Herts Sustainability Accelerator

Supporting small businesses to scale-up sustainably

Delivered by the University of Hertfordshire, one of only 20 recognised University Enterprise Zones in the UK and with a successful history supporting thousands of start-ups and SMEs to launch, innovate and grow; the Herts Sustainability Accelerator Programme has all the help you need to drive your sustainable venture forward.

About the programme

The Herts Sustainability Accelerator Programme is designed to support ambitious Hertfordshire-based SMEs with scale-up potential to launch an innovative and sustainable product, service or technology. Businesses will receive a tailored package of support with estimated value up to £25k, providing them with the right guidance and environment to accelerate the development of their innovative idea through 1:2:1 mentoring, training and specialist technical, commercial and creative marketing support.

The Hertfordshire Sustainable Innovation Accelerator is part of a set of business support provisions included in ‘Building Back Better,’ a Community Renewal Fund (CRF)-funded programme delivered by University of Hertfordshire (UH) in partnership the Hertfordshire Growth Hub (HGH).

  • Programme features

This intensive Accelerator Programme will provide tailored support to 10 selected companies over a 15-week period. Support includes guidance from up to three expert academic and/or technical consultants including:

  • Technical consultancy support for prototype development/ prototype refinement
  • Commercial consultancy support to explore market viability and potential
  • Creative consultancy support including product/service design and/or branding
  • Access to University labs/specialist equipment
  • Up to £1,000 available funding to cover materials, equipment and/or other consumables required for the proposed venture development
  • 1:2:1 mentoring support to help drive the venture forward
  • UH Incubator Space Membership for 12 months (access to co-working space in the Enterprise Hub, business postal address, access to events and networking opportunities)
  • Access to IP/commercial law support through the University’s ‘Law Clinic’.

Businesses will be supported to develop new and market ready sustainable products, services and/or technologies by the end of the programme.

  • Programme structure, dates, and location

Cohort 1: running from March 2022 – June 2022

Recruitment & Selection:

Please ensure you are available for the following dates before applying:

    • Apply by 15th of February 2022
    • Selected companies will be notified by 27th February 2022

Programme Launch and Start:

    • Launch meeting – 1st of March 2022
    • Virtual Group Workshops & Initial Mentoring Sessions – March 2022
    • Venture Development & Prototyping: April – May 2022

Programme End:

    • June 2022

Location:

The modules will be held both virtually and in-person at the University of Hertfordshire.

Cost

FREE of Charge

 

  • Who is eligible to apply?

Core (‘must have’) criteria:

    • Hertfordshire based SME, registered in Companies House.
    • Innovative new product/service/technology with the potential to scale-up and generate positive societal impact
    • Team of at least two entrepreneurs fully committed to driving the venture forward and to making the most of the accelerator support package
    • Companies with sustainability at the core of their product/service/technology/business model proposition.

Applications from all sectors will be considered for the programme.

Desirable criteria:

We are particularly keen to hear from companies with innovative propositions in the following areas:

    • Low carbon design and/or technologies applied to other sectors
    • Sustainable Transport Solutions
    • Resource efficiency including energy storage and/or energy management, heat recovery, etc
    • Innovative new materials
    • Zero waste and circular business models
    • Low carbon construction
    • Consumer-focussed solutions including apps

For full details or to check if the programme is for you, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Express Your Interest

 

Partners

This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. For more information, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus

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