What is the aim of the Shott Scale Up Accelerator?
To improve the leadership skills of those managing engineering scaleup SMEs in the UK, through which we aim to support excellence in engineering.
Who should apply?
We're looking for changemakers in engineering and technology SMEs that are experiencing scale-up growth challenges. Applications from engineers and non-engineers are welcome - if you're a senior decision maker, such as a founder of MD, and you have plans to scale your SME, then you should apply. Your title doesn't have to be founder or MD, but you need to be in a decision-making capacity to make scale up decisions. If not, the programme wouldn't be suitable because the aim is to support leaders of scale-ups.
The Academy is committed to diversity and welcomes nominations and nominees from women and other groups who are currently under-represented across engineering, as well as recognising the full breadth of engineering
Do I have to be an engineer to apply?
No we are looking for leaders of engineering companies regardless of background. As long as you're in a senior decision-making role, you can apply.
Can more than one person from my company apply?
Each enterprise can submit a maximum of one application for the programme if they are successful. One additional application will be considered in another round if it is submitted by a candidate belonging to a group that is underrepresented within UK engineering - please see full eligibility guidance or email the Senior Programme Manager Terri Morris if you'd like to discuss your eligibility. If applicants have been unsuccessful, they can reapply in another round.
Is my company eligible to apply?
The Academy defines engineering in a broad sense, as can be seen from the range of past SME Leaders Programme participants, which includes robotics, medtech, cleantech, hardware, AI, automotive and materials.
Software companies must exhibit engineering as their core component and should be innovative and protectable. We unfortunately cannot support consultancies. If you are unsure that your company's activities qualify as engineering, please contact the Senior Programme Manager Terri Morris.
Are there any regional restrictions?
The company must be based in the UK and registered with Companies House. For multinational companies, the Head Office must be based in the UK and the measures above must apply to the entire company, not just the UK and the measures above must apply to the entire company, not just the UK office. We welcome applications from companies across the whole of the UK.
What is the time commitment?
The programme will begin in late March 2022 and applicants must be committed to completing 1.5 hours of one-to-one coaching per month for six months. Your leadership course(s) should be completed within the course of your six month programme, but there will be some flexibility if your chosen course falls outside these dates.
Awardees will also be required to attend four sessions under the People and Culture module, and access a session/resource relating to one each of the other five key areas of support: good governance, product development, customer acquisition, accessing new markets, securing growth capital.
We also hold monthly workshops, roundtables and events which are beneficial to all awardees. We strongly encourage all awardees to maximise the opportunity of the support on offer.
Do you cover travel and accommodation costs?
For your leadership course and for compulsory events at the Enterprise Hub in London, we will cover travel and accommodation costs within the UK. We cannot cover international expenses if your leadership course is based outside the UK.
Only leaders of scaleup SME companies are eligible to apply, what is your definition?
- Employees < 250 people
- Turnover < £50 million per annum
- Leader = CEO, Founder, MD, other senior decision maker
How will my proposal be assessed?
All applications will be reviewed by an assessment panel consisting of Fellows of the Academy with entrepreneurial and industrial experience and representatives from the investment community. Applications will be reviewed against the criteria listed in the guidance notes. Please read the Essential Guidance Notes carefully
Each application is assessed and scored by at least two members of the Panel. The panel then meet in person and discuss all the applications and their assessments, and select which applications will be awarded invited to interview. Performance at interview will then determine who is awarded.
What criteria do the panel use when assessing applications?
All applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria:
- Quality, ambition and vision of the applicant
- Effectiveness and innovativeness of technology, in providing high impact products or services that meet an unmet or poorly met market demand/need
- Innovativeness of the technology, product or service described by the applicant to demonstrate effectiveness against competing technologies)
- The potential for that technology, product or service to grow in scale (evidenced in business model/plan or strategy document uploaded by the applicant)
- Financial viability and scalability, in terms of cash runway, burn rate, profitability, and the company's five-year growth plan
- Potential benefits to the UK economy (such as job creation) and/or expected benefits to wider public
- Impact the award would have on success of the applicant, his or her company, and therefore potential impact on the UK engineering sector and UK economic growth The potential shown by the applicant to make valuable use of the award and implement learning points, and to act as an ambassador for the Enterprise Hub and its pursuit of excellence in engineering. Applications will be judged on their individual merits, there is no specific number of awards that the Academy must make in each year. If an application does not meet the standard of excellence required by the assessment process, it will not proceed, regardless of the number of other suitable applicants.
Can I reapply?
Yes, providing you fulfil the programme's eligibility criteria. If you would like feedback on your previous application, please contact the Senior Programme Manager, Terri Morris.
Who will have access to my application and how will my company data be treated?
The Shott Scale Up Accelerator selection panel constitutes of twelve reviewers who agree to a confidentiality agreement before they join the panel. If they declare a conflict of interest with any applicants, they will not have access to that particular application. Members of the Enterprise Hub team will also be able to view the applications. Details of the applications will be kept confidential within the review process.
The Shott Scale Up Accelerator sounds great, but I’m not ready to apply yet. What should I do?
Does the £10k grant constitute state aid?
The Scale Up Accelerator is funded by BEIS and a private donor and does not constitute state aid.
Are there any fees?
As we are a charity, the programme is completely free - we do not charge fees or take an equity stake.
If you have any queries after reading the Essential Guidance Notes and the above FAQs, please do not hesitate to contact us. All questions should be sent to the Senior Programme Manager, Terri Morris.