Win a share of prizes!

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What is the Big Idea?

The Big Idea Challenge is a start-up competition, open to all London Met students, recent graduates and staff, which seeks to unearth early stage ideas and the passionate individuals behind them.

What kind of ideas?

Whether it’s for a business, a creative experience, a way to make the world a better place or anything else you can imagine, we want to know about it!

There’s loads of prizes up for grabs, including cash! So whether it’s a brand new idea or something you’ve been thinking about for a while, Big Idea can give you the support and resources to make your dream a reality.

Is my idea big enough?

The Big Idea Challenge is open to all ideas regardless of the stage they are at. If your idea is tackling a real problem, then it has a great chance at success in the competition!

So, is your idea big enough? You’ll never know if you don’t enter!

Idea categories

Our four competition categories (Commercial, Creative, Community, and Climate & Environment) mean that all kinds of ideas can be entered – and have an equal chance of winning.


Get rich or die trying! This category is for ideas with the potential to become successful commercial businesses. We want to see ideas that are innovative, have a large potential market and add value that people will be prepared to pay for.


Got an idea that will help tackle the inequality in London and the world beyond? This category is for ideas that have a positve impact on our communities. This could be a social enterprise or a not-for-profit idea that helps those who need it most.


Do you have an idea for a new product, an exhibition, or a way to make our city more vibrant? Or perhaps you have an idea that will help creative people reach new audiences and be more successful? Then the creative category is for you!

Climate + Environment

This category is for ideas that make the world a cleaner, greener place that’s ready for the future. It could address energy efficiency, transportation or any other sector creating a positive impact in the environment.

Why should I enter?

Each year we’ve awarded mountains of prizes to London Met students and graduates!

We’ll give you the tools to spot exciting business opportunities and determine the potential of your idea. You’ll have the chance to meet real entrepreneurs who have turned their own ideas into reality and receive coaching to take your idea to the next level.

Big Idea finalists can also win a place in our prestigious Launchpad programme.

Need a little inspiration?

Register interest

The Prize Pool

Entrants in the Competition are competing for a share of a prize pool valued at more than £30,000. Boom.

Prize Money

The total cash prize fund is £3,750 in Startup funds – cold, hard cash that you use to develop or advance your idea. Divided into £750 for each Category Winner, plus an additional £750 for the overall Grand Champion Winner
(selected from the Category Winners by an independent judging panel)


Two shortlisted Ideas will receive a shiny new website each worth £2500
built by Lucidica, our amazing corporate competition partner.


Big Idea Challenge finalists may also be awarded free places on our Summer Launchpad, an intensive 12-week start-up programme commencing in June 2021.

Business incubation & office space

Up for grabs is prestigious office space and the opportunity to be part of a community of startups at Accelerator, London Met’s business incubator in Shoreditch.

Logo & brand package

Up to three logo and brand development packages for selected entries (valued at £800 each).


One to one mentoring with members from our corporate partners.


Everyone’s a winner
Yep – even if your idea is not one of this year’s winners, by entering you’ll receive preferential access to support programmes (such as Quickstart) designed to help make your idea a reality!

Frequently asked questions

Nope! – the Big Idea Challenge is for early stage ideas. All you need to take part is an idea that you’re passionate about, and a willingness to jump in and have a go – no plan required!

Absolutely not – your idea will remain 100% your idea. We just want to help make it a reality!

Absolutely – even friends. As long as the majority of your team (up to 5 people) is either a student or graduate from London Met, you’re good to go.

Yes, you can enter more than one idea. But because this competition is for ideas that you want to do something with, we’d encourage you to look inside yourself and only enter those ideas you’re excited about the prospect of bringing to life.

Register interest

Interested in London Met’s Big Idea Challenge? Great! The competition runs between January and April every year and we’ll next be accepting entries for the 2023 competition.

Complete the form below so we’ve got your details and will notify you as soon as we’ve launched!

Virtual Big Idea Awards

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic our prestigious Big Idea Awards Night in 2020 and 2021 were held online.

Previous Big Ideas

2021 Finalists
2020 Finalists
2019 Finalists
2018 Finalists
Ruth Baidoo

Ruthy’s Best Shito Sauce

Ruth Baidoo

Food For Good category winner in 2020 and featured by BBC Good Food. A percentage of the profits go towards SpeakOut, a programme founded by Ruth to help women affected by sexual violence.

Newport Works

Song Eng

Creative category winner in 2017 and successfully launched through crowdfunding. Modern portfolios built to last through creative careers. “Your work deserves better.”

Trim It

Nathan Maalo & Darren Tenkorang

Commercial category winner from 2017. UK first mobile barbershop offering a razor-sharp customer experience with convenience and class.

Dottore London

Giorgia Bacco

The overall winner in 2014 was Dottore London: “the first gynaecological clinic for Italian women living in London.”

WÜ: Bring the bar to you

Nathaniel Amish and Niah

Tired of queuing for a drink? Wü is an app that allows you to order and pay for your drinks via your mobile device, making the queue a thing of the past.

Belle of the Bows

Sophie Holden

A platform for cheerleaders and customers to design their own hair bows. Make your team stand out each season with unique and individualised bows!

Doggy Lock

Elise Harrison

Doggy Lock is a lockable lead and collar so you can safely lock your dog outside; delivering peace of mind to pet owners and reducing dog theft.

Just Honest Cosmetics

Tom Dolman

Just Honest Cosmetics is a completely natural and vegan line of cosmetics so you know exactly what you’re putting on to your skin!

The Wanderlost

Nicole Page & Whitney Papa

A mentorship-led cafe and bakery project which places young care-leavers at the centre of the cafe’s business and operations.

What next?

Well you’ve reached the end of this page, so all that’s left to do now is
register your interest for Big Idea Challenge!

Register interest