Careers and Entrepreneurship

StartUp Sussex competition

Read about how the StartUp Sussex competition can help you set up your own business and carve out your own career.

About StartUp Sussex

Whether you want to make a ground-breaking product, a world-changing website, the next killer app, or you're eager to make a difference through social enterprise, StartUp Sussex can help you develop entrepreneurial skills to see if you have more than just an idea.

StartUp Sussex is an annual competition for enterprising Sussex students and graduates run by the Sussex Innovation Centre.

Finalists and runners-up are awarded valuable start-up funding of up to £10,000.

How it works

The competition runs over two terms, from October to March. In the first term, entrants complete a series of workshops to formulate their business model. Six finalists are then chosen to proceed to the next stage of the competition.

In term two, entrants write a business plan and present their business to a panel of entrepreneurs, business advisors and investors. The top three enterprises are awarded cash prizes to help start their businesses.

Who can apply

Any current Sussex student or Sussex graduate who has graduated in the past three years can enter. Entrants can be individuals or teams.

Past winners

2020: James Bowyer was awarded £10,000 for his application,, brings the dearly-missed library study session online through gamification and AI. It enables students to discuss reading materials, brainstorm, plan essay points with supporting research and enjoy interactive revision.

2019: Lana Harper was awarded £10,000 for her app, Write Now. Write Now aims to train students and young professionals in the fundamentals of good written communication, via a mobile app consisting of a series of minigames.

2018: Molly Masters was awarded £10,000 for her subscription box service, Books That Matter with a mission to empower and inspire women by delivering and debating great works of fiction every month.

2017: Mo Abbas and Dom Coles were awarded £10,000 for their business Trademark Brothers, which offers an alternative to traditional legal services for SMEs, startups and entrepreneurs.

2016: Darren Tenkorang was awarded £10,000 for his app TRIM-IT. TRIM-IT aims to revolutionise the barbering industry by helping barbers to manage appointments and promotions, reducing waiting times for their customers. 


If you have any questions, email the StartUp Sussex team at the Sussex Innovation Centre: