Are you a budding entreprenueur looking for a grant of up to £5,000 to invest in your business idea?
The University of Lincoln Students’ Union in partnership with the University of Lincoln is eager to find the next big thing on campus.
We have up to a £5,000 grant to give away to someone who has what it takes to start up their own business.
We want to invest our time and money into your business idea to help it really take off. By entering Swan’s Den you are able to develop your entrepreneurial skills and employability prospects.
We’re looking for talented individuals who can handle the heat in the Den. You will need to pitch your idea to a panel of experts in order to get your hands on up to £5,000.
Swan's Den dates
After another successful year of Swan’s Den, which saw 10 applications, 6 finalists and 4 students being awarded with a grant – we are now planning for next year’s Swan’s Den!
Round 1 Deadline: Monday 21st October
Round 1 Halfway Pitch: Thursday 14th November
Round 2 Deadline: Thursday 7th February
Round 2 Halfway Pitch: Thursday 27th February
Final Pitch: Tuesday 31st March
Any questions and to get involved please contact [email protected]
“We participated in Swan’s Den in December last year, since which we have entered office space in Sparkhouse, the on-campus incubator, and employed two part time developers. The pitch was a great opportunity to get some very valuable feedback regarding our offerings to our customers and how we might grow in the future.
“We gained valuable pitching experience from Swan’s Den which I am positive will be useful for future events. I would definitely recommend the experience to any other entrepreneurs who are ready to get started with their business idea”.
Sam Cook Producer Ltd.
“Swan’s Den felt like the right opportunity at the perfect time for me. It provided a structured way to plan out my business, and I received valuable advice on ensuring success in the early stages of self-employment. The funding I received has allowed me to build a small recording studio without having to rely on loans or repayments as I get started up.
“My client base is now growing successfully, and I predict I will be full time self-employed within a year of graduating. It can be daunting going self-employed after graduating, and this scheme provides support, guidance and encouragement, as well as the funding to help you get started.
“To any students seriously thinking of working for themselves after their studies, I’d say this is too good an opportunity to miss! I love my day to day work recording bands and I can’t thank them enough!”
Fresh Play Ltd
"For Swan's Den I pitched my passion project; a video game that forms the flagship product for my games development company Fresh Play LTD. The services offered by the SU and Student Enterprise are well thought out and far-ranging. The workshops are of particular use and now being able to secure an investment to help with the launch of my company will be a huge help.
I'd highly recommend it to other students! Experience in pitching is invaluable for every budding entrepreneur and if you're successful then you'll be able to take your idea further than you might've done out of your own pocket.
Getting detailed feedback and being tested on the specifics of my business plan has been hugely valuable - I now have a clearer vision for my company and know where the pitfalls lie."
Denholm Munn - 3D Artist
“My business focuses on 3D based design, producing 3D pieces for marketing, short animations and printed models.
I decided that I'd apply for Swan’s Den as I needed a kick-start to get supplies for my business and help promote myself, that otherwise would have taken me months.
I first heard about Swan's Den through others who had gone through the process. If you're a student and have a business or even an idea, Swan's Den is a great way to gain insight of what you need in your business, what's right, what's wrong and what can be put in place to make it better! All the insight you could ask for from other businesses based in and around Lincoln along with funding to put in place the building blocks you need to get started!
The most important part for me was the feedbackreally positive feedback, on how I could go about marketing and what pricing structures I could put in place.
The next step I'll be taking is the promotion of my business. Producing marketing pieces to show the variety of pieces I can produce as a 3D Artist and how it can help other businesses.”
“I decided to get involved in the Swan's Den process because I was in need of support in terms of both guidance and financially. I heard that Swan's Den would be a good way to extend the potential for my business and help it grow.
I would definitely recommend Swan’s Den to other students. Even if they’re only considering starting up their business, just getting in contact helped me to make up my mind on whether this was something I actually wanted to consider over other avenues of work. But for those who have definitively chosen to start up their own business, it is a great way to help boost skills and potential.
What I valued most about the whole experience was the continued support. From the moment I first emailed to enquire about what it was Swan’s Den did, to receiving extended support beyond being successful and receiving the grant, there is always help if/when needed.
Now that Swan’s Den has finished, the next steps for me are to continue working on the feedback I have received, commenting on how to improve my concept, and to establish a solid and effective form of advertising to expand my client base.”
Don’t forget to log your Employability skills on the Skills Log from taking part in this opportunity!Commercial Awareness – to pitch successfully you need to demonstrate a full understanding of your own business objectives and how you aim to achieve them, but also a greater understanding of the wider industry and any gaps in the market.
Team Working – you need to be able to work well in a team to ensure that all tasks are completed in order to prepare yourselves for pitching.
Problem Solving – you may be faced with difficult questions or challenges, and need to be able to think on your feet of solutions to be successful in winning a grant.
Communication – you are communicating your ideas to the panel through a pitch and business plan, as well as communicating with each other within your team.