Stop dreaming of becoming the next Elon Musk! Take action now!

Impress us with your unique start-up idea and show us how you could integrate blockchain technology to create a solution to business, societal, or environmental issues. You and your friends could get up to £2000 for your idea, as well as the chance to make invaluable connections and an opportunity to get support along the way, not only from the University.

If you are a University of Manchester student, staff or alumni (no more than 2 years from graduation), then you should not miss the chance to begin an incredible entrepreneurial journey!

Good luck!




Key deadlines:

11th of February – Launching of the competition;

18th/ 20th of February – Come to our dedicated event for hot tips & insights (check on our social media to find out the exact date!);

10th of March – Application Deadline;

18th of March – Results are out;

3rd of May (due to the Easter holiday) – Pitching Contest;

Please read the competition’s information carefully and then submit the application form at

Download – Ignition Fund Application Form

Download – Ignition Fund Information Sheet 

Panel of Judges

  • Tony Walker

    Director of Innovation Optimiser

    The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (UMIP)

    Tony is Director of Innovation Optimiser at UMIP delivering a holistic support provision for start-up creation at all levels including social enterprises and promoting student enterprise alongside colleagues in Manchester Enterprise Centre.  He has been responsible for attracting in and running numerous large scale incubation projects and grant funding awards. Delivering support to dozens of successful start-ups and spinouts over fifteen years via strategic schemes to support high growth business start-up and technology transfer. He has been an executive and non-executive director of several start-up companies including a listed Plc. and a local social housing co-operative and is school governor at a co-operative academy.

  • Lewis Laidin

    Director of Blockchainers CIC

    Director of Peera Ltd

    Lewis is the co-founder and Director of Peera Ltd, a technology development agency focusing on creating blockchain applications. Having also founded Blockchainers CIC, he finished his research paper titled ‘Exploration of barrier points in creating frameworks and solutions to improve blockchain innovation and adoption’ and has been invited to publish in academic journal for the paper ‘Parameters for building successful blockchain application initiatives’. Well connected in the blockchain industry, he is also an advisor to the British Blockchain Association.

  • Lynn Sheppard

    Director of Manchester Enterprise Centre

    I am the Director of Manchester Enterprise Centre (MEC); a leading centre of enterprise/entrepreneurship education that has developed a highly regarded suite of taught programmes and activities that encourage students across the University of Manchester to have the confidence to develop innovative ideas.

    Before joining the Centre, I spent most of my career working in advertising and marketing and I’m a Chartered Member of the Institute of Marketing. I have also established and managed a number of companies. I have a strong connection to the Manchester region and for over a decade was a senior member of the team at Trafford Park Development Corporation, which over a 10 year period attracted private sector investment of £1.7billion. I have a science and technology background with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Chemistry.

  • University of Manchester

    (Requesting picture and bio, stay tuned)

  • Modex

    (Requesting picture and bio, stay tuned)