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

Winning £2000 for transforming the world into a better place has never been easier! Spot a real-life problem and try solving it by creatively using new disruptive technologies (including blockchain) and become the founder of the next hot tech start-up! Don’t forget that we are here to support you all along the way – don’t have technical expertise, experience in general, valuable connections or money? We’ll be here to provide you with as many resources and know-how as possible! Blockchainers Ignition Awards is more than an ideas contest. We will give you a push to be able to make your first step ahead, but it is also a valuable opportunity to form new connections, acquire new skills (through the support that the judging panel members can provide themselves), opportunities to scale up and see how far you can get with your idea!

The competition is open to all University of Manchester students, alumni and staff!

Don’t forget to keep up to date with many amazing opportunities like this one by following us on social media too! Spread the news with your friends and let’s create a nice blockchain – tech passionate community!

Let’s fill this town with entrepreneurs 😎

Good luck!


Key deadlines:

11th of February – Launching of the competition;

27th of February – Come to our dedicated event for hot tips & insights (check on our social media to find out the exact date!);

17th of March – Application Deadline;

25th 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.

  • Nathan Dane

    Director of Blockchainers CIC

    Director of Peera Ltd

    Nathan is the co-founder and Director of Peera Ltd, a technology development company focusing on creating mobile and blockchain applications. Having more than 8 years of professional experience in software development, Nathan has developed IoT, mobile and blockchain applications for startups and corporates alike. Being the co-founder of Blockchainers CIC, he headed the series of workshops in teaching the public how to write a blockchain from scratch. Having worked in the environment of digital agencies, Nathan has consulted and helped shaping projects spanning industries from gaming, healthcare, smart home, energy, property to dating and accessibility.

  • 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.

  • Mark Bolsom

    Head of Business Development- Modex

    A Senior Commercial Director with extensive experience in leading multi-million pound business growth and a strong track record of sound oversight within the payments and financial services sector. Prior to joining M3 Holdings Mark led Western Union’ 50 strong Corporate FX division. An expert in the development of new business and ensuring delivery of products and services to the highest standard whilst motivating multi-disciplinary teams across functions for high-performance. Well-versed in supporting the development of strategies and plans to meet corporate objectives whilst ensuring adherence with regulatory guidelines.

  • Emma Rice

    Marketing Executive – StateZero Labs

    With a background in broadcast journalism before acting as Head of Marketing in the startup space, Emma is driven by the humans behind the tech. She is a content creator who drives growth and brand awareness through innovative multimedia content and off-the-wall campaigns. Emma currently works as Marketing Executive at StateZero Labs, the world’s first solution-led blockchain lab for startups. Interested in only blockchain enterprise ideas, StateZero have set out to find, fund and further the potential of outstanding founders. To encourage them to attack the world’s most challenging problems and exciting opportunities using blockchain technology.