Reporter 461, 12 February 2001

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Leeds University Business Schoolís E-Business Competition Offers £5,000 First Prize.

Are you sitting on a little goldmine?

Have you developed a killer, new economy idea

worthy of turning into a reality?


Leeds University Business Schoolís E-Business Competition is aimed at people with the ideas, energy and talent to create tomorrowís top-flight new-economy companies.

Little Goldmine is a competition for entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs which aims to reward good, new business ideas that have been carefully thought through and presented in a well-structured business plan. These plans should be focused on Internet related opportunities (e-commerce, B2B, B2C, infrastructure and communications).

The competition has been organised by Leeds University Business School, one of the UKís foremost business think tanks, to raise awareness of entrepreneurship issues in the new economy age. The judges will be looking for robust ideas that are both original and well researched. Only carefully thought through ideas can hope to progress to the short-listing stage in early April.

Short-listed entrants will be invited to present their business proposals to a panel of judges including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business academics during Leeds Ecommerce Week in April. Both the winner and the runners-up will be rewarded with cash, business mentoring and an introduction to a leading firm of venture capitalists which may help to turn the best idea/s into a reality.

Leeds University has assembled a blue chip list of sponsors including KPMG, Metropolitan Venture Partners, Axiomlab plc, Ecom Group Ltd and Business 2.0 magazine to donate time, energy and even money to the winning entrants. First prize includes £5,000 in cash as well as advice and business mentoring from the judging panel. Two runners-up will receive £1,250 each plus valuable feedback from the judges.

Applications, which must be submitted on-line via the competitionís website at, are welcome from both individuals and teams of individuals. Entrants must submit a short written description of their product or service concept; the market opportunity for the idea; their competitive advantage; and brief descriptions of the skills, achievements and other qualities that they would bring to the process of creating a new company.

Entrants must use the secure Application Wizard process available on the site to submit their ideas and demonstrate the thinking behind them. We stress that confidentiality is at the core of the competition and intellectual property rights will be treated with the privacy and respect you would expect from one of Britainís leading universities. For more information, please visit the competition website.

The final date for completed entries is 31 March 2001.



What some of the competitionís sponsors say:


"The Little-Goldmine competition is aimed at people with the ideas, energy and talent to create tomorrowís top-flight companies," says the competitionís organiser and chairman of the judging committee Professor Kevin Keasey of Leeds University Business School. "At the very least the winners will learn important lessons about how to prepare, submit and present a business plan to individuals who make businesses happen."

AIM-listed development capital fund, Axiomlab is delighted to sponsor the Leeds University Business School E-Business Competition.

"Our sponsorship of this event matches our own role in the venture capital community," says managing director, Fred Mendelsohn. "We take great ideas and bright people and assist in the creation of a viable business with active hands-on involvement.  We are primarily business builders as well as providers of capital and look forward to helping build businesses out of the plans submitted for the competition."

Another of the competition sponsors, the venture capitalist firm Metropolitan Venture Partners emphasises the important links between universities and the wider business community.

"In the United States, universities and VC firms have been working to tighten their relationships in recent years and MetVP recognises there is a substantial asset in this area which has yet to be fully cultivated in the United Kingdom," says managing director of Met VPís New York Office Paul Lisiak. "We believe a significant portion of the intellect that will shape the next waves of the global technology industry is currently enrolled at the top UK universities."







Press enquiries: Mark Holmes on 0113-384-5800 or email at or

Michelle Dickson

Interviews: Professor Kevin Keasey is available for further comment or interview on request.

Photography: Pictures of Professor Kevin Keasey available on request.




Little-Goldmine Guidance Notes:


Whatís on offer?

Generous cash prizes AND the opportunity to put together a formal business proposition to present to venture capitalists. We are also offering the skills and resources of the market research and e-business incubator teams at Ecom Group Ltd and the expertise of KPMG in developing aspects of the business plan. If the participating sponsors are sufficiently impressed then funding can be discussed.

Who can enter?

Anyone can enter, so long as they are aged 18 or over and are currently residing in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

How can I enter?

Entries will only be accepted though the secure on-line Application Wizard located on the competitionís web site

Closing date for entries.

The closing date for entries is 31st March 2001. Short listed entrants will be notified by the middle of April. Prizes will be awarded at a ceremony to mark Leeds Ecommerce Week at the end of April.

Who are the judges?

The judging panel will be drawn from Leeds University Business School and the sponsoring companies, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business professionals who will vet all entries. Those short-listed will be invited to present their business proposal to the panel of judges.


The intellectual property rights of all business proposals submitted remain with the applicants only. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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