Launchit2001 targets Britain’s young talent

Venture Capital management firm, Cross Atlantic Capital Partners (XACP) and incubator Brainspark are targeting the next generation of IT entrepreneurs with a competition offering total prize funding of £1 million. Launchit2001 hopes to unlock the innovation hidden in university campuses and find Britain’s next big name in the IT and telecoms inndustries.

The competition,, is open to any individual in higher education or a team that must include a student or academic staff member. XACP and Brainspark will select the best new business ventures submitted from universities, engineering and business schools in Britain.

The best two or more winning ventures will be eligible for direct investment from XACP and Brainspark totalling £1 million, ranging from £100,000 to £500,000 packages. Entries are being sought from business ventures that are beyond the initial research phase. Participants will ideally have products and services that are ready to be commercialised or ideas that have passed a successful proof of concept.

Projects will address one of four key areas within the IT and telecoms sectors: new enabling technologies, Internet infrastructure, enterprise software, and e-communications and wireless infrastructures and applications.

The competition is also backed by Silicon Valley Bank, Hewlett Packard, McDermott, will & Emery (London & Us based solicitors), and Pearson Education. The deadline for online registration and submission of a two-page executive summary is 28 February. Selected entrants will be notified by 12 March and will have until 30 April to submit their full business plan.