year. As funding becomes harder to obtain, we rely on the generous support of donors to ensure our programs can continue to change the lives and aspirations of the younger generation.

A donation of any size goes a long way to furthering our work and really is greatly appreciated. Every gift matters in aiding our mission of ‘Powering the Enterprising Generation' but we mainly rely upon the generosity of our members and alumni to do this. By making a single or regular donation you can make a big difference. To learn more about how you can donate, please follow the links below.


Large national network

NACUE are delighted to have supported a huge number of student-led societies over the years. You can see the number of established student-led societies on an interactive map below





Who we work with


Entrepreneurs are at the very core of NACUE, everything we do is to better the startup and self employment ecosystem. We believe that entrepreneurs will shape the future, and we bolster this through our events, our network and our advocacy.


NACUE works with students in Colleges and Universities right across the UK, helping support them in their entrepreneurial goals and connect them with like minded peers.


NACUE works collaboratively with educators and academics in supporting the development of entrepreneurial mindsets in young people.

Our events

Our events offer the young people we work with the opportunity to connect with our wider network, the experts and seasoned entrepreneurs in our community and the chance to be inspired to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. These events are attended by students and graduates from universities and colleges up and down the UK, as well as students from across Europe. Student Societies take centre stage at our events, alongside innovators, game changers and trail blazers of the UK startup ecosystem.

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