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This page is a compilation of all documents, files, and other resources relating to The Big Deal. We have made this information available in order to help you support your school's team(s) throughout their participation in the contest. Please read all this material as it will help you help your students and should answer most queries you may have about the competition.

The Big Deal is open to all UniTracks students in Year 10 at your school. If your numbers are small (either due to small numbers on the programme at your school or due to lack of interest in all UniTracks members), we may be able to allow non-UniTracks members to participate - please speak to the UniTracks Director.

The Big Deal runs from the UniTracks Launch on Saturday 25 January through the Final on Thursday 10 April. There will be 10 weeks' worth of tasks to be completed between these dates. Teams should complete the tasks in order, but are welcome to work at their own pace (in consultation with their mentor). The contest is designed not to impact on class time, save for the Launch and Final days, but providing teams with access to meeting rooms and/or computers on a weekly basis during school time will certainly help your teams perform their best.

An important element of The Big Deal is interaction between teams and their mentors. Mentors are members of the business community who have volunteered their time in order to help teams make the most of their business ideas and do as well as possible on the Challenge. Teams and mentors will meet at the Launch event and the Final (with the option of trying to arrange for mentors to visit schools half way through the challenge) but all other communication will take place through The Big Deal Blogs, a bespoke e-mentoring system designed for the UniTracks Programme by The Brightside Trust. All mentors will received enhanced DBS checks and all communications through The Big Deal Blogs will be monitored by University of Warwick staff and the Brightside team.

If you have any questions whatsoever about any part of this process, please email Unitracks at warwick dot ac dot uk.

What makes up the Big Deal?

Essentially, The Big Deal comprises four individual, but interconnected, parts:

  1. The Application Challenge (successful completion of which is a requirement for progression in the competition)
  2. The Big Deal Launch (14 February at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick -- attendance compulsory for all teams who have successfully completed the Application Challenge)
  3. The 10 Weekly Tasks
  4. The Final -- at which point teams will 'pitch' their ideas (10 April 2013 at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick)

At the end of the competition, one team will be awarded the grand prize -- an all expenses paid business trip to a major European city. Prizes will also be awarded to the runners up and to teams receiving an honourable mention.

The Application Challenge

This is a team-based task to be completed by students interested in taking part in The Big Deal. The challenge involves watching a 45 minute video (also available on USB upon request). The video is a recording of a web-conference conducted by a member of the Warwick Business School's faculty and several sixth forms from across the country and discusses business issues and business education. Once they have watched the video, the teams need to complete the short series of accompanying questions. This can be done on paper or online, but must be submitted by 4 February 2014.

Teams' answers will be adjudicated by University of Warwick staff. Whilst we hope all interested teams will complete the Application Challenge successfully, only teams whose responses are deemed to achieve a set standard will be invited to attend the Launch on 14 February.

Related Files:

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The Big Deal Launch

The launch will take place on 14 February 2014 at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Teams who have completed the Application Challenge successfully will be invited to attend this day and attendance at the launch is compulsory for teams wishing to participate in The Big Deal. A teacher or representative from each school will need to attend for the full day and students remain the responsibility of teachers at all times whilst on the campus of the University of Warwick.

The programme for the day will involve a general introduction to The Big Deal and explanation of the 10 tasks they will need to complete before the final, an interactive team building activity for the students, and a chance to meet with their mentors. Lunch will be provided on the day and UniTracks can subsidise travel costs wherever practicable (please contact the UniTracks Programme Director to discuss this if necessary).

We aim for the day to be fun and interactive and give teams the chance to not only meet each other (the competition!) but also get a feel for what their mentors can offer them as well as a clear picture of what they need to do as a team to prepare themselves for the final.

Related Files:

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The 10 Weekly Tasks

The heart of The Big Deal are the 10 tasks teams will complete over the course of the competition. These tasks have been developed to allow teams to turn their original idea into an effective business or social enterprise plan that they can present with confidence and authority to a panel of experienced business people.

All of the information for the tasks is provided online on the Tasks Pages and both students and mentors will be provided with a handbook covering the basics of what needs to be done. We recognise that not all members of teams will have regular access to Internet-enable computers outside of school. Therefore, all task information can be printed.

We ask that you help facilitate regular access to computers at school so that all team members can remain in contact with their mentor.

Tasks should be completed in order, but teams are welcome to work at their own pace (in consultation with their mentor). The weekly tasks and dates for the overall structure are listed here:

Date Description
27 Jan
w/c 3 Feb
Week 1: Introductions
w/c 10 Feb
Week 2: Creating ideas
14 Feb
The Big Deal Launch at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
w/c 17 Feb
Week 3: Testing the market
w/c 24 Feb
Week 4: Budget
w/c 3 Mar
Week 5: Prototype
w/c 10 Mar
Week 6: Marketing materials
w/c 17 Mar
Week 7: Business Plan
w/c 24 Mar
Week 8: Learning
w/c 31 Mar
Week 9: Presentation
10 Apr
Week 10: Big Deal Final at Warwick Business School, University of Warwick

At this stage, teams should be working with their mentors. You may be asked for assistance at this point, however. The UniTracks Programme manager will be in touch if there are any concerns about your team's progress through this process.

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The Final

This is your team's time to shine. All teams will return to Warwick Business School, University of Warwick on Thursday 10 April to pitch their business plan to a panel of UK business people and academics. Teams will have be met by their mentor for some last minute presentation tips. A teacher or other representative from each team's school will be expected to accompany teams and students will remain their teacher's responsibility for the whole time they are at the University of Warwick. Parents of team members are very welcome to attend but we must know numbers in advance.

The final itself will be a 'Dragons' Den' style process. The aim, however, is to provide supportive critical input for all teams and evaluate strengths, weaknesses, and developmental potential for all ideas presented. Students should be ready to answer tough questions

Related Files:

  • Judging Criteria
  • Programme for the Day (forthcoming)
  • Risk Assessment (forthcoming)

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The Prize

The grand prize for the winner of The Big Deal 2014 will be an all expenses paid business trip to a major European city to be chosen by the University of Warwick at its sole discretion. The prize has no cash value and if the winning team does not or cannot participate there is no recourse or obligation on the University of Warwick's part to subsitute the prize trip in any way or form.

There will also be prizes for the runner up, and teams receiving an honourable mention.

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