CES-0319-Enterprise Showcase

Santander Entrepreneurship Awards

If you have a product or service that is ready for market, this is your perfect opportunity

Every year Santander Universities hold their Entrepreneurship Awards and as a University we are looking to identify students and graduates* who are developing something great.

The Student startup team needs to identify a student/graduate* startup to put forward to the Santander Entrepreneurship Awards, and if you are selected you could be in with the chance of winning £75,000 along with a range of other prizes. To help us with this process, we wanted to get a bit creative. If you would like to be in with a chance of being our University of Portsmouth nomination, send us in a two minute video covering the below. Have fun with it, don’t take it too seriously but at the same time tell us what great things you have been working on. You can work by yourself or as part of a team. There is a criteria you need to meet, so check this out before you start filming. If you are working as a team you need to nominate a lead entrant who will be the main contact throughout.

*graduated within the last 3 years


Eligibility criteria

  • Be a current student or graduate (up to three years) of the University of Portsmouth
  • Your business must be incorporated as a limited company, a partnership, or set up with HMRC as a sole trader

Your business must be able to show demonstrable traction (clear and measurable evidence that the business model works, the business is moving forward, and there is demand/need for the product/service) by way of the following:

  • You have a working Minimum Viable Product (MVP)that has been launched. 

Whilst also meeting two or more of the following criteria:

  • Have already raised funding or investment of up to £250k. (this includes debt capital (e.g. personal/business loans, loans from friends/family etc), equity capital (e.g. funding/investment from investors/angels), any funding from Santander Universities, the University you are studying at, grant funding from organisations such as Innovate UK, competition winnings, funds raised through crowdfunding platforms etc.
  • Have already made sales/be generating revenue 
  • Have gained users e.g. app downloads or have acquired clients/customers
  • Be promoting/advertising the business publicly (e.g. public facing website) with the specific aim of attracting sales/users or investment in the next 6-12 months


Throughout the process applicants must be legally residing within the UK. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Students or alumni must own a majority share in the business and be responsible for the direction and leadership of the organisation. This would normally include holding the title of CEO, Founder or Co-Founder.

What is an MVP?

We define an MVP as a usable feature of a product or service that has measurable performance outcomes. By usable, your MVP needs to be thoroughly tested and fully functional. This is defined by three functions:

  • Users must be able to complete actions and gain specific benefits from using the product
  • The MVP is viable. It must solve the real problems your customers have
  • The MVP is the minimum version of your product vision. It is not incomplete or untested. 

Examples of MVP’s could be an app, a programme, a physical product, or a website (with some form of call to action button).


How to apply

Create a 2 minute video covering:

  • Full name or names if working in a team
  • Overview of the idea & business name
  • Demonstrate your MVP
  • Explain how the business model works, how the business is moving forward, and there is demand/need for the product/service
  • What is your USP?

If you are working as a team, one member must be the lead entrant but the whole team can create the video pitch. How you film this is completely up to you, it can be on a phone, laptop or other equipment you have to hand. Then upload it to your chosen platform or store on your Google Drive. You may not want to make the video publicly available but make sure the video is accessible by people with the link. You will be asked to upload a link on the online form detailed below.

Complete the online form including a link to your video. Make sure the video is viewable, if you add a password for protection, don’t forget to include it on the form.

Selection process

The student startup team will be selecting one business to put forward as the University of Portsmouth’s entry to the Santander Awards. Please note, their decision is final. Please do not feel discouraged if you are not chosen as there are many other ways the team can support you, including startup funding which will launch in April. You will be notified of the outcome by Wednesday 31st March 2021. The winning business will then need to complete a simple application form directly on the Santander Platform (more details to follow).

If you have any questions, appointments with a member of the student startup team are available on a weekly basis, email studentstartup@port.ac.uk to book an appointment.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 23rd March 2021, 11:59 GMT.


Please note, for the business that is selected, this document details what is expected from you in terms of time and commitment. See the formal terms and conditions set out by Santander here.