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Idea Factory

Idea Factory is King’s College London’s flagship idea generation competition! 

The competition aims to nurture the biggest and best ideas from across the university that have the potential to grow into ventures. It’s a fantastic chance to develop your skills and win amazing prizes and mentorship. 

Whatever your interest or passion, we want you to get creative and submit your ideas for new innovations, products or services.  

Participating in Idea Factory is a great way to win support to help make an idea a reality. Taking part in supporting workshops will give you skills in generating and pitching ideas with clarity and enthusiasm and you'll gain confidence, meet like-minded people and have fun!  



Idea Factory competition 2020

We were pleased to announce 3 winners from Idea Factory 2020, who were each awarded equal shares of the £6,000 prize pot and will also receive further mentoring, support and access to our co-working space to move their ideas forward. You can read more here

The 2020 winners are:

ExZamine, a support app for patients with eczema which uses user-input of photos and symptoms to track and predict (using marchine learning models) a patient's conditon and their next flare-up.

Malebox, the first comprehensive at-home male fertility testing service, offering personalised recommendations to improve fertility and the ability to track fertility levels over time.

SoJo, Deliveroo for clothing alterations, repairs and upcycling.


How does it work? 

The Idea Factory competition is closed for another year, but if you'd like to enter in 2021, here's a rough timeline of the process and what you can expect:

Step 1) take part in our series of events, webinars and workshops that will help you to have, develop and communicate your idea effectively:  


- 14th November - Spotting Opportunities for Disruption  



- 5th December (webinar) - How to Validate your Idea THIS ONE IS SUPER IMPORTANT    



- 4th February - How to Create a Compelling Pitch  

- 6th February - How to Create a Compelling Pitch (by popular demand!) 


Step 2) using everything you’ve learned from these events, complete your application form by the deadline 31st January 2020.  

If you'd like some support on your application, or have questions you want answered, then we're running a drop-in support session on 21st January between 1-3pm. 

Applications will then be assessed, and 20 semi-finalists chosen.  


Step 3) 20 semi-finalists attend our full-day bootcamp on Wednesday 19th February.   

Before lunch 10 finalists will be selected to progress to the afternoon.  

The semi-finalists that do not progress will have sessions planning their next steps and an exclusive Q&A with current start-ups on the King's20 Accelerator programme.  


Step 4) 6pm Wednesday 19th February - the 10 finalists will face a panel of expert judges in front of a live audience. They will pitch their idea and take questions from the judges who will decide how the £6000 prize pot will be divided.  


Step 5) Winners are announced at the Award Ceremony at the House of Lords on Tuesday 25th February. The final 10 teams are invited to the event.  



- £6,000 prize pot and amazing support package to get your business up and running
- Mentorship from Entrepreneurship Institute’s Experts in Residence on topics from growth hacking and investment to branding and business strategy
- Access to the Entrepreneurship Institute co-working space three days a week for a year
- If you’re serious about really growing your venture, we may fast track your application to the King’s20 Accelerator and guarantee you an interview.

This year's judges were
David Walsh, Entrepreneur in Residence, Entrepreneurship Institute and Managing Partner, Flamefinch Partners
Namratha Kothapalli, Senior Associate at Speedinvest
Kay Kukoyi, CEO of Purposeful Products
Sophia Agha, King's student

Entry is via an application form on this page, and the deadline for entries is midnight on Friday 31st January.

Entry is open to King’s students, staff and alumni (of up to three years) across all faculties and departments.

King's undergraduate students, postgraduate students, alumni (within three years of graduating) and post-doctoral researchers are allowed to enter the Idea Factory competition alone, although team work is strongly encouraged.

King's staff cannot enter alone and must have a King's undergraduate student, postgraduate student or post-doctoral researcher as part of their team. The lead applicant must be a student or alumni.

Your team may include other team members who have no affiliation to King's, so long as one of your team has a King's affiliation as outlined above.

Teams should have a maximum of 3 team members attending the Bootcamp and pitching.

- Attend our workshops & networking events
- Attend other events hosted by the Entrepreneurship Institute
- Speak to your classmates/members of societies you're part of
- Post a description of who/what you're looking for on our Facebook page

Yes, if you are still eligible, and you are submitting an entirely different idea.

Please also note that if you have won an Entrepreneurship Institute funded competition already, you can not apply to the Idea Factory with the same idea that King’s has already given you grant money for.

At the Bootcamp, you will deliver a 30-second pitch without a slide deck, which will help us determine which 10 teams make it through to the Pitch Off.

During the Pitch Off, you will have 3 minutes with a slide deck to present in front of the judges and audience.

There's always next year to apply, but in the meantime, book a one-to-one drop-in session with a member of our team to get some advice on your idea or find out more about our programmes.

One-to-one drop-in sessions here.

There are lots of other competitions that you may be eligible for, including the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards, one of the UK's largest student and graduate business pitching competitions, and Tata Varsity Pitch Competition, an early-stage business pitching competition for businesses from UK colleges and universities, in partnership with NACUE. Keep an eye on their websites for when applications open for 2020.
The Mayor's Entrepreneur competition is open to students or recent graduates from London universities with ideas that make London cleaner and greener in one of four categories: Environment, Smart Cities, Creative Industries and Health. The deadline for applications has now been extended to 17th May 2020.

Apply here for the Mayor's Entrepreneur competition


Participation in Idea Factory events contribute towards the King's Enterprise Award


If you have any questions, please email and a member of the team will gladly get back to you.