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Competitions and Funding

Whether you’re looking to explore new ideas or accelerate the growth of a business venture, Venture Lab has a range of competitions and funding opportunities to help you move forward.


Blueprint Startup Challenge

Durham University’s premier startup competition, Blueprint Startup Challenge has a range of funding opportunities with prize money totalling over £50,000. As well as the main competition, there a range of awards specifically for social enterprise, PGRs and engineers.



Illuminate - PGR Startup Pitch Competition

Our 'elevator pitch' competition open to current Durham University PhD students from any discipline. We're challenging you to share your idea, no matter how weird or wonderful it is, as a pitch. We have prize money available for the best as determined by our judging panel, including a top prize of £5000.

If you think you’d like to take part but you would like some optional 1:1 advice and support on idea generation, pitching tips etc email Paul Stafford for more information.

Applications are now closed for 2024, please check back for further information



Durham Alumni Angel Syndicate

The Durham Alumni Angel Syndicate provides Durham graduates the opportunity to pitch for early-stage funding for their high-potential new ventures. The syndicate convenes at various points throughout the year. If you’d like to find out more, email Chris Gilman.