Spark Change 2021 is a nationwide competition for university students. It offers an opportunity to showcase your ability to find a novel solution to an everyday problem and win a number of prizes.

The Challenge

Bring your creativity and passion to the table and leverage the power of tech. We want to see how you approach problems, articulate solutions and design products.

We’re going to present you with a number of challenges. The choice is yours — choose whichever challenge excites you the most and show us how you would solve it. Where do you start,  what can your solution achieve, what do you need to get you there?


The Prizes


Once the competition goes live you have one week to submit your entry.

After registering, you’ll be sent the Challenge Brief that will explain how to submit your entry.

Register Your Interest

2021 Winners

1. First Place

Jess James

Spark Change 2021 Winner Interview | Jess James

2. Second Place

Sam Rhodes

3. Third Place

Isac Fiorotti

4. 4th — 25th Place

Rachael Ford
Erin MacQuarrie
Chiara Gusi
Holly Ryder
Ryan Samarakoon
Rayyan Siddiqi
Philip Wilson
Emily Togut Cole
Lucy Edwards
Aditya Ranjan Padhy
Yasmin Timol
Salim Dridi
Amelia Joos
Penelope Milner
Annabel Kaye
Valentina Zheng
Zhuoyi Li
Katherine Pasternack
Wingsze Yuen
Christian Frattini
Marianne Mikhail
*Not in order

The Competition

Spark Change 2021 asks you to complete a challenge. To develop an idea to solve a problem presented to you.

You'll be asked to design a workflow that demonstrates how you would bring your solution to life.

Full details will be in the Challenge Brief, sent out when you register.


Propose a solution to the Challenge Brief to showcase your innovation. Show us how you break down the problem and address it step by step in a workflow. We are interested in your approach to problem-solving and how thoroughly you consider your design.

You don’t need a technical background — just a structured approach to the problem and the enthusiasm to put your ideas forwards.


Talk us through your thought process — why this solution to this problem. The video presentation can have any structure that you want. So be creative!

You do not need to be a professional video editor. Choose the format that fits both your vision and video editing skills.

More specific details will be provided with the Challenge Brief.


When you register you will be sent a full Challenge Brief explaining how to submit your entry. You’ll be asked to submit 2 parts:

  • A workflow showcasing your idea.
  • Your accompanying video link.

More detailed instructions on the format of workflow submission and how to upload your video will be provided within the Challenge Brief.

The Prizes

Top Prizes

  • 1st Place – £2000
  • 2nd Place – £1250
  • 3rd Place – £750
  • 4th — 25th Place – £50 Amazon Voucher

Academy Application Fast-track

Standout applicants will be invited to the interview stage of the Academy Programme application.

This allows you to skip two stages of the full application process.

Certificate Of Completion

All qualifying competition entries will receive a certificate confirming their participation — a recognition of your ability to present and develop an innovative solution.

By taking part in the competition you are showing a drive to develop your skillset. From learning new digital skills to developing your ability to present — every participant will grow from this experience.
With your certificate of completion, you are signalling to future employers and your network your ability to learn and develop new skills.


Calling all problem solvers


Entries for Spark Change 2021 are now closed, but please register your interest for next year's competition below.


What degree subjects can I be studying to participate in the competition?

Any except computer science.

We want to open the tech world to those from all degree backgrounds and showcase that to take the first step and design a tech solution you don’t need to be from a computer science background.

Who can enter?

Any undergraduate or masters students studying at UK universities, on non-computer science courses, can participate in the Competition.


Do I have to prepare anything before 19th April?

No. The Competition week will start on 19th April where all participants will receive the Challenge Brief.

However, you already know what the challenge entails before that date. We recommend getting familiar with idea generation and flowchart creation processes as well as thinking about how you will create your video. All of this will help support your entry.

What is the judging criteria for the competition?

We are looking for the foundational skills that make great future tech leaders:

  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Resilience
  • Ingenuity

Please refer to the T&Cs to get familiarised with our full criteria.

How long should my video be?

We expect the video to last at least 2 minutes but no longer than 5 minutes.

Will my submission be made public?

You can choose to keep your video submission private or public — it’s entirely up to you.

Some entries will be shortlisted to be featured on our social channels and website — we’ll always check with you before sharing.

Will Academy own my idea?

No, you will own the intellectual property around your idea. We are here to celebrate and share your idea with our community and network and showcase your creativity and skillset.

Can I still apply to Academy's Programme during the competition?

Our programme takes applications on a rolling basis and we invite you to apply regardless of your participation in the competition.

The fact you are taking part in the competition shows a drive to develop yourself and your skillset, something we are keen to see in our applicants.

Please explore our programme further and, if you have any questions, our team are here to answer them — get in touch.

I still have a question.

No worries! Please reach out to [email protected] where one of the team will get back to you as soon as we can.

Where can I find the competition T&Cs?

You can find the T&Cs here.

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