University of Nottingham

Your business

Task ahead

The task you will be set in the YES competition is to produce a business pitch for a hypothetical company.

Establishing and operating a successful business needs careful thought and planning. A business must have objectives and plans to show how these will be achieved. The formulation of these various ideas is a business plan. In real life, as a company develops, the plan evolves to reflect this and it is always there for the directors of the business to use as their yardstick to measure the growth and progression of the company.

Business plans are also required when a company seeks funding to start up or to further its development. In this respect the plan is a “selling” document.

Your team’s pitch will describe your hypothetical business and will be presented to a panel of specialists, who represent hypothetical investors. The aim of your presentation is to convince the panel to invest in your team and company.

Your idea

You might consider whether the work of one of the members of your team has the potential to be developed as a new product or service. Alternatively, look in journals such as New Scientist or Nature for ideas with similar potential.

It is very important that if your idea is based on a piece of real research in your laboratory that is not yet in the public domain, you seek advice from your Supervisor/Head of Department.

As you will learn, disclosure of confidential information can prevent patenting the idea that has been disclosed. We would therefore suggest that your business idea be based on real science that is in the public domain, while ensuring that the product development is fictitious, so that problems regarding confidentiality can be avoided.

What happened when a team pitched a real idea at YES

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The SDGs were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The 17 SDGs cover a range of issues and we ask you to align your YES idea with one or more of them.

Consumers and investors are increasingly interested in supporting businesses that prioritise sustainability and social responsibility.

17 Goals for People, for Planet

Themes for YES24

  • Diagnostic tests and medical devices
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug discovery
  • Healthy ageing
  • New tools for therapies
Energy, engineering and environmental
  • Energy technologies - renewable, smart, storage
  • Environmental management - drainage, flood, pollution, transport, waste
  • Innovative manufacturing
  • Robotics and artificial intelligence
  • Satellites and space technologies
Food and drink
  • Flexible, scalable and efficient manufacturing
  • Novel alternative packaging
  • Personalised nutritious foods
  • Smart formulation with low energy processing
  • Sustainable sourcing of ingredients
Sustainable agriculture
  • Novel technologies for weed, disease and insect control
  • Supporting biodiversity in a farmed landscape
  • Precision farming
  • Imaging and sensor technologies
  • Reduction of water, energy and chemical inputs in food production
  • Making food production resilient to climate change
  • Technologies for sustainable soils management
  • Urban agriculture, vertical farming and aquaculture
Examples of past ideas across all themes

Flavio provided an innovative plug-in syrup mimicking device that can fit to any drinkware, aiming to reduce sugar consumption in beverages.

GO2's mobile app utilises smartphone sensors and machine learning to study young commuters' travel patterns suggesting eco-friendly alternatives.

LYXIR developed a throat sweet containing bacteriophage-derived endolysins tackling bacterial throat infections without drug resistance worries.

Minu offered vitamin-enriched cordial, derived from plant-based by-products, initially focussed on alleviating the symptoms of menopause.

PhyscoBio pioneered eco-conscious laundry solutions by harnessing genetically enhanced moss to create sustainable, DIY detergent at home.

Scan-Sorter AI proposed a solution to hospitals and NHS trusts that automatically detects bleeds in CT head scans whilst the patient is still in the scanner.

SynchroTech pitched a personalised wearable device for the monitoring and administration of essential hormones for fertility and IVF treatment.

TropiCultivar developed a vertical farming system for tree crops to produce fruit with improved characteristics and availability.

UVresh presented a UV-light based technology to prolong freshness, improve nutritions and reduce transport energy usage for post-harvest herbs.


Your Entrepreneurs Scheme

  • Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Nottingham University Business School
  • Jubilee Campus
  • Nottingham, NG8 1BB