The Cube – funding and competitions

Discover what is available

University of Plymouth Female Entrepreneur Awards

The Cube, with funding from Santander UK Universities, is looking to support female University of Plymouth Student and Alumni entrepreneurs with trading UK based businesses, including freelancers, to help them reach the next stage.

Giving them opportunity to pitch their business ventures to a panel of experts competing to win a share of £5,000!


  • The competition is open to female University of Plymouth undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD students and graduates (2018, 2019 and 2020)
  • Applicants must have a business that is registered as trading - as a sole trader, limited company, CIC etc.

Applicants to access virtual support provided by the Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) Team at Outset Plymouth bookable as detailed below

  • Thurs 29th April AWE Inspiring Networking Sessions - Building your online presence
  • Weds 19 May: AWE Aligning your personal, finance and business goals
  • Tues 25 May: AWE Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
  • Weds 26 May: AWE Marketing & Sales
  • Thurs 27 May: AWE Networking and Presentation skills
  • Weds 9 June: AWE Building your Confidence - Tackling Imposter Syndrome & Improving your presentation skills.

All workshops bookable on the myCareer events calendar (Please note these workshops are open to any female entrepreneur to apply – not just the Award entrants)

University of Plymouth Accelerator Awards

The Cube, with funding from Santander UK Universities, is looking to support trading University of Plymouth Student and Alumni UK based businesses, including freelancers, to help them reach the next stage.

We have awards of approximately £2,000 to accelerate growth and advancement with a package of support to help develop a successful and sustainable business.

Open to all current students and graduates from 2020, 2019 and 2018 (including those from partner colleges undertaking/awarded a University of Plymouth degree) with an established UK based business that is looking to grow, develop and scale up.

Those interested in applying will be able to access 1:1 and workshop support to help them develop their application.

Please download our documents:

Closing date for applications 19 April 2021 at 17:00.

We hope that all applicants will be available to attend a Virtual Presenting/Pitching Workshop on 4 May 2021 from 12:00–13:00.

All applicants must be available to deliver a five minute Business Presentation plus a Q&A from the judging panel on the 7 May 2021.

Awards announced 7 May 2021.

University of Plymouth 'Dragons Den' 2021*

Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their business ventures (freelance business included) to a panel of experts competing to win a share of £10,000!

This competition offers you an opportunity as students or graduates of the University of Plymouth, individually or working as a team, to grow an enterprise and to have the experience of 'pitching' your business.

It is also a route through which trading businesses looking to scale up, can obtain funding to support their growth.

It is an excellent learning experience and also a bit of fun. The competition is open to undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students as well as graduates.

Either individually, or as a team, you are invited to develop and present a business in one of the two categories:

1) a commercial/business
2) a social enterprise

Download our criteria document and Expressions of Interest Form.

5 February 2021 - Deadline for Expressions of Interest
4 March 2021 - Semi-Finals Competition
24 March 2021 - Finals

Sponsorship for this competition comes from Santander Universities.

*based on 'Dragons' Den' on TV ('Shark Tank' in the USA), just go to YouTube

Santander funded awards

In response to the pandemic and alongside its ongoing support, Santander Universities is making £25,000 available to new businesses run by students or recent graduates, who can now access small grants to help them stay in business in the current difficult climate.

The money, distributed through the University’s award-winning business incubator, Formation Zone, means that up to 30 early-stage businesses could receive a lifeline.

Please keep watch for other Santander funding applications offered during 2020/21.

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 

The annual Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is a business pitching competition which encourages and supports university students to be more entrepreneurial and is open to all students and graduates from University of Plymouth. The awards benefit student and graduate entrepreneurs by offering cash prizes, mentoring and startup support. Since the competition’s launch, more than £420,000 has been given to startups and small businesses. 

Applications for 2020 have now closed… watch this space for 2021 open applications