katie of ExpHand Prosthetics alumni

The programme

The Ingenuity Programme runs from October to June and consists of three key segments.

First, the skills and training section will help you develop your idea, build a business plan and prepare for launch. Our Skills Hub will provide tutorials to help turn your idea into a business that creates impact and prepare you to pitch for funding.

The Ingenuity Competition will run from April to June, as you develop your pitch with help from experienced mentors and present your idea to expert judging panels.

The National Showcase, around the middle of June, will reveal the top ideas for each region and crown our national challenge champions and entrepreneur of the year.

Homeless young man of colour

The Challenges

The Programme focuses on three key challenges: building stronger communities, improving health, and tackling climate change.  

We’re interested in supporting ideas that promote sustainable ways or living and tackle the ongoing cost of living crisis and growing health inequalities, which disproportionately impact the lives of the UK’s deprived, underserved, and under-represented groups.  

Skills and training

The Programme will provide you with  skills and training to develop your idea into a business that creates impact.

First, join one of our idea generation sessions to help you develop, test and validate your idea. Our team will help you identify your area of focus related to the Ingenuity Challenges.

Then, with the support of mentors, you will work through a step-by-step process to build an outline business plan, 3-year financial forecast and 10-minute pitch. Access learning materials and tutorials on our  Skills Hub platform, alongside regular workshops and drop-in sessions where you can meet fellow participants and learn from our network of experienced professionals and business experts.

In addition to business skills and training, we will provide you with a range of personal development opportunities to help build your confidence and capability to launch and run your own business.

The My Way Project

Participants on the Programme will be supported by the My Way Project – an Ingenuity alumni CIC – in a series of workshops offering you space for reflection and self-development along your Ingenuity journey.  

Stepping into an entrepreneurial way of life can be daunting, but the My Business My Way workshops are created to support you overcome any barriers to building a sustainable successful business. The team will be exploring themes such as ‘overcoming bias’, ‘your values and strengths’ and ‘your challenges’, alongside looking at creating goals and vision for the future. 

The Competition

Once all business plans and pitches have been submitted, our judging panel will shortlist the Top 5 teams from each region, who will be invited to take part in the Regional Finals.

Following a series of local pitch workshops, shortlisted teams will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges. The Top 18 teams will advance to the National Finals and be invited to pitch for a share of the £75,000 prize fund.


If you aren’t shortlisted, don’t worry! We will signpost you to local support services who will be able to assist you in developing your idea further.

The Prizes

The winners of the following prizes will be announced at our National Ingenuity Showcase on Friday 16 June:

Impact Entrepreneur of the Year

Communities Champion

Health Champion

Climate Change Champion

Regional Champions

The 2022-23 programme also includes in-kind support packages from a range of professional service providers.

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Telephone: +44 (0)115 846 6193 Email: ingenuity@nottingham.ac.uk

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University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham NG7 2TU.