Enterprise Fellowships is a twelve-month accelerator programme designed to support talented researchers and graduates to transform breakthrough engineering innovations into disruptive spinouts and graduate startups.
We have over ten years of experience helping graduates and researchers to take their technology from the lab into the marketplace. Making the transition from academia to entrepreneurship takes knowledge, skills and confidence. With our training, you will find the answers to questions like, which market to target first, how to reach them to start selling, and how to secure investors. Through your mentor, you will receive personalised business advice from a leading engineer in academia or industry drawn from the Academy's Fellows.
We understand that developing a business takes dedicated time, which is why we offer this programme with funding over twelve months to allow you to focus your energies on your entrepreneurship journey. You will build confidence and a network through our unique ecosystem of Fellows, investors, experts and advisors across the UK and internationally.
Through the Enterprise Hub, these connections are with you for life. We support our Hub Members (alumni) community with exclusive events, mentoring, further training, signposting, and introductions that evolve as your career progresses. And best of all, there’s no catch. As a charity, we offer all of our support free of charge - no fees, no IP, no equity taken.
If you choose to join us, you’ll be in good hands. Since the programme launched in 2011, we have supported 207 entrepreneurs, who have grown from initial founding teams to companies valued at nearly £700 million. We are proud to have supported graduates and researchers to establish startups and spinouts that have gone on to create more than 1,500 jobs.
follow on funding raised
most active UK accelerator in 2022
What does this programme offer?
We are the experts in commercialising engineering research into successful, scalable businesses through a unique package of funding and training:
- an equity-free grant of up to £75,000
- 75 hours of training
- 1:1 business coaching and mentoring from our unrivalled network of the UK’s leading engineers and Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows
- connections to our network of 100+ investors
- subsidised access to our diversity and inclusion platform Culture+ for engineering startups
- lifetime access to our co-working spaces in London and Belfast
- lifelong membership to the Hub’s exclusive events and networking.
Enterprise Fellowships awardees may also access support from the Royal Academy of Engineering for a UK Global Talent Visa.
Key growth areas
With Enterprise Fellowships, you have a year to invest time and energy into your long-term business strategy and success. Training sessions are delivered as approximately 75 hours of interactive workshops in the first six months of the programme. The content is pitched by the trainers to challenge startup and spinout founders at various levels of business acumen and cover topics in:
- leadership and operations
- business modelling, value proposition and strategy
- marketing, sales and customers
- finance and funding sources.
The welcome pack provides a list of recommended reading on the theory and practice of starting a business, as an additional resource to awardees who are new to entrepreneurship. By the end of the programme, you will be ready to take your new business to the next level of seed funding and bring your innovation to market.
Who is the programme for?
We are looking for:
- University researchers wishing to spin out from UK or Irish universities and research institutes
- Recent graduates who want to found a startup
- Non-UK nationals who are about to complete, or have recently completed, their PhD at a UK university
- a protectable engineering or technology innovation
- the ambition to lead the business as CEO or COO
- a technology that has been validated in a lab or a relevant environment
Please read our full eligibility criteria and see the Applicant Guidance Notes for more details. If you have any questions, you can email the programme managers directly or join an applicant workshop.
Join an Applicant Workshop online
We are running online workshops to help you to submit a successful application, open to all potential applicants (including university graduates, PhD holders and academics). The workshops will be hosted by the programme managers, and will cover an overview of the Enteprise Fellowships programme, information on the stages and expectations of the application process, and advice on how to submit a strong application. There will also be a Q&A session for you to ask anything further to the programme managers.
|Tuesday 20 February, 10am - 11am
Join a Tech Transfer Officer Workshop online
In addition to our workshops above for applicants, we run online sessions specifically for Tech Transfer Officers. Applicants to our programme will reach out to their commercialisation office for information to complete their application with us. In order to assist all involved, we convene these workshops so that Tech Transfer Officers understand the programme and application requirements. If you work in research commercialisation at a UK or Irish university or research institute, please register to attend a session:
|Wednesday 14 February, 2pm - 3pm
|Tuesday 5 March, 3pm - 4pm
|Monday 18 March, 12pm - 1pm
It's taken me from being someone who thought they might fancy it and be good at it, but had no experience really in being an entrepreneur to providing that initial confidence of no, you are now an Enterprise Fellow. Get on board, strap in and then over that programme, building your confidence to such a point where you actually know that you can do it and that you are one of very few people who get this really quite special award.
Henry Harrod, CEO and co-founder of Fourier Audio
I have a soft spot and only praise for the Enterprise Hub. Without its backing and the access it has offered to inspiring events and people, Oxford Heartbeat might not be what it is today. The courses, practical advice, mentorship and peer-to-peer learning offered as part of the Enterprise Fellowships Programme were all hugely beneficial to us.
Dr Katerina Spranger, CEO and founder of Oxford Heartbeat
It's like a crash course MBA. It was clear at that point that we wanted to spinout. We weren't sure how on earth we were going to do it at that point. I think we envisaged that we'd hire a CEO with knowledge in this area, would bring them in and then take it to market. But for many reasons that didn't work out and we decided not to go down that route. So then I took on that role as lead and the Royal Academy of Engineering was really key there because it gives you that confidence and knowledge very, very early on and allows you to take that step
Dr Ben White, CEO of Phlux
Enterprise Fellowships was a perfect match for me. It gave me an opportunity to learn a lot about leadership and how to really build a business from experts rather than relying on figuring out everything for myself.
Reka Tron, COO of Multus
It was instrumental in our business staying alive at the time and actually growing to what it is now, and we wouldn't be around having not gone through that programme. We'd have failed at the end of 2020. Because of the programme, we were able to survive long enough to bring in consulting work and build the product that then let us bring in our first big contracts.
Matt Escott, CEO and co-founder of Protolaunch
The Academy have made an assessment of the Enterprise Fellowship scheme against the principles of the Subsidy Control Act 2022 and have made this assessment available here. The Scheme has also been published on the transparency database (SC10913).