The Flying Start-Up competition, launched by Nick Band and Mark Borkowski in April, invited entrants to pitch plans for a new agency to a panel of judges.
The winners would have received £100,000 in return for a stake of up to 70 per cent in the business for the investors.
But of the 30 entries submitted, none made the grade.
"The entries were lacking two things," Band told PRWeek. "We were looking for an original concept or model for an agency but all the entries were along the lines of 'we’ve got a group of people and we want to do PR’, so they were very traditional."
Band said he was also surprised by the dearth of ambition among the entrants.
"There was a lack of drive and entrepreneurial spirit," he said. "Maybe people didn’t want to compete."
Band said he would hold the prize fund over until next year but would not offer the money in a competition format again.
"It will be a pot of money which people can apply for and I will probably open up applications in January," he said.