Peter Farrell Cup


The Peter Farrell Cup (PFC) is named after Peter Farrell, 2001 Australian Entrepreneur of the Year and founder and chair of ResMed; a world-leading health company.

The same year Peter Farrell was awarded Australian Entrepreneur of the year, UNSW Business School launched the PFC as Australia’s first ever pitching competition for student-led startups.

Held annually ever since, the PFC is now proudly brought to you by the UNSW Founders Program; UNSW’s platform for embedding entrepreneurial confidence in every student’s experience.

This year, the competition is more prominent than ever, with a huge cash prize pool up for grabs and a spectacular finals night to be held in the NSW State Parliament building with a very high-profile audience.

Competition Overview

Open to startup founders from all faculties, the PFC is looking for UNSW’s newest and most exciting entrepreneurial projects. We are seeking teams with big ideas who see this competition as an opportunity to test, pitch and potentially launch a real business! The $20,000 prize pool up for grabs could help your team do just that.

During the competition, teams develop their business ideas through workshops with the support of industry mentors and judges from Sydney’s innovation and entrepreneurship community.

The PFC is open to idea-stage startups that meet three main criteria:

  1. Hasn’t received any money to date, meaning;
    1. Self-funded (e.g. no prizes, grants, debt, equity)
    2. Pre-revenue (i.e. no paying customers)
  2. Led or co-founded by at least one current UNSW Student
  3. The proposed solution (e.g. product or service) is currently legal in NSW
Please read the full T&Cs here. If you have any further questions, please contact the PFC team to discuss your eligibility.

Judging Criteria

All ideas are welcome, whether you intend to make a profit, support a cause, or both. You may be high-tech, low-tech or no-tech, as long as you are solving a real problem with a viable solution – and think you can prove it over the course of this competition!

But what do we mean by “prove it”?

The highest-weighted judging criteria is traction (30%), which refers to the amount of validation you are able to complete during the 4-month term of this competition. Identifying and systematically proving the most critical assumptions underlying your idea will go a long way towards convincing the judges at the highly competitive pitch nights!

Support will be provided on how best to go about designing and conducting validation experiments.

Please view the full judging criteria.

Support Services

In vying for the $20,000 prize pool up for grabs, the 45 startups that make it through the initial application will be provided with a range of extensive support. These additional benefits define this competition and made it an educational as well as unforgettable competitive experience. This support includes:

  • Being matched with an industry mentor (1 per startup) with extensive “been there-done that” experience to guide your startup through the entire competition and provide their advice as needed
  • Various educational workshops (e.g. on Lean Startup Methodology, presentation skills and startup pitching) delivered in conjunction with the Founders Program team from UNSW Entrepreneurship
  • Additional opportunities to further develop and grow your startup beyond the PFC competition with the extensive hands-on support available from the Founders Program. See the full list of support services.

Upcoming Events

The competitive pitch nights include the three Pitch Fests held at UNSW (where all 45 teams will pitch their ideas) and the Finals (for the selected Top-10 startups), which will be held at NSW Parliament House and be presided over by a panel of business, academic and political luminaries.

See the full program schedule.

The 2017 Finals

The 2017 Peter Farrell Cup delivered some outstanding pitches and some incredible business ventures and we thank each and every team that participated.

We’d like to congratulate The Pelvic Expert for winning first place last year. There is no doubt that your app will empower and help many women in Australia and the world over. Congratulations also to Albuson for placing second and for winning the People’s Choice award. MayPill came in at third and both Will and Jayde were awarded prizes for Greatest Social Impact.

If last year was anything to go by, then we are super excited to see what 2018 has in store for us!

Best wishes, the PFC team!

Prize Sponsor

The 2018 Brand Strategy & Design prize, is generously presented by Brandcube.