Dealer Tech
What you will need to know

We are looking for bright, creative participants with new ideas that can really make an impact in an industry that is evolving faster than ever before. From virtual reality to autonomous vehicles, technology is shaping the way people buy, drive and own cars and changing consumer demands, the uptake of electric vehicles and the rise of mobility are just some of the challenges facing dealerships.

Your new technology product idea can relate to any stage of the car buying and ownership cycle, from initial consumer research to sales enquiries to purchasing and on to car servicing.

You decide whether your idea focuses on delivering a great car buying and ownership experience or helping dealerships increase efficiencies through existing technology, such as mobile solutions and business intelligence tools, or incorporates key future trends like IoT, telematics, AI, and blockchain.

Submit your idea

Next Steps and Further Details

Who should enter?

Current students at Bath, Surrey, Warwick, Exeter, Buckingham and Southampton University on either an undergraduate or master’s degree course are invited to enter the competition. We encourage collaboration so teams of up to five are welcome. We will require documentation to prove you are eligible to take part.

What you should develop

An innovative product idea that will help improve the car buying and ownership experience or dealership efficiency. You will need to develop your idea into a business presentation, and while you are not required to develop a prototype of your product idea, if you can we welcome it. Your idea needs to be well researched, well developed and, most importantly, commercially viable.

Key benefits

The competition is an opportunity to gain first-hand experiences of industry challenges and current tech trends. You will also gain validation from a global automotive technology company to support future job applications and be in with a chance of winning up to £13,000 between your team! Keyloop will also keep an eye out for any standout students who may be considered for a place on future graduate schemes.

Judging Criteria

When our panel judges your ideas, they will focus on the commercial business case, the technology behind it and how it benefits the consumer.

Commercial business case

  • Has your team carried out thorough research on how the idea could work?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • How would your product solve this problem?
  • Could this product idea scale?


  • How would your product work?
  • What technology would be used?
  • What would the product look like – you can provide wireframes or similar

Car buyer

  • Does your product idea meet a defined consumer need? Be specific about the pain point it helps or solves.
  • How big is the improvement it makes to the car buying and owning experience?
  • Is it user friendly? What thoughts have been given to the user experience and user interface?

Competition Judging Panel

Meet the competition’s judging panel

The judging panel reviewing your submissions is made up of a number of Keyloop employees and industry experts. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable when it comes to assessing every idea and choosing the winners.

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Tom Kilroy

CEO at Keyloop

Previously, he was CEO at Finastra, a fintech software company with more than 8,600 customers (including 90 of the world’s top 100 banks).

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Joaquim Croca

VP Commercial, Keyloop

Joaquim joined Keyloop in 2019 as Vice President, Commercial. Throughout his career, Joaquim has built a strong track record for growing business in new technologies, through innovation, entrepreneurism, and attention to operational excellence.

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Stuart Miles

UK & Ireland MD, Keyloop

Stuart has more than 20 years’ experience in the automotive industry and prior to joining Keyloop in 2018, his previous roles included Business Development Director, with Cox Automotive.

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Baljit Bamrah

Innovation Manager, Keyloop

Baljit leads the Innovation function for Keyloop and is responsibe for the innovation strategy; engagement with customers and partners for innovation activities and helping Keyloop become more Innovation-led.

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Paul Finegan

Product Director, Keyloop

Paul joined Keyloop in 2020 with over ten years experience leading Product in both start-up and enterprise businesses across multiple sectors including Fintech, Telecoms, and IoT.

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Michelle Mays

Marketing & Communications Director, Keyloop

Michelle leads a team of international marketers from across Europe, EMEA and APAC. With a previous background at Google, she will bring extensive marketing knowledge on what makes a product launch successful.

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Chris Akpakwu

HR Director, Keyloop

As a key HR leader at Keyloop, Chris will be reviewing not just the product ideas but the people behind them. Are there any bright sparks with great ideas for Keyloop to support in the future?

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Chris Munday

Product Director, Keyloop

Chris has extensive experience of managing software across the product lifecycle from product management, development, marketing, account management through to sales. As a judge, his experience will be invaluable in assessing the viability of the product ideas.

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Lydia Jones

International Product Strategy Manager, Keyloop

Lydia joined Keyloop in 2016. Working with a team of international product marketers, she is central to product success, ensuring a clear understanding of customer needs and clearly articulating how the product proposition solves their issues as part of a strong Go To Market strategy.

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Tim Rose

Editor at Automotive Management Magazine

Respected journalist with a vast knowledge of the automotive retail industry. Tim has been writing in the automotive environment for 20 years with contacts at leading manufacturers and dealership networks.

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Julia Muir

Founder, Automotive 30% Club

Julia is the founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club, a network of progressive CEOs and MDs who are actively working to close the gender gap in the industry.

Key Dates To Remember

Registration open, deadline to submit the proposal, deadline for university level deadline for national level - the competition will include a number of phases.

November 2020

Competition opens

The competition will open on November 9, when the student teams will kick off with the proposal phase for six weeks. Following this, the successful teams will begin developing their ideas for a 2.5 month period before presenting back to the judges at the University Pitch Days. The winning teams from each universities will then be invited to the National Final in mid-May, and following this the overall winner of Dealer Tech will be announced.

Prior to the proposal phase opening, Keyloop will host a launch day for each university taking part in the competition. These will be run over a two week period from October 12. Following this, Keyloop will run four masterclass sessions for the student teams starting on October 27.
November 9, 2020 – December 18, 2020

Proposal phase

Before innovative product ideas are fully created, Keyloop requests that student teams complete a proposal of between 500-1,000 words which details their initial thoughts on how they can help improve a process or customer experience in the dealership.

The Proposal Phase will start on November 9 and finish on December 18, when Keyloop will review all submissions and deciding which entries they would like to see as complete ideas, in line with the judging criteria.
January 1, 2021 – April 16, 2021

Idea development phase

Following Keyloop announcing the successful proposals, the Idea Development Phase will begin and will run up until April 16, 2021.
As part of this phase, student teams will be asked to build out their proposals into product ideas. These product ideas should be created with the judging criteria in mind.
One of the mentors from Keyloop will be designated during this time to help student teams in the form regular check-ins and to answer questions during product development.

April 19 – 29, 2021

Keyloop attend University judging days

Starting on April 19, 2021, student teams will be asked to present their product ideas to the designated judge for that University using presentations, demos, product plans, wireframes or prototypes if appropriate.

The presentations will last 15 minutes, including a demo if you have developed and coded your idea, plus five minutes of Q&A.

Following the completion of all the judging days, the winning team from each university will be announced by Keyloop.
May 12, 2021

National Final

The final phase is the National Final, which takes place on May 12, 2021. This will be a one day digital event where the winning team from each university is invited to pitch their idea to the full judging panel.

These presentations will also last 15 minutes, including a demo if you have developed and coded your idea, plus five minutes of Q&A.
May 13, 2021

National winner announced

Following this the judges will assess all the ideas they have seen and between them decide on a winner. The winning team will be announced on May 13, 2021.

Get to know Keyloop

Find out more about Keyloop and what we do. We've provided an introduction to our business and highlighted some of the key products we have developed.

Find out more about Keyloop